Features – Te Hāpua: Halswell Centre

Many groups in the community were asked for their ideas for the proposed complex, which will be almost double the size of the Upper Riccarton Community and School Library.

View of new Halswell Library and Community Facility

The popular outdoor pool, toddlers’ pool and hydroslide will be enhanced by landscaping and a new BBQ area. In winter, when the pools are closed, the changing rooms can be used as dressing rooms for performances at the centre.

Community rooms

The community meeting spaces are multi-use facilities available for community activities and private social functions. They include two large spaces catering for up to a total of 400 people within the two largest rooms (Mohoao and Hao)


  • Hard floor suitable for dance, martial arts etc, meetings, social events, conferences and seminars
  • AV available, video wall, lectern with microphone (shared)
  • Tables & chairs
  • Small stage
  • Mobile whiteboard available
  • Crockery
  • Occupancy: 300


  • Carpeted floor suitable for social events, meetings, seminars, weddings, yoga, pilates.
  • AV available, 2 X 75” screens, lectern with microphone (shared)
  • Tables and chairs
  • Mobile whiteboard available
  • Crockery
  • Occupancy: 150


  • Tables and chairs
  • AV available, 2 X 75” screens
  • Mobile whiteboard available
  • Crockery
  • Occupancy: 30

Meeting Rooms X 4: Aua, Inaka, Kokopu and Koaro

  • All rooms have tables and chairs, phone and phone table.
  • Occupancy: 2 X 6, 1 X 8, 1 X 12

All rooms have free WiFi.

More information

What is a community facility?
The community facility is really a one-stop shop that brings together most of the Council’s services under one roof. It will include a reception desk where people can make queries and payments as well as several flexible rooms and meeting spaces for hire.
Can you tell me more about the community facility’s rooms?
There will be two large venues catering for up to 300 people with kitchen and function centre facilities plus two medium spaces and many smaller meeting rooms. All spaces will be bookable and available to the public and community groups for extended hours (beyond normal library hours). The main hall or “spine” of the facility will be available for use as an exhibition space.
What differences will we see to the swimming pool facilities?
Although this is a library, customer service and community facility project, not a swimming pool project, swimming pool users will experience some improvements:
  • The BBQ area will be rebuilt and be available to the public.
  • Outdoor area will be landscaped to enhance the enjoyment of swimmers/sunbathers.
  • New ancillary facilities will be built, i.e. new men/women’s and family changing rooms, staff office and storage.
  • The outdoor pool/toddlers pool and hydroslide will remain the same.
  • The opening hours will remain at noon to 7pm weekdays and 11am to 7pm weekends.
Why aren’t you building a year-round pool?
This project is a library and customer service facility project, not a pool project. Other areas in Christchurch are in more urgent need of pool projects – for example the eastern suburbs. We also aim to provide a mix of indoor and outdoor pools across different parts of the city, and Halswell pool is one of our key outdoor pools. A review of aquatic facilities in the south-west area is planned in 2017. However, this project brings many benefits to pool users, including new changing rooms, upgraded BBQ areas, better fencing and landscaping around the pool and an onsite café.
What opening hours will the facility have?
The opening hours are still being discussed. We expect the library to have extended hours from the present Halswell Library whereas the pool will have similar opening hours to those at present, while the community facility will be open after hours for meetings and events.

Architectural and design features

Does the building have any green features?
The building has high natural light levels and passive solar design. It’s super-insulated with advanced heating and cooling systems to exchange heat across hot and cold areas of the building. Water from the roof is being used to irrigate the planting below.
How will the building and landscaping affect the surrounding area?
The attractively designed and landscaped building will really improve the “streetscape” or look of the area. It has a large plaza space with seating at the front, which we hope will become a centre for Halswell. New pedestrian access to the domain will also be created.
Will the building offer any special experiences for people using it?
The design has slot shapes in the exterior walls, surrounded by glass where lush vegetation will be planted. People sitting up against the windows will experience the feeling of being in an “intimate oasis”.
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