Pool well supported by candidates in Mosgiel

An election meeting in Mosgiel last night showed voters will get to choose from a surprising breadth of skills and approaches from candidates vying for election.

The Mosgiel Rotary Club council candidates forum heard from 32 of the 43  council aspirants, some who wanted to attract jobs to attract people, others who wanted more people to raise the rates base, a union organiser who cared about cold homes and a company board chairman who admitted a fondness for balance sheets.

The ideas came from business people, entrepreneurs, builders, broadcasters, and farmers before almost 200 people at the Coronation Hall.

Speeches ranged from the odd to the inspirational.

There was an almost unanimous enthusiasm for the new Mosgiel Pool and a positive view of Mosgiel  issues.

Plans for a four-pool facility for the town have been discussed for some time, and the council and  the Taieri Communities Facility Trust are working in partnership to raise the about $14million needed.

The meeting was chaired by former Dunedin mayor Peter Chin, who gave each candidate  four minutes to tell the audience about themselves, and state their case for voter support.

Hindon farmer Chris Adams got in early with his support for the Mosgiel pool, promising his "full support for the planning and construction of the swimming pool".

Candidate Phyll Esplin, who is involved with synchronised swimming in Dunedin, and said the sport had trouble  booking space at Moana Pool, said: "Boy, oh boy, I will vote for you to have a swimming pool."

Former councillor Bill Acklin, who is trying to regain his council role after not seeking re-election in 2013, said pools were one of his passions.

"The pool goes ahead as soon as possible," he said.

Ronald Fung raised the idea of money from investment migrants, who he said brought billions of dollars to New Zealand, paying for the pool, which could even be expanded to include a water park.

Paul Pope was the only candidate to raise concerns about the pool.

While he said he supported the council putting in $7 million, he said it was tough on residents of Surrey St, South Dunedin, which was badly hit in last year’s floods, to have to pay for it from their rates.

The risks of climate change were raised by plenty of the candidates at the meeting, as were the challenges that came with the remarkable growth in the fastest-growing suburb in Dunedin.

A council consent committee decision that meant the Gordon Rd Countdown supermarket under construction could not have a cafe or pharmacy was criticised by Cr Mike Lord, who was in the smaller Mosgiel Taieri ward at the last election, before electoral changes lumped him in with all other candidates in a single city ward this time round.

david.loughrey@odt.co.nz

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