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Celebrate freedom this summer: Freedom Pools

Summer can arrive with a bang in the South Island – one evening you’re covering the lemon tree with frost cloth, and the next you’re having a beer at the barbie and admiring the light under the Nor’ West Arch.



James Wightman, Co-Director of Freedom Pools South Island says that now is the time to get your swimming pool project started so that when those hot days arrive, you’ll be ready.

Simply start with a chat with him on the phone.

James provides an estimate for a basic package, considering access or other issues.

If you are serious about getting started, James can meet you onsite to discuss the finer details and come up with a firm costing.

After council consent, the installation can be done in as little as a week. “We are a one-stop shop: paving, decorative concrete, decking, pump shed, pool house, and fencing are all part of our service.”

The team’s awarding-winning fibreglass pools cover the whole of the South Island.

“They are so popular we are searching for distributers in the Central Otago and Queenstown Lakes area and the wider South Island,” says James.

“You don’t have to have installed swimming pools before. Landscaping and earth moving are great experience. We started from a farming background.” Find them on the website below or phone (03) 365 3334.


Never-ending holiday at your place: Lagoon Pools

What is the recipe for a constant holiday in your backyard? Just add water! Julie Hastings, Director of Lagoon Pools, is finding Cantabrians are following the method with great enthusiasm.



“We are very busy with forward bookings so if people are wanting a swimming pool ready for enjoying this summer, then they need to be talking to us now,” she says.

Lagoon Pools are the local Leisure Pools dealer and are proud to offer a superior fibreglass pool with both structural and osmosis lifetime warranties. The pools come in lengths from m to 12m, as well as the 2.9m plunge pool.

“We can fit a pool in any space, and we love to help create that special area and work in well with all involved,” says Julie. “We have installed many pools for people who are desperately missing their Mediterranean holidays.”

There is a range of accessories to choose from, with the hidden rollers which slide the pool cover under the deck particularly popular.

“Fountains and swim jets are also popular; with the touch of a button, you get a turbine effect you can swim against – so you can have a workout on your holiday in your backyard!”

Find your backyard holiday at the website.


Pool party! Lagoon Pools

As Kiwis are rediscovering their own backyards are the coolest place for fun and entertainment, the quest for pools has never been higher, and Julie Hastings of Lagoon Pools says if people have decided they want a pool, they really need to be proactive.



“I would recommend getting things in the system without delay. Lagoon Pools install throughout the year, so anytime is a great time to start the process.”

A big trend coming through is for 5-metre pools. A smaller garden or backyard takes on a whole new aesthetic with a pool that sparkles, reflects light and enhances the outdoor living space in so many ways.

Added features, such as spa jets and fountains, bring that extra touch of poolside panache. The range of sizes, up to 12-metre pools, really does offer something for everyone.

Lagoon Pools will undertake an entire project, from pool installation to landscaping, paving, fencing and surrounds, but also readily work in with architects and designers.

A visit, by appointment only, to the showroom is ideal for inspiration, and customers can take home an information pack.

Alternatively, Julie suggests emailing a photo of where the pool’s envisioned to be, or an onsite consultation to discuss the area and details. Phone 0800 927 282.


New year, new project? WD Build x Hardy Projects

As you bask on a beach this summer, drawing a line under 2020 might add to the pleasure, while fresh ideas and a clean slate draw you towards the promised land of 2021. If EQC repairs, home renovations, extensions, or even a new build are on your brighter horizon, then WD Build and Hardy Projects are your go-to companies for a successful and productive year.



Directors Mitchell James and Paul Hardy, have been at the forefront of the EQC programme since its inception.

They help owners with the process from the paperwork at the very beginning, to handing over beautifully finished homes at the completion of the project.

Whether you are contemplating a project that brings an ‘as is where is’ home back to life, or whether your repairs fall more into the cosmetic line, Mitchell and Paul are happy to help.

“We have so much experience with the EQC process, as well as bringing our building expertise from engineered foundations to architectural finishes,” says Mitchell.

Client Ben McLean is delighted with the result he received.

“Working with Mitchell and Paul was so easy – they made the process really straightforward when we didn’t have a clue about what was required.”

The house required foundation repair, partial relevel, new flooring, tiling in the bathroom, internal painting, electrics brought to code, and the underfloor insulation which had been non-compliant all replaced.

The garage had its foundations dug out and replaced as well as blockwork repaired.

“The house looks amazing,” says Ben. “And the estimate of four to six months work was actually completed in 12 weeks!”

With Mitchell and Paul on the job the work was very well planned, started quickly, ran smoothly and was completed to a very high standard.

“I’d recommend WD Build and Hardy Projects to anyone in a heartbeat,” says Ben.

If you’re a homeowners who has registered with EQC and now need to engage a contactor to get things moving along, Paul says: “Just pick up the phone and talk to us about an initial free assessment of your home and we’ll make a plan from there.”

Hardy Projects 

Phone: 0800 742 739

WD Build 

Phone: 0274 134 382


Mates making a splash: Freedom Pools

Both are from farming backgrounds, who became best mates when they met at boarding school, aged ten. Their friendship continued through to adulthood, and when the opportunity arose to begin a business venture together, James Wightman and Mathew Pooley grasped it and launched Freedom Pools last November.


“The points of difference about Freedom Pools is they come with a 35-year warranty; the fibreglass has strong seismic resistance; it’s gel coat protection exterior creates a barrier that’s completely impervious to water, and because it’s easy to work with, a pool can be installed in one week,” says Mathew.

This indomitable duo come with skills aplenty and aren’t afraid of hard work, evidenced by James’ background in engineering within the dairy industry, and Mathew’s former career as a farm manager for Ngāi Tahu farming.

With Mathew overseeing operations and installations, and James handling sales and marketing, clients are assured the truly two-man band are with them every step of the way, from the initial site visit to pool completion.

“Honesty, transparency and providing a great product is everything to us. Emails and texts are convenient, but to really understand what clients want, a face-to-face consultation can never be underestimated,” says James.

Visit Freedom Pools at 175 Main North Road, Canterbury, phone (03) 365 3334 or check them out online.


A glimpse into Hornby’s future

The concept designs for Hornby’s new $37.5 million community centre have been unveiled and show the multi-use facility will include a library, a number of pools and a spa.



The designs show a lane pool, a learn-to-swim pool, a toddlers’ wet play area, spa pool and a customer service area, as well as the modern library.

The centre also includes an espresso bar, a creative activities room, and multi-purpose rooms available for meetings and study.

The architectural renders show multiple indoor and outdoor areas, including a lush garden courtyard and sleek decking complete with bean bags.

Christchurch City Council Recreation, Sports and Events Head Nigel Cox says the designs strongly reflect the community’s views, and that the concept design has been informed by discussions with community groups, including the adjacent schools and accessibility groups.


“With all our new facilities, we focus on strengthening the local community,” he says.

“The Hornby community’s input has been integral to this project, from the look of the centre to the exact site and the many opportunities on offer.

“It is very exciting to see the centre take shape, and this first glimpse will drive even greater interest.”

Following Waipuna/Halswell-Hornby-Riccarton Community Board and Christchurch City Council approval of the concept designs, the detailed design will be developed, and the project will go out to tender for a building contractor early in 2021.

Construction is due to start by mid-2021, with the centre set to open in late 2022.



Rocking the stone look: Deccan Stone

We’ve long been a fan of natural stone, after all, rocking this look gives you looks and longevity! Whether you’ve got a summer barbecue project in mind, a driveway to pave or a commercial kerbing job to undertake, there’s a stone profile to suit.


Metropol caught up with Deccan Stone Director Paul Rice about paving the way in the industry.

“We’re seeing a lot of granite and what most people know as traditional cobbles for driveways,” says Paul.

“Segmental arches as opposed to straight lines are increasingly popular; offering a traditional pattern that is structurally strong and aesthetically pleasing.”

There are numerous variations of stone profiles that can be utilised to get the look and feel for the job, he says.

While some people love strong lines, others prefer a more handmade look: “If that’s the case, we use hand-cut stone.”

Open by appointment only, Deccan Stone’s yard features examples of the different colours and textures and Paul can talk through colours, thickness and the best profiles for the application.

A landscaper by trade, Paul started his career in London in 1990. Arriving back in New Zealand, he started up a landscaping construction business and a stone importing business – operating symbiotically.

In the last two years, he’s purchased commercial land and built an office and storage facility to be able to offer retail and trade sales – though he’s still out on the tools for the better part of the day.


Head to Hanmer

With everything that has unfolded these last few months, it’s time to help greater Canterbury get back on its feet. We’ve all got a part to play and supporting small local businesses is one small way we can do just that. Such businesses can be found in the tourist favourite, Hanmer Springs.



Metropol has long had a Hanmer section in the magazine, showcasing some of the town’s greatest places to stop off, eat or have fun at.

Now is your chance to visit them. There’s a reason the little town is so popular with tourists… it’s because it has a bit of everything, for all ages.

From the Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools & Spa to the beautiful bars and restaurants, adults can have a romantic weekend away, with plenty of options for adventure or relaxing.

Meanwhile a family adventure might be on the cards and Hanmer Springs can cater to that too, with the minigolf course, maze, bike and walking trails, a Hanmer High Country Jeep Tour or even visit the Amuri Ski Club just 17km down the road.

It’s time to show your support and utilise the amazing places we have right at our back door. After all, Hanmer is only a hop, skip and a jump over the river.


City’s hottest opening

It was one of the city’s most hotly anticipated openings expected for April, before the COVID-19 Level 4 lockdown put the He Puna Taimoana, New Brighton hot pools on hold.




However, there was no dampening down the excitement for the opening on Queen’s Birthday weekend, which was a sell-out for the whole of the opening weekend.

The hot pools are part of the wider regeneration of New Brighton, led by Development Christchurch Limited (DCL) on behalf of the Christchurch City Council.

The work includes exciting public projects which are transforming the foreshore, along with a focus on the business centre and surrounding area.

“After the events of the last couple of months I am sure lots of people are going to really welcome the chance to have a relaxing soak in the hot pools,” Christchurch City Council Head of Recreation, Sports and Events Nigel Cox says.

The Level 2 restrictions meant the hotpools had to operate at reduced capacity, with the steam room and sauna not available for use.

An online booking system enabled people to book into one of four two-hour sessions each day.

The first session will be at 10am, the second session at 12.30pm, the third at 3pm, and the final session at 5.30pm, with a maximum of 50 people allowed into each session.

A single entry into He Puna Taimoana will cost Christchurch residents aged over 15-years $14.

The cost of admission for a child under 16 or with a Cando high school student ID card will be $10. Children aged three and under will be admitted for free.

Christchurch residents who want to use the pools regularly will be able to get even cheaper admission rates if they take advantage of the multi-entry cards and membership options that will be available.

For example, a monthly pass to the hot pools for a child will be available for $54.

If they visit the pools three times a week, each visit will only cost $4.50.

The standard admission charge for those who live outside of Christchurch will be $18 for an adult and $13 for a child.


Gadgets and gizmos galore

You don’t need us to tell you that we’re well and truly into summer. The days are getting hotter and as a result you’re more than likely green with pool envy.



Now is the ideal time to start the planning and installation process for your pool which can be installed all-year round with the winter months proving just as popular.

Whether you are installing, upgrading or adding the latest and greatest gadgets to your pool, Julie and Warren Hastings at Lagoon Pools are the people you want to talk to.

They have an exciting Shimmer Range to make your pool stand out.

Your pool will look like it’s scattered with millions of diamonds as the light touches the pool surface.

It’s the perfect way to elevate the look of your new purchase. “We also have an exciting new colour available, a white pool with a blue sparkle, called Shimmer White,” Julie says.

“A lot of people want to update their equipment or add new features; it’s not just about installing pools!”

As leaders in swimming pool technology offering pumps and filtration, robotic cleaners, lighting, heating, covers and rollers and water features, as well as pool surrounds it’s easy to see why they’re on top!

Don’t be envious; be the envied next summer! Phone Lagoon Pools on 0800 927 282 or check out the website to find out more.