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Community Board prepares for next three-year term

October 17th
[by David Armstrong]

Motueka's new Community Board is getting down to work already, with discussions and briefings of the two new members already under way before this Friday's swearing in ceremony.

The elections last week returned two existing board members, David Ogilvie and Paul Hawkes, and two new members Cliff Satherley and Mark Chapman, following the departure of non-standing Duncan Eddy and Tara Forde. The new four-man board met last Monday and Tuesday and past chairman David Ogilvie introduced the newcomers to the ongoing "action items" carried over from the previous board.

(A summary of the background and current status of most of the 24 activities or projects on this list are described in detail on this website here).

David told Motueka Online that the main items, which have quite complex histories, include water reticulation and allocation, the Motueka Transportation Study, flood protection, and the Motueka Central and West Structure Plan.

He stressed, however, his belief that the crucial task of this board is to help improve its relationship with the Tasman District Council - including the mayor, councillors and council staff. David is profoundly concerned that there is still a way to go in this respect, and that the board's effectiveness will be limited if this cannot be achieved. This must involve give and take.

"We need to try to build a better relationship so we can work together to get things done rather than fighting each other and getting nowhere," he says. "Each of us needs to recognise and value the worth of the other." However, part of this must be for TDC to allow more decision making within Motueka through what David calls "delegated functions with funding" - meaning Motueka people can manage their own parks, footpaths, museum etc.

At present, the only significant funds that the board receives for its own allocation is a little over $6000 in total for discretionary funding to community groups, a small "youth development" fund, and a contingency allowance. Board members are also paid a total (all four added together) of just under $30,000 per year for their work.

The board will be sworn in at a ceremony at the Council Service Centre meeting room on Hickmott Place on Friday at 2.00pm, and will then elect its chairman and deputy chair. It's first formal meeting will be on Tuesday November 9th starting at 4.00pm, starting with the usual public forum where anyone may speak their mind.

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