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Successes and disappointments for outgoing Community Board

September 13th, 2010

David Ogilvie has paid tribute to his fellow Community Board members for their work over the past three years, but remains disappointed about Tasman District Council's reluctance to acknowledge fully the Board's role in the community and fully delegate functions to it.

In his chairman's report to the final meeting of the Board, to be held tomorrow afternoon, David summarised his views on the various successes and disappointments of the work of the four-person Board.

"October/November 2007 was a period of high expectation as our Community Board first met, established our processes and began our representation and advocacy for the residents of Motueka ward," he wrote. "There have been many successes and rewards, but the disappointments involving our relationship with the District Council have tempered the overall progress that we have developed and maintained."

He cited the "reluctance of the Council to extend delegated functions, despite the Local Government Commission's recommendation". Also in his sights were "the creation of the divisive targeted rate for the Golden Bay and Motueka wards", and the "failure by Mayor and Councillors to acknowledge our representation for local residents over wide-ranging issues".

"The years 2007 - 2010 could have been so much better for the Council if there had been early recognition of the positive worth of the Community Board."

Having said that, he consider that in the last 12 - 15 months a more friendly and favourable relationship has developed. He cited the Board's detailed submissions to the Ten Year Plan (LTCCP), followed up by similarly detailed submissions to the Regional Land Transport Plan, Motueka Transportation Plan, Central and West Motueka Structure Plan, and subsequent Annual Plans have brought some acceptance.

"Of more importance, however, is that the Board has raised its own status and recognition within the community," he wrote. "Board members have become closely involved in virtually every avenue of community life. It is always encouraging when residents approach us in their first step in dealing with Council. Our advice, assistance and guidance is giving the Community Board a status in Motueka which I don't believe has happened previously.

"The Board is recognised as representing and advocating for Motueka, in essence implementing the role that the Local Government Act has outlined for New Zealand's Community Boards."

David said he had been grateful for the continuing strong support from Duncan Eddy, Tara Forde and Paul Hawkes as Board members.

"It has been unfortunate that Duncan's time in Dunedin has lessened his activities locally over the past 12 months. Notwithstanding, his frequent emails and various reports have maintained Duncan's link with the Board. Moreover, his work (prior to Dunedin) in communication, rural fires, the firework project and Arts Council was worthwhile and ongoing." (Duncan is standing for a Community Board in Dunedin.)

"Paul's workload and family concerns have affected his input into the Board. But his community knowledge, his common sense, and social skills have been of real benefit throughout the three years, and particularly recently as Paul's life has returned to normalcy. He is a good sounding board as to how the average Motueka person is thinking: a barometer to the Board's acceptance locally.

"Tara has been a valuable member and contributed actively at every point during these years. As a young person she has an unusually strong interest in local government, and critically examines the reports, recommendations and decisions made at Board and Council level. She has led us to promote youth matters, technology, and conservation issues. I believe the skills she has will serve her well as she extends her political career, possibly at District Council.

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