Mataura pool closes next week

Newslink - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - RACHAEL KELLY

The doors will close at Mataura’s swim­ming pool next Sun­day, and the Gore Dis­trict Coun­cil has asked the pub­lic how it wants to mark the pool’s clo­sure.

Ideas so far in­clude free en­try, a bar­beque and a photo booth.

Gore aquat­ics ser­vices man­ager Kim Peterson said it was good to get some con­struc­tive feed­back.

‘‘It’s about giv­ing peo­ple a chance to trip down mem­ory lane and re­mem­ber the pool in its hey­day.’’

The coun­cil’s de­ci­sion to close the pool fol­lowed ex­ten­sive com­mu­nity con­sul­ta­tion and nu­mer­ous at­tempts to boost pa­tron­age by di­rect mar­ket­ing to user groups and pro­mo­tions.

‘‘We wrote to var­i­ous sports and com­mu­nity groups let­ting them know about the classes we pro­vided at Mataura, of­fered dis­count vouch­ers and were al­ways look­ing for ways of get­ting peo­ple in­volved.’’

De­spite this there was of­ten only two or three peo­ple at some ses­sions, Peterson said.

Staff also sur­veyed 104 peo­ple to find out what they wanted at Mataura. Only four sur­veys were re­turned.

‘‘Those four told us cost was no bar­rier to us­ing the pool, the open­ing hours were con­ve­nient and the pool was eas­ily ac­ces­si­ble.

Parks and re­cre­ation man­ager Ian Soper said the coun­cil and Mataura Com­mu­nity Board hosted a com­mu­nity work­shop in 2014, which in­cluded dis­cus­sion around whether the pool was meet­ing the cur­rent and fu­ture needs of the com­mu­nity.

‘‘What emerged from that was a vi­sion for Mataura to have a recre­ational at­trac­tion unique to the Gore dis­trict.’’

The work­shop was fol­lowed by in­for­ma­tion ses­sions, held over three days in the Mataura com­mu­nity cen­tre, where peo­ple were able to let the coun­cil know their pre­ferred op­tions.

Fu­ture recre­ational op­por­tu­ni­ties for Mataura was also one of the key con­sul­ta­tion points of the coun­cil’s 2015 – 2025 long term plan.

The pool has been a large part of Mataura’s his­tory for over 50 years.

‘‘We are presently work­ing with the com­mu­nity board on what will re­place the pool.’’

The plaques com­mem­o­rat­ing Mataura men who served in both World Wars and the Boer War would be re­lo­cated near the Mataura war me­mo­rial.

The pool will close on Sun­day April 30.

Aquatic ser­vices man­ager Kim Peterson at the Mataura pool.

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