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Report from Community Board's November meeting

November 12th
[by David Armstrong]

The downside of free internet access at the library, plans for more commercialisation of the aerodrome and flood control issues in the Glenavon Reserve were three of the issues discussed at the Community Board meeting on Tuesday.

These were in addition to the two main political issues dealt with at the meeting - dropping the water allocation appeal and Motueka's submission on Nelson/Tasman amalgamation - which Motueka Online has already reported on here (water) and here (amalgamation).

Free Internet Access
In the opening public forum, co-owner of Cyberworld Internet Cafe in High Street, Julia Wilson-Howarth, spoke emotionally about how free internet access for tourists at Motueka Library was destroying her business, and challenging the Council (directly to Mayor Richard Kempthorne who was present) to do more to support tourism in Motueka.

Julia said Cyberworld was the only place in Motueka serving the information needs of tourists outside business hours, but the daytime competition of the free library access to all meant it was becoming increasingly difficult to sustain her business. She said that although she had written to TDC about her concerns some weeks ago she was yet to receive a response.

Richard said a response will come when the required information had been gathered, but Julia said this was "not good enough". "It's not fair that we're driven out of business when we are the only ones providing tourism services after five," she said. There has been "no consultation" on the issue. She asked the Community Board to support her in pressing the Council for action.

Future of Motueka Aerodrome
David Ogilvie's chairman's report highlighted some concerns about comments made by TDC's Enterprises Committee that seemed to suggest the Council may be looking at selling the Aerodrome. The Board was told that in fact Council is setting up a committee to examine further strategic development of hte facility.

Initial work is being done on costings for laying on electricity, water and phone services to potential new hangars. Barry Dowler, who is on that committee, said when those costings are in, planning may begin.

Glenavon Reserve
This area, which retains water after heavy rain but does not release it as designed, needs its base raised and modifications to the outlet structure so water will drain away. Barry Dowler reported that a surveyor is required to plot the changes needed, but Council surveyors have been in Christchurch since the earthquake. A surveyor should be available very soon, to take advantage of the run of dry weather.

Water contamination
Barry also said that Council has identified two problems that caused the recent drinking water contamination, but the report has not yet been presented to Council so the causes cannot yet be made public. He said that the problems have been addressed.

New sculpture
The Board approved the shifting of a new $20,000 marble sculpture to the corner of Wallace Street and High Street from the originally intended location in Richmond. The large sculpture, called "The Kaka Beak", was commissioned by TDC from Takaka Hill artist Bruce Mitchell last year, but after Bruce died last month his family requested a move to Motueka. The Board will pay for the work through funding largely made up of the Motueka Public Art allocation and Reserve Financial Contributions.

Cycle route entrepreneurs
Following his attendance at meetings at which the Nelson-Tasman Cycle Trail had been discussed, David Ogilvie opined that it would be good if one or more business entrepreneurs could be encouraged by Council and Motueka to investigate ways to develop secondary cycle routes around town to take advantage of the expected growth in cycle tourism in the area.

Attendance:
All community board members were present except Jack Inglis.



Comment by Val Rae:
[Posted 14 November 2010]

I totally agree with Julia, and ask whose bright idea was it to give tourists free internet at the libraries? I thought the original idea was to give 'locals', who didn't have a computer at home and who are members of the library, a free Internet connection. This is not what has happened as we well know. Libraries overseas only allow the free access to people in live in the surrounding area and this is how it should be here. The rules need to be changed NOW before it's too late for some of our smaller businesses. Not a lot of research required, just common sense and I can't understand why the local library doesn't start charging non-members/tourists instead of allowing these small business to take a fall.

Future of Motueka Airport ...... looks like the Enterprise Committee is going to busy with this project as well as the Port re-development. They certainly need to be informing people of what their thoughts are and can't blame people for being suspicious or wary of the lack of communication re these projects. As Julia pointed out in her comments, communication and consults with people affected are not high on the TDC's priority list. Instead they seem to spend thousands on 'outside' consultants who half the time get things completely wrong.



Comment by Maryanne:
[Posted 16 November 2010]

I would like to know if having the three councillors on the Community Board will incur TDC targeted rate charges as we are already paying hourly rates of up to $336 for staff time, and $14,000 for cost of elections component of the rate as well as a $55 charge each month for TDC staff to check their own account. (Quoted from Joe Bell's letter to the editor, Motueka Golden Bay News, October 28.) It would be good to have a printed reply from TDC to the two letters Joe Bell has written lately.

[Editor's note: Nov 25]
This comment and the whole article was forwarded to TDC's communications team on Nov 16 but no details have been forthcoming yet.



Comment by Malcolm Garrett:
[Posted 4 December 2010]

I heartily endorse the remarks made at the last CB meeting regarding Internet access at the library. On overseas trips, I have always had to pay to use the local library for access, and felt that was fair. It would simply be a matter of requesting the showing of a library card, or paying up! Do away with the open access via wireless as well, and proffer a passworded access only to stop the numbers of folk sitting near the library logging on for free wirelessly. I don't believe anyone has studied this matter thoroughly. It is a classic example of TDC central planning by staff, without consultation. Rock on, the MCB local decision-making capacity enhancement [there's a mouthful for you] !




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