The failure of the heat exchanger in May 2021 caused other equipment to fail and forced the closure of the pool.  The Otago Therapeutic Pool Trust, which until then operated the public only sessions of the pool, advocated for the replacement of the broken equipment by the SDHB so that the pool could reopen. However, it became evident during discussions that a longer term solution was necessary to justify spending a significant amount of money on new equipment when other equipment could fail and when there were numerous items of deferred maintenance which needed to be addressed urgently. In addition, the trust needed to have confidence in the long term financial viability of operating the pool for public use. Therefore, the trust and the SDHB  moved the discussion on to the long-term future of the pool.

The SDHB has agreed in principle to work with the trust to develop a long term lease of the site on which the pool is situated. The detail of the lease is yet to be agreed. The expectation is that the SDHB will lease the site to the trust, but will no longer be responsible to operate the pool. That risk will pass to the trust.

The trust is now working on seeking funds for a feasibility study to determine the scope and cost of an upgrade of all facilities at the pool, assess the importance of a hydrotherapy pool to the community and find solutions for long term financial viability.  It is likely that the study will include an assessment of the future provision of aquatic facilities by the Dunedin City Council.  Depending on the recommendations of such a study and the commitment to implement them another substantial fundraising campaign will be required before any changes at the pool occur. Therefore, it is likely that the pool will remain closed for at least this year.


Watch and learn more about Otago’s Only Therapeutic Pool!

Funds required to save Physio Pool from closure

Physio Pool is currently being used by more than 20 community organisations, with more than 40,000 visits a year. Help us save the pool.
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Key Benefits of Dunedin's Therapeutic Physio Pool

  • The soothing warmth and buoyancy of warm water makes it a safe, ideal environment for relieving arthritis pain and stiffness.
  • The pressure of the water on the body’s surface helps to decrease swelling and improves joint position awareness.
  • The warmth of the water assists in relaxing muscles and improving circulation.
  • Water supports joints to encourage free movement, and also acts as resistance to help build muscle strength, flexibility and stamina, no matter what your current level of fitness is.
  • Aquatic activities can be enjoyed by people of all ages, degrees of fitness, and can be a great way to meet new people.