The fight is on to save the Taradale Pool, where nearly 3000 children learn to swim every year.

Ideas from crowdfunding its rebuild, to turning it into a community-owned complex, were floated at a public meeting yesterday.

About 200 parents and concerned residents gathered at Taradale Primary School yesterday afternoon to share ideas on the Greendale pool's future.

Taradale Primary School principal Marty Hantz told the crowd that although the pool itself was "in good nick", potential structural risk issues had been found so the pool would have to close in December.


"It now falls back upon us as a community to do something about this, create some steering group to go forward, to decide whether in fact we want this to happen," Mr Hantz said.

Initial estimates placed the cost of a rebuild at over $2 million, which would include necessary improvements to the filtration and related facilities.

Mr Hantz said although the school would like to invest in the pool, it was given an allotment of only $1700 a year for the facility - which did not cover even a third of the water-running costs.

There was no guarantee the Ministry of Education could provide funding. "That's why it needs to become a community entity owned by all of us to make it work, and to go forward and be stronger in future."

That was one idea shared at yesterday's meeting, with others including crowdfunding the needed rebuild amount, building an alternative pool, or even having a pool at the nearby Eastern Institute of Technology.

Although the council was not able to put resources into the pool, it had been working with the school, and club, "since day one".

Incumbent Taradale councillors, and candidates, also spoke of their support for the pool.

Afterwards, Mr Hantz said people recognised the closing of Greendale would have a "detrimental effect on swimming in Hawke's Bay" - beginning with the nearly 3000 children each year who learn to swim there.

In a speech, Greendale Swim Club spokesman David Gray said about 800 students attended learn-to-swim sessions at the pool, and it was used by a further 2000 for the swimming in schools programme.

It was also used by 90 competitive swimmers, and 80 fitness swimmers, of all ages.

"Our Taradale community, particularly our children and grandchildren, stand to lose the most," he said. "This is a community problem, a community crisis, it can't be left to the Swim Club to fix, it's too big for us so we need help to rescue it.

"We have to fight for it, we haven't been presented with any other option."

The club was seeking temporary lane space for now.

The pool is operated by the Greendale Swim Club, which has it on a long-term lease from the school where it was built in the late 1940s.