Supervisor Punua Tangimetua at work at the Mosgiel Swimming
Pool at the end of last year. The Dunedin City Council has
said the community must drive the project for a new pool.
Photo by Linda Robertson.
The Dunedin City Council has sent a signal to the Mosgiel
The council has no money for big new projects and while it
will help out where it can, the community must drive the
project to build a new pool or it will likely not happen,
Councillors on Friday decided against spending $30,000 to
settle on a site, design and funding requirements for a new
pool in Mosgiel, in case that would create an unrealistic
expectation the council was going to deliver something it
likely could not because of its financial constraints.
Instead, councillors are proposing to give the money to a
community-owned trust which would be responsible for the
establishment and ownership of a new Mosgiel pool.
They will consult the community through the 2014-15 draft
annual plan on the proposal that the council invest $30,000
seed-funding in a trust that would investigate the pool
project, in conjunction with the council and the community.
Mosgiel-Taieri Community Board chairman Bill Feather last
night welcomed the idea and said the proposed move was
positive and he expected the community would welcome it too.
When the topic of a new Mosgiel pool came up at yesterday's
pre-draft annual plan discussions, councillors immediately
raised concerns about creating expectations in the community,
when the council would possibly not have any spare money for
any major capital expenditure in the next decade.
As they began discussing what to do, given the previous
council's preference for a new pool at Mosgiel, chief
executive Dr Sue Bidrose pointed out that no money was set
aside for a big investment in a pool in Mosgiel, and that if
councillors were thinking about signing off on the council
doing the remaining investigative work, they would need to
plan when they wanted to raise the debt.
Unless it was done relatively soon, any information gained
could be out of date by the time the work was to be done, she
To Cr Jinty MacTavish, who expressed concern about how much
work had been done on how a new pool fitted with projected
population growth in the area and the council's spatial plan,
she said staff advised that replacing a failing pool was
fine, but building a much bigger pool would have the likely
consequence of encouraging growth in a part of town where it
was not desired.
Crs Kate Wilson and John Bezett said they supported the
council continuing investigations because Mosgiel people had
been wanting to get behind the project for a long time, but
desired direction on what would be required first.
But Crs MacTavish, Richard Thomson and Chris Staynes all
raised concerns about the council sending the wrong signal to
the community, by implying it could do something it could
not, in terms of funding a new pool.
Cr Thomson said there appeared to be a demonstrable desire
for a pool, even more so than for a new library in South
Dunedin, yet the council genuinely did not have the funds to
do it, and would not for a long time.
He wondered if there was any possibility of the community
following the example of the Central Otago community, which
had raised enough money to build a new hospital in the area
when their existing facility became inadequate and the DHB
could not afford to pay for a new one.
''I don't know if we should be looking at a council-owned
pool in Mosgiel. What we should potentially be looking at is
is there sufficient community drive in the area to form a
trust to which we would provide logistical support and
Any money the council could provide now should be to help a
such a trust get the process rolling, he said.
That prompted Crs Mike Lord and Lee Vandervis to agree, with
Cr Vandervis saying: ''We let the Mosgiel community know we
would love them to have a new pool, but we aren't in a
position to fund it but can help it with some seed-funding
available to a trust to actually do this work themselves.
''If we can empower the people of Mosgiel to organise the
kind of pool they want and the substantial funding for it,
perhaps along that road the DCC could supply some land or
other money along the line.''
The proposal eventually gained unanimous support from
''We need to send the signal to the Mosgiel and wider
district that the city wants the community to drive projects.
We will support them by providing capital, but we need to be
driven from the people,'' Cr Andrew Noone said.
''It's a great opportunity for them to collectively work
together as a community to achieve something pretty
The draft annual plan will be released for consultation in