Progress on the Modellers Pond

09/08/2019 3:03am

Nelson City Council has taken a positive step forward in finding a permanent solution for the area known as the Modellers Pond.

After considerable debate, Council has asked officers to progress the option of a full upgrade of the pond, including installing a concrete base.

The decision follows an extensive trial using Diatomix over the summer to reduce weed and algae, which was unfortunately unsuccessful.

The pond has been troubled for many years by the constant growth of weeds and algae, which make it unusable for extended periods, requiring regular manual cleaning at considerable cost.

Council reviewed a report about the trial carried out over summer, which involved dosing the pond with a diatom fertiliser. The independent scientific analysis of the trial was that there were too many variables to conclude whether the treatment would resolve the algae issue in the long term.

This put the focus on what other options were available.

Considerable investigation work has already been undertaken for the full upgrade option, which involves installing a concrete base and improving water circulation.

This option has already been granted resource consent, but Council signalled the need to consult more fully with iwi on this or any other alternative option they consider appropriate.

Deputy Mayor Paul Matheson says, “The Modellers Pond has proven to be one of those facilities that inspire strong feelings on both sides of the argument. We’ve tried an environmental approach, but unfortunately, the science shows this isn’t feasible. We are now focussing on a construction based option, where the research and design are already well advanced. Although the final decision will happen at the Council table, rest assured we’ll be seeking the thoughts of all Nelsonians on this option, so we have all the information needed to make a good, and lasting decision.”

So, what’s next? 

Consultation with iwi will take place in the first instance. A report will come back to a future Sport and Recreation Committee meeting finalising the preferred approach, which will then be put to the wider community for feedback.

Funding for the project will be subject to approval via the Annual Plan process.  The goal is to have the preferred option ready for construction from 2021 to 2023 depending on the option chosen.