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Green MP guest at lively community board meeting

July 15th, 2010
By David Armstrong

Green list MP Kevin Hague used his visit to the Motueka and Golden Bay area to address the Motueka Community Board about three issues which he said were of mutual concern to himself and Motuekans. He spoke of the worries expressed by people in this area about the government's mining policy, especially in relation to Conservation land, and the risk of damage to the environment and tourism that it will cause.

He was far happier about the recent announcement that $2.6 million will be put toward building the Tasman Loop cycle trail from Nelson to Kohatu and down the Motueka Valley to Kaiteriteri, then back along the coast via Motueka. A keen trail cyclist himself, he spoke of the financial benefits that this will bring to Motueka as well as better health and reduced road congestion.

Kevin has been working directly with the prime minister on the cycleways project and is proud of the work achieved so far. Motueka people will need to work on the ideal routes for cyclists as they pass through and by the town, and board members said it will add impetus to the efforts of Keep Motueka Beautiful to complete the coastal walkway down Wharf Road.

Rumours circulating town in recent weeks that the near-completed High Street roadworks will be torn up again within the next 6 months were put to bed emphatically when guest Cr. Barry Dowler, who is deputy chairman of TDC's engineering services committee, gave an unequivocal assurance that, short of some emergency, the new road will remain untouched for at least 5 years. Both he and David Ogilvie said their phones had been running hot over the rumours, which were quite disturbing.

The financial report noted that the community board's budget for the just-completed 2009/10 year would, when finally totted up, show a surplus of around $20,000, or about one-half of the money set aside. The board intends to use that money to advance several engineering programmes, such as improved pram and mobile scooter crossings, which have been taking too long to get under way. Most of the savings came about through far less than expected use of Tasman District Council staff and administrative services, which are charged on a per hour basis.

Jim Butler used the public forum to voice his concerns, on behalf of Grey Power, over the amount of PBR ("poor bloody ratepayer") money that the Council is spending on its own appeal to the commissioners who determined the amount of water Council could take from the Motueka acquifer. Council wants a greater water take in certain rural circumstances, and to tighten the rules over the provision of free connection to the reticulated supply for those households within the drawdown area.

The Motueka Tennis Club member Peter Bradley also spoke in the public forum about problems the club is having with flooding on the pathway in front of the clubhouse in Memorial Park, autumn leaves from the nearby trees affecting the court surface, and recent problems with vandalism and break-ins. The council noted these problems as service requests.

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