The ageing Mosgiel pool under the watchful eye of supervisor Punua Tangimetua. Photo by Linda Robertson.
The word on the street is the people of Mosgiel want a new
pool, an informal poll of residents has revealed.
The poll follows a suggestion there was little community
interest in it.
The Taieri Times asked 50 people on Gordon Rd last
week whether they wanted a new pool, and if they did, if they
would be happy to contribute financially to its construction.
The overwhelming response was yes. Of the 50 respondents,
only one, who said she did not use the pool, said she did not
think a new pool was needed.
Respondents to the non-scientific vox pop were generally
enthusiastic about getting a new pool.
''Absolutely. You're looking for 50? I could bring you 1050
people who would say yes,'' one woman said.
Many people referred to the Forsyth Barr Stadium when saying
they would be happy to contribute money towards a new pool.
''If we have to pay for that, I have no issue paying a bit
more for a pool,'' said one.
''I'd much rather we contributed to [a pool] than that great
big money gobbler in town,'' said another.
Even older people who said they did not use the pool were
supportive and said they would contribute a little.
''I just hope they get on with it now,'' one older woman
The pool was opened in the late 1930s, converted to a heated
pool in 1967 and covered in 1982. It is open from September
Many poll respondents said it desperately needed to be
Although it is unclear what sort of pool might be developed
and, therefore, how much might need to be raised by the
community or could be contributed by the council, people said
they would be happy to pay extra on their rates for it.
One woman even volunteered herself and her staff to work on
any trust established to help raise funds.
While the results of the unofficial poll are not likely to
come as a surprise to community leaders and residents, given
a relatively long history of local agitation for a pool, the
response appears to be at odds with comments from community
board member Maurice Prendergast, who recently said in the
Otago Daily Times he had seen or heard no evidence of
anyone wanting a new pool in Mosgiel, other than the other
members of his board.
When contacted, Mr Prendergast said he thought the Taieri
Times vox pop was too broad and, without any actual costs
in, too general to give a real feel on what people would
''If you ask anyone if they want something, of course they
will say yes.''
He felt that if people were asked if they were happy to have
a specific amount added to their rates bill each year, they
would give a different response.
Even if the response then was still a positive one from
Mosgiel ratepayers, he believed the rest of Dunedin's
residents were unlikely to be supportive.
He reiterated that he was not against a new pool per se, just
the council getting into more debt.
The council is to consult the public early next month, as
part of its annual budget-setting exercise, on whether there
is community support for its suggestion the Mosgiel community
set up a trust to drive the project.
The council would provide $30,000 to the trust in the next
financial year to investigate the establishment, ownership
and operation of a new pool.
Mosgiel Taieri Community Board chairman Bill Feather said it
was great to hear people were indeed so enthusiastic,
although he was not surprised, as the community had made it
clear for many years the old pool needed to be replaced.
The board recently met to discuss the council's
recommendation at a workshop.
It was possible an existing charitable trust could be used
for the project, although that would be discussed further at
the board's March 11 meeting in Outram.
He said he had had several indications of interest from
people who wanted to be involved with the project.
There was a lot to be decided yet, but, as discussed at the
board's last meeting, it planned to have a special focus on
the pool when consulting in Mosgiel on the council's draft
Specific places and times would be set so people would know
where they could offer their views.