The strength of a local community can often be gauged by the strength of its community facilities. More so when those facilities are provided directly through residents’ efforts.
The Sumner Community Pool is one of the few community pools in Christchurch that has managed to survive the pool-closure mania of the last two decades. I know from my own experience as a school trustee at Shirley Intermediate School that it is a hard fight to maintain and fund pools in the face of bureaucratic resistance.
The Sumner Community Pool committee has been outstandingly effective in maintaining and developing their pool. The pool is a hugely popular focus of community activity during the summer months.
I spoke with Chair Nicola Wood and Secretary Catherine Saunders about their efforts. They are bemused by some aspects of how the City Council both provides limited funds and then charges for water testing services for the pool. They intend to reduce their annual energy consumption by $10,000 through the installation of a solar water heating system. Given their track record, their goal of raising $40,000 to install the solar water heating seems eminently achievable!
This video was shot before the pool was filled with water for the summer.