In response to Sacha.
I seem to remember that someone did a cost/benefit assessment of Manukau's policy (after some councillors wanted to go back to charges).
They worked out that the benefits included not only the swimming lessons for children (and adults), and the recreational benefits for all ages, but for older adults having a warm pool for exercise meant improved health and mobility, leading to less use of the health system. The Council ran special classes with aquatic exercises for elderly folk.
As for being a social meeting place, over several years, I have met numerous families from Onehunga, Otahuhu. Hillsborough, Royal Oak, and even Epsom at the Mangere and Papatoetoe pools.
Papatoetoe stopped charging entry when its parent council merged with Manukau. I support free entry, with payment for the "extras" such as hydroslides.
"I’ve been brainstorming ideas to expose the real costs – and agenda – of the Holiday Highway.,"
What I want to know is, who owns the land adjacent to the said Highway? They must be expecting some serious increases in land value. I have also heard it said that Stephen (Joyce) is tipped as the future National man to replace Lockwood when he retires. So are these things mere coincidences?