Dunedin city councillors will consider putting aside money in
next year's council budget to pursue further investigation of
a new pool in Mosgiel.
But they have warned they cannot commit to a timeline, there
is no actual money for it and the community will have to
prove its commitment to the project.
The challenge to Mosgiel residents went out at yesterday's
full council meeting, at which councillors discussed a
recommendation from the aquatic facilities working party that
they consider providing a new pool at Mosgiel within five
years, and increasing the capacity of Moana Pool in central
Dunedin within 10 years.
The working party recommended Mosgiel be the priority, given
the state of its pool and the demand for the service.
Cr Jinty MacTavish started the discussion with her concerns
the working party's report appeared to promise something that
was by no means a given, and still needed to go through the
annual and long-term plan processes.
There was much to still understand, including Mosgiel's
growth and the project in context of the spatial plan.
She was also concerned the working party's report was too
focused on solving parking issues at Moana Pool, when what
really needed resolving was how people travelled there.
Cr Chris Staynes said when he first read the working party's
report he thought Mosgiel people would think they were going
to get a pool in the near future - ''But I don't read the
situation that way''.
Unless the council reduced its debt to under $200 million
faster than the planned goal of 2021, then ''making a promise
any earlier than 2021 is a promise in every likelihood we
would have to break''.
Cr Neil Collins said it was important to get some new
facilities in an area which was the fastest growing in
Dunedin, and urged councillors to get on with it.
Cr Syd Brown reminded councillors when Mosgiel amalgamated
with the Dunedin City Council, the Mosgiel borough had money
in the bank which all went to the DCC, with nothing asked in
The pool had been the main concern of the community for the
past nine years and,
while none of the recommendations cemented the pool for
Mosgiel, they allowed the council to investigate further and
the community to say how it could contribute.
''All they want is a starting gun, something they can go out
and fundraise on. They deserve certainty. They don't want it
tomorrow, they just want a date in the future.''
Cr Lee Vandervis was unapologetically against the idea.
''This is the thin end of the very, very fat wedge. We're
talking about an $8.9 million pool, without operating costs.
Where is this money supposed to come from? We've dug a $650
million debt hole already. We have no headroom for
After a point of order from Cr Brown, he corrected that to
$623 million debt.
Cr Teresa Stevenson said she was concerned that a new pool at
Mosgiel did not address the problems with pressure on
swimming access in the city.
She suggested the issue be left for the next council.
Mayor Dave Cull said it was quite clear the council could not
commit to the project financially, and ''certainly not right
now', but Mosgiel needed something a little more concrete to
aspire to and the council had the responsibility to take the
lead on it.
''We are saying yes to this part of the vision, then we have
discussion about how, given the constraints of our financial
Councillors voted to note the working party's
recommendations, agree that further investigative work be
done and that funding for that be considered as part of the
2014-15 annual plan and, subject to the prior happening,
consider capital and operational expenditure on the 2015-16
long-term plan, which sets out council spending for the
following 10 years.