In at deep end for Mosgiel community

Irene Mosley is among the many who took a dip in Te Puna o Whakaehu, Mosgiel’s long-awaited new...
Irene Mosley is among the many who took a dip in Te Puna o Whakaehu, Mosgiel’s long-awaited new swimming pool, when it opened in June. The Dunedin City Council facility has been well received. PHOTO: STEPHEN JAQUIERY
For good, or bad, these "newsmakers" were the people making headlines in 2023.

It took years of waiting and cost millions of dollars, but Te Puna o Whakaehu in Mosgiel finally made a splash earlier this year.

Fundraising for the pool began in 2015 and eventually the community raised more than $4 million towards the facility, with the Dunedin City Council making up the balance of the $19.2m required to complete it.

For Taieri Community Facilities Trust chairwoman Irene Mosley, it was a long, drawn-out process to acquire the funding support, but the trust was delighted with the community’s efforts.

"Getting the council on board, and showing them that this pool would be an asset to the community, took a lot of lobbying.

"One of the biggest challenges was the constant turnover in council staff, especially in the early stages."

Mrs Mosley said the trust and other supporters had to "sell" the idea of the pool to the council, particularly when it came to ensuring some of the desired "extra" facilities were kept in the final design and build.

"We fought hard to keep the hydrotherapy pool, the two extra lanes and the splash pool in the final design and build.

"To see it completed with those extra features proved us right. It’s really added to the atmosphere and community of the pool.

With more than 17,000 people residing in Mosgiel, Mrs Mosley said facilities such as the new pool fostered community connections.

"It’s not just a place to swim, it’s a real community hub."

Construction of the pool began in February 2022, and it took just under 18 months to complete.

"When you consider we started the building at the tail end of Covid-19 restrictions, it was quite amazing how smoothly the process ran."

The pool opened in June this year and Mrs Mosley said the patronage had been encouraging.

"There are huge social benefits to it.

"I can only see it thriving."