Wanaka Recreational Centre


Warren & Mahoney


Cook Brothers Construction


Wanaka, New Zealand





Featured, Health, Anchor & Cable, Fall Arrest, Sport & Leisure, Kingspan Safepro2


The Wanaka Recreation Centre is a 4,500m2 complex, comprising of multi use space for sport, recreational activities, and wellness activities. The main facility provides 2,500m2 of dry sports space and 2,000m2 of aquatic space all under one roof.

Nestled in the Wanaka basin, the complex looks out towards the snow-topped Southern Alps Mountain Range and Mount Iron; providing tranquillity from the bustling township that is Wanaka. The facility builds on the success of Ashburton’s EA Networks Centre and was developed to provide sports courts and aquatic space for the local Wanaka community.

“Sport and recreation hubs like Wanaka Recreation Centre play a key role in strengthening social connections across the district and improving the wellbeing of our community. Good design ensures that these facilities provide a welcoming, inclusive space that incorporates the latest architectural thinking in tune with the local environment,” - Dr Thunes Cloete, General Manager – Community Services at Queenstown Lakes District Council.

One of the challenges presented was the sympathetic placement of a building of this size in a visually sensitive landscape. To reduce the bulk of the structure, the administrative facilities were organised into a lower timber clad bar which slides in front of the main arena. The scale of these spaces act in a way to create a spatial transition to the large volume of the main space. The main hall itself was clad in an insulated metal panel cladding system with a vertical emphasis on the front façade. A random effect of panels in different colours and gloss levels help to blend the structure into the landscape beyond.


During the design stage, our Project Consultants engaged with architects Warren & Mahoney to identify the requirements for a height safety solution. Working with the Warren & Mahoney (architects) in the design stage of the project ensured that a bespoke height safety solution was allowed for in the design of the roof. Key height safety requirements identified for the Wanaka Recreation Centre included:

  • Undertaking regular roof washdown as stated in the roofing manufacturer’s warranty;
  • Completing regular gutter cleaning;
  • Checking and tightening snows straps before and after winter months;
  • Accessing plant and HVAC systems for cleaning, maintenance, and possible future repair;
  • Building is located in a high-wind zone making roof access difficult at times.




Due to the complex having three different roof levels, each with their own height safety and fall protection requirements, the project was broken down into three key sections; the administration facilities building, gymnasium roof, and the lower aquatic roof. 

Overall, four Kingspan Safepro2 Cable lines (153m, 112m, 80m, 42m) were installed onto Kingspan KS100 RW.55 BMT, along with one 3M L4543 Fall Arrest Anchor Point. The Kingspan Safepro2 Cable lines were surface mounted via a base plate that was riveted to the roof sheeting using 8mm self-sealing star rivets. 

The L4543 Fall-Arrest Anchor Points were installed on a membrane roof over a timber substrate. A plywood plinth was used so the anchor points sit up off the membrane roof ensuring that water does not pool around the base of the anchors and corrode the material. Membrane waterproofing was installed over and around the plinth to ensure water tightness. The anchor points were drilled through the plinth and mounted to the timber purlins.

Anchor posts, bracket components, and the cable of the Safepro2 systems, and the 3M L4543 anchors are manufactured from 316 grade stainless steel to ensure long life and durability, which is especially important due to Wanaka often receiving snow and other wild, wet weather during the winter months. 

Working alongside Cook Brothers Construction, installation of the full height safety solution was staged as various roofing levels were completed and edge protection removed. 

Gymnasium Roof

Standing at over eight meters high, the gymnasium roof has three mono-pitch sections with skylights; providing another fall hazard. A perimeter system - 2m in from the edge - was installed around the outside of the roof allowing those working at height to work in restraint technique. A single central line also ran horizontally in front of the three mono-pitch sections to provide fall-arrest above and around the skylights. 

“A perimeter system is an excellent choice for building of this shape,” says PBI Height Safety Head of Design, Simon Hughes. "A perimeter system acts as a clear demarcation for those working on the buildings roof. Before moving over the system and closer to the edge (and the danger of falling), users should attach themselves to the cable system which will allow them to work in restraint technique – the best control method for working at height besides complete elimination of the risk”.

Access to the gymnasium roof was via a ladder on the aquatic roof. Also installed was a 2m ladder walk-off platform with side rails. The perimeter cable system ran past the end of this platform allowing users to attach directly to the cable system from a secure platform.

Aquatic Roof

The lower and single sloping aquatic roof contained no skylights or additional fall hazards, other than the edge of the roof. Like the gymnasium roof, a perimeter was installed 2m in from the edge to allow users to work in restraint technique and to act as a clear demarcation line. The use of a cable system also provides users with continuous attachment to a fall-arrest system as they are able to move freely in either direction around the edge of the roof. 

Working alongside Monkeytoe - a height access supplier and installer - the cable system at the back of the roof ran alongside their walkway platform providing passage for users to access the ladder to the gymnasium roof. 

Access to the aquatic roof was via a ladder with a 2m walk-off platform from a plant platform with edge protection. The perimeter system runs past the walk-off platform which allows users to attach to the system before stepping onto the roof. 

Administration & Facilities Building 

Facing the car park, the administration and facilities building block is a single level flat roof building that runs the length of the gymnasium and halfway along the aquatic centre. A U-shape Safepro2 cable system was installed which runs along each end of the building and along the front. Once again, this cable system was installed 2m back from the edge allowing users to work in restraint technique. 

With an internal gutter separating the administration and facilities building with the gymnasium and aquatic building, a 3M L4543 Anchor Point was installed at each end of the building to eliminate potential pendulum swing. Users are able to attach to the anchor through the anchor's single eyelet. Access to this roof is through an access hatch by an anchor point. This allows user to attach quickly and easily before exiting the access hatch and standing on the roof. 

Personal Protective Equipment


Our vision is to make safety an instinctive culture, and part of this focus is to provide innovative safety solutions to stay protected in challenging environments. Along with the fall arrest systems provided, PBI Height Safety sister company, ZERO Height Safety supplied a range of personal protective equipment to ensure users could safely access and operate the height safety and fall arrest system. This included:

  • Safepro2 Travellers
  • ZERO LWZ00W3 Lanyard with Snap Hooks
  • ZERO HTP-0017 Padded Full Body Harness with Quick Release Buckles
  • C.A.M.P ARMOUR Multi-Impact Helmets



Working with PBI Height Safety ensures ongoing support and certification of the height safety and fall protection systems, and PPE.

In accordance with the AS/NZS 1981.4:2009 Standards - Industrial fall-arrest systems and devices, Part 4: Selection, Use and Maintenance, - and manufacturer warranty conditions, the four Kingspan Safepro2 Cable lines and the 3M L4543 Fall Arrest Anchor require an annual recertification inspection. Recertification of the installed systems includes:

  • Inspection of line anchorage points and rail support anchorages in accordance with AS/NZS 1891.4.2009, Section 9: Inspection, Maintenance and Storage, Clause 9.3.3.
    • Anchorages shall be visually inspected for signs of deterioration which might make them unserviceable, together with any other requirements contained in the manufacture' instructions.
    • Drilled-in anchorages such as friction or glued-in anchorages shall be proof tested in accordance with Clause 3.1.2(g) as part of each inspection.
  • Visual inspection for any modification or deterioration of the parent structure which might lead to a loss anchorage strength.
  • Inspection of the condition and correct operation of line tensioners and line energy absorbers on horizontal lifelines.
  • Looking for evidence of wear, cuts, looseness, extension, inter-strand wear, corrosion, stiffness, brittleness or fraying of steel cables, ropes or webbing used as horizontal flexible lifelines or vertical lines used in conjunction with Type-1 fall-arrest devices with special attention given to lines in the vicinity of horizontal lifeline intermediate anchorages.
  • Inspection of integrity of the cable terminations.

While the Kingspan Safepro2 Cable lines can be certified by a competent height safety inspection, 3M dictate that only accredited 3M installers are able to install, inspect, repair and certify 3M Fall Protection Systems. PBI Height Safety is proud to be 3M accredited to install, inspect, repair, and certify 3M Fall Protection Systems. 



  • DINZ Best Awards - Bronze Pin - Public & Institutional Spaces 2019
  • New Zealand Institute of Architecture Southern Awards - Public Architecture 2019
  • In 2019, the Wanaka Recreation Centre was shortlisted at the 2019 INDE. Awards that celebrate the Indo-Pacific region’s most progressive design and architecture - the only New Zealand project shortlisted alongside seven others in the wellness space category, and one of only two buildings in the whole of Aotearoa among a total of 126 projects selected across 13 categories from 14 countries.

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