Hi Everyone,
Thank you to all those who have given their support for this project. The Dunedin City Council were impressed with the quality and detail of the feasibility study, and noted the overwhelming level of community support for a new pool complex on the Taieri.Progress with Council
You may have read a recent ODT article about the project and gained the impression that the Council had thrown our proposal out. This is not the case. The Council simply voted not to allocate funding for the next calendar year. Our goal for this meeting was always to get the project into the Long Term Plan (LTP) submissions process, and the Council agreed to this.

All the feedback we have had from the Council is that there is a high level of good will within the DCC and that the project is viewed favourably by the majority of Councillors and staff. We believe that the Council is motivated to find a way of making the project work, and we are working hard with the Council to get on the right track towards getting the aquatic complex that the Taieri needs and deserves.

Challenges Ahead
The ODT also reported a concern raised by Cr Jinty McTavish that a four-pool complex could draw people from the city to come out to the Taieri, and in doing so it could be in breach of the intent of the city’s Spatial Plan. During the feasibility study, we had consulted with the DCC town planners and the trust was of the view that the proposed aquatic centre meets the Spatial Plan intent.

In light of this concern and to work through other potential challenges to the project, the Trust is holding a workshop with Council staff and Councillors in the first week of March. In that workshop our aim is to work together to address the project and how it fits with the city’s planning and strategy documents. We will take what we learn from this workshop to create a proposal for the Long Term Plan that ticks all the Council boxes and is affordable for the city.

Where to From Here
Given the high level of community support and a positive partnership with Council and staff, we believe we have built a firm foundation which will enable the success of this project.

The next and most important step is the submissions process for the Long Term Plan, which starts in mid-March. In order to succeed in this phase we need our community to send a strong message to Council via submissions. We need to persuade them to contribute to an aquatic centre which meets the needs of the entire community. The Council exists to represent and to serve the interests of the community, and as a community we need to be vocal and show them what we want.

In March we’ll be starting a significant campaign to encourage everyone on the Taieri to start an online submission to Council for the pool. So look out for our emails and get ready to spread the word. It is not just that every voice will count. It is that every voice will be critical to success.

We will keep in touch as we have more information to share. If you would like to meet some members of the Trust in person, look for our table at Party in the Park, this Sunday 22nd Feb.

Thanks again for your support.

Geoff Woodcock
Taieri Community Facilities Trust