Damage to New Brighton's popular beach-side whale pool was not "malicious vandalism", a local business leader says.
However, the Christchurch City Council believes it is unlikely the damage happened by accident.
Yesterday, the Council said the popular paddling pool had been vandalised over the weekend.
It alleged vandals removed rubber sealant from the expansion joints which allowed a significant amount of water to drain out.
But the story garnered many comments from the community as to the cause of the damage.
New Brighton Business and Landowners Association manager Paul Zaanen said the damage was accidental, rather than ''malicious vandalism''.
Zaanen said his friend was at the pool on the weekend when it was damaged.
Two children were playing with the sealant when it came away.
They thought they were playing with ''little rubber snakes", Zaanen said.
When by-standers noticed what the children were doing, they tried to stop them, but it was too late and water was already leaking out of the popular paddling pool.
Zaanen said the pool repairs had been a temporary fix and questioned whether the sealant would have come away so easily if a permanent repair had been done.
Council recreation and sports unit manager John Filsell said it was unlikely the damage was accidental.
He said the council used an industrial strength rubber sealant ''commonly used in expansion joints of this nature''.
The council was alerted to the damage over the weekend by a member of the public who reported seeing the vandalism.
Contractors are working to have the pool repaired before Christmas.
- © Fairfax NZ News
Labour has promised to revamp New Brighton. What do you think?Related story: New era for New Brighton?