Paulien Leijnse has been appointed from within the Dunedin
City Council to become its new aquatic services manager,
responsible for facilities including Moana Pool. Photo by
The Dunedin City Council's new aquatic services manager
says she is excited about taking charge of one of the city's
Paulien Leijnse (45) was yesterday named as the person tasked
with running Moana Pool and the rest of the city's aquatics
Ms Leijnse, until now the council's reserves and planning
team leader, was chosen from 37 applicants, including 25 from
within Dunedin, 11 from around the rest of New Zealand, and
one international candidate.
Ms Leijnse, who came from an ''operational background'', has
been acting aquatic services manager since the resignation of
incumbent Steve Prescott in March this year.
She told the Otago Daily Times she was excited about
the job ahead.
''I've got a team of people here who are really good at what
they're doing, and it's great to work with them to see what
we can do for the future.
''It's not going to be easy, but that's what's fun.''
She will be responsible for up to 160 staff and a $7 million
annual operating budget.
She was also charged with helping tackle some big challenges
for the city's aquatic facilities, including addressing the
''constant quest for space'' at the city's crowded Moana
Ms Leijnse said it was too soon to say exactly what needed to
change to address overcrowding, beyond making best use of
facilities across the city.
However, she was in no doubt there was room for improvement.
''I think we're looking after the public as well as we can.
The groups, and the different varieties of groups, are
increasing ... that is a struggle.''
Her appointment comes two months after Mr Prescott resigned,
following the release of the results of an independent audit.
It found he gave misleading statements about contracts he
held to restock vending machines at Moana Pool, from which he
had profited by up to $10,000 a year.
Ms Leijnse said Mr Prescott had done a ''fabulous job''
developing the pool, but staff had been ''very affected'' by
the recent fallout, which she wanted to help address.
''What we're trying to do is go back to a positive mindset,
try and deal with the negativity, and park it ... and keep on
''I think that's working really well. We're ticking along and
we're having fun and I have the feeling there's a really good
The future of the pool's vending machines was already being
reviewed, and Ms Leijnse said the council was considering
some form of healthy eating option, in addition to what was
already on offer.
''We're not going to tell people what they should or should
not eat. What we're going to do is improve the options so
that they can make their own choices.''