Whitewater Parks International (WPI) to Design World’s Newest Whitewater Stadium


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Whitewater Parks International (WPI), has been awarded the design contract for creating the “River Rush” and “Tamariki River” courses as part of the new Wero Project in Manukau (Auckland), New Zealand.
The project will be another first-of-its-kind for WPI – combining a international level canoe/kayak venue with a state-of-the-art educational/ cultural events center.

One of the main missions of the Wero Project is to serve New Zealand’s youth, aiming to host over 45,000 school children each year in sports, educational and cultural activities.

The whitewater component of the Wero Project consists of two separate courses – a Class III-IV recreation and competition channel, as well as a Class II-III training and instructional channel. This dual course design is a specialty of WPI and was successfully deployed in the 2012 London Olympic whitewater venue, also designed by the firm. 

These independent channels allow operators to stage world-class competitions and commercial programming as required, while simultaneously supporting alternative paddling activities, often community-oriented, with extreme cost-effectiveness.

WPI is recognized worldwide for its design expertise; as well as its keen focus on operational efficiency and sustainability. WPI brings together more than 30 years of specialization in whitewater sports, specifically in the design, development, and operation of state-of-the-art facilities and paddling-oriented programs. With offices in Sydney, Australia and Glenwood Springs, Colorado, the company and its international network of industry experts offers professional resources for creating financially sustainable and community enhancing projects, such as London’s 2012 Olympic Canoe/Kayak Slalom venue -the Lee Valley White Water Centre, and the Penrith Whitewater Stadium built for the Sydney 2000 Olympics.

Said WPI Managing Director Bob Campbell: “The Auckland project will actually share many of London’s best attributes in that it will be a state of the art, Olympic caliber competition and training venue operating in tandem with a full-scale commercial whitewater paddlesports program. There will be particular emphasis placed on providing ample community-oriented activities which can be supported by, and run simultaneously alongside, the tourist-oriented commercial offerings. The project’s functional legacy and financial sustainability depend heavily on this kind of multiple programming, which we model very intentionally into the design of the facility.”

“We do consider this a big win,” continued Campbell. “The stakeholders certainly had a choice of companies to deliver their vision. By choosing WPI, they affirmed the importance of the essential design principals and approach we apply to every project we’re involved with. The facility’s overall concept development has been in the works for several years. Now that the project is fully funded and ready to move forward, we’re honored to have the opportunity to work with an exceptionally capable and dedicated team in creating what is poised to become one or the world’s most unique whitewater experiences.

“We were particularly impressed with WPI’s track record of integrity, their innovative approach, and their reputation for coordinating diverse client needs through careful and smart planning,” said Vodafone Events Centre CEO Richard Jeffery. “Their in-depth understanding of facility operations, commitment to value engineering, and proven design role in successful Olympic projects, especially the London 2012 facility in Lee Valley, made Whitewater Parks International the obvious choice for us.”

WPI has already begun work on this visionary project and is applying its signature innovative, sustainable and cost-effective insights to the design process. Completion of the whitewater facility is slated for 2015.

For more information, visit www.whitewaterparks.com or call (970) 948-7772.

Wero is a Master Plan designed by Counties Manukau Pacific Trust, the community trust that successfully developed and operates the Vodaphone Events Centre, in partnership with the Auckland Council. Click here for more information on the Wero Project.


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