Violet Duncan, 5, checks out some of the algae in the Tahunanui Modellers Pond.

Deadline looming for Modellers Pond

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With only three months left to raise the $600,000 needed to save Tahunanui’s Modellers Pond, the Nelson Society of Modellers have only raised $6000 and are calling on the community to lend a hand.

Nelson City Council have committed $600,000 – exactly half of the cost – towards the estimated $1.2 million project to fix the pond’s ongoing algae problem, but on the condition that the modellers make up the shortfall by the end of September.

Three months on, president of the society Nigel Gibbs says they are still seeking contributions, while actively applying for grants.

“It feels like we haven’t achieved much but hopefully we’ll have something to produce come the end of September,” he says.

As well as setting up a Givealittle page, which has so far raised $625, the society have held a family fun day, and are taking a portion of the takings from the Sunday train rides every week.

Nigel also says they are hoping to secure two major funding applications – one from a Lottery Grant, which can’t be applied for until 20 July, and the other from the Rata Foundation who they expecting to hear back from next month.

“We’re also still having discussions with local businesses – but we’re working on it and this is where we’re at,” says Nigel.

If the funding target is met by September, the project could start as soon as resource consent is granted, and would see the removal of contaminated material in the pond, installation of subsurface drainage, installation of a concrete floor to the pond and aerators to increase oxygenation.

It would also involve modifications to the centennial pump station, and installing automated controls at the Parkers Cove outlet and the pond inlet/outlet weir to coordinate emptying and filling the pond with sea water.

If the funding target is not met, it has been recommended by council that it be reinstated into an estuarine environment, and the Modellers say that the money raised would be distributed into the community.

If people want to donate, they can visit the Givealittle page givealittle.co.nz/cause/pond or contact the Nelson Society of Modellers at www.nelsonmodellers.org.nz/contact/.