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Christchurch community swimming pool petitions to stay open after $5 million accounting blunder by council

An accounting error by Christchurch City Council has led to a community pool facing closure after is mistakenly estimated it would cost $7.7 million to keep it running over the next decade.

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An online petition calling for the pool to stay is gaining strength. Source: 1 NEWS

Wharenui pool faces closure to make way for the new metro sports facility in Christchurch.

But the council’s figure raised eyebrows, so those at the pool did their own calculations, finding the estimates were out by a staggering $5 million.

The council has now apologised for over-estimating running costs and pool management want them to honour a promise.

“They did say when we met with them a couple of weeks ago if the costs were substantially less, then the pool would stay open and now they are, we hope they stick to their word,” says Wharenui Swim Club president, Chris Averill.

But the council weren’t so confident.

“Certainly I'm not sure that comment was made - but it’s not in the council budget at this stage. We have limited financial resources so if this goes in, something else may need to come out,” says Nigel Cox of Christchurch City Council.

“Two hundred thousand Cantabrians have learnt to swim here, we've had 56 Olympic and Commonwealth swimmers who've learnt to swim here but more importantly we've got a lot of community groups who use the pool,” he says.

“I will be signing that submission and I hope the community gets involved and signs it too because Wharenui is an important part of where we live and opportunities for people and it will be very sad to see it close,” says former Olympian, Lydia O'Loughlin (nee Liscombe).