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No rates to be used for swimming pool project

March 3rd, 2016

Members of the fundraising committee for the Motueka Community Swimming Pool say they are frustrated in their efforts by people who continue to believe - and tell others - that funds to enclose the High School pool will be paid for through their Council rates.

Committee chairman Fred Hickling (pictured) emphasises that there will be "absolutely zero ratepayer money" used for the pool conversion and construction.

"It's been stated and reported over and over again, including many times in The Guardian, that this is a purely community effort with no Council involvement," he says.

"But we keep hearing from people who say they will not support it or donate to it because our rates shouldn't be used in this way."

While it is "sort of understandable" that older people who can still remember back a decade ago when TDC were involved and made it an issue of rates, "this new fundraising campaign does not involve Council at all," Fred says.

"TDC's contribution to the covering of the high school pool and making it a community facility will be zero, at least in terms of directly using ratepayer money."

Council decided a few years ago to remove the building of a totally new pool from its Long Term Plan. But Good Sports Motueka, the organisation pressing for an indoor swimming facility, knew how important such a facility would be for the community, so they designed a compromise solution that cost far less, based around the existing open-air high school pool.

Furthermore, the "Motueka 2030" consultation held by Vision Motueka last May proved that the community saw such a pool as one of its three top priorities.

Good Sports Motueka has a goal of raising about $1 million over the next year to make it happen, at least one-third of it from community fundraising. Vision Motueka is actively involved in this effort.

People can donate online through the Givealittle campaign under the keyword 'Motueka Swimming Pool', or visit the campaign's website


Comment by Anne McFadgen:
[Posted 20 March 2016]

We would have had a purpose-built community swimming pool years ago if not for these same tactics. It's a sad fact that nearly every time a project is proposed for Motueka, this sort of mischievous scare-mongering is used in an attempt to scupper it.

As a superannuitant myself, I appreciate that it's not at all easy to live on a fixed income. However, even when projects proposed for Motueka are to be funded by the TDC - which isn't the case for this current pool project - sabotaging them doesn't stop rates going up, it just means that a town elsewhere in the district benefits at our expense. Sometimes we need to look outside our own backyards and think about the greater good when it comes to our community.

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