3 Apr 2013

New pool policy hits Auckland's poorest hardest

10:05 am on 3 April 2013

Some of Auckland's poorest communities are set to be forced to pay almost $1 million a year to use their local swimming pool.

The Auckland Council has introduced a policy to allow free entry to council-run pools for all under 16s, and charge adults.

The move's been met with opposition by two south Auckland local boards, whose pools have up until now been free to everyone.

The Mangere-Otahuhu and Otara-Papatoetoe Local Boards have opted out of charging adults but want to introduce a new targeted rate to cover costs, totalling up to $900,000 a year - about $13 extra annually for each ratepayer in the first area and $31 in the second area.

Otara-Papatoetoe Local Board chairperson John McCracken says the plan has split the community

He says the just over 300 submissions were split virtually 50/50 on whether to impose a targeted rate or not.

"At the end of the day we've had to make a judgement call ... that the targeted rate is the best option."

Mr McCracken says it is now under consideration by the council, and could be imposed as early as July.