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Low turnout at Community Board meeting

June 15th, 2011
[by David Armstrong]

Yesterday's June Community Board meeting proved something of an anticlimax, with at times only three of the seven members present to decide on several key issues - including one measure designed to encourage board members take a greater part in proceedings.

Most members had other pressing engagements for part of all of the meeting (one was held up by ash clouds, another was unwell), although a quorum of three was maintained at all times.

In his report to the meeting, which we reported here, chairman David Ogilvie included a suggestion, arising from the NZ Community Boards’ conference which he attended recently, to encourage the other members to take a more active part in board meetings and board work. Currently David is the only board member to present any reports of activities and/or issues to the meeting, plus all relevant correspondence he has undertaken.

To encourage some others to do more than just attend meetings without preparation, he recommended that:

  1. Each board member will prepare a 1 – 2 page (maximum 500 words) Statement of Intent – a policy of objectives, ideas, projects, goals – that he or she envisages for this 2010 – 2013 term of the board. This would bew a one-off statement of specific goals and policy objectives, and should not be just another election blurb.
  2. Each board member will select a topical item and prepare for the meeting a short (100 words) report on that item for each monthly meeting, under a new agenda item “Items of the Month”. The item could arise from a community group, or a conversation with a resident, or the member's own idea.

Ironically, with only three members to debate it, the discussion degenerated into light humour. For the record, Motueka Online intends to publish these reports each month, in full or summarised, so that Motueka people can see who is doing what work on the community board.

The public forum before the meeting saw the return of a member of the previous board, Tara Forde, to speak about several issues including the increase in litter around the town streets. Tara said the town has been "done over" by McDonalds, which was encouraged to open a branch in town "on the back of its promise" to help run the litter cart but which after one year has withdrawn that sponsorship.

Tara asked if the community board could convene a forum with the public and fast-food operators on ways to address litter problems. Another speaker at the public forum also complained about the filthy state of the grandstand at Sports Park after every rugby game. Later, David Ogilvie produced a supermarket bag jammed full of litter, mainly drink cans, he's picked up from a short stretch of Greenwood Street.

Other issues discussed at the meeting included:

  • The results of three resident surveys on parking and a shared cycle/pedestrian path on the eastern side of High Street between Woodlands Ave and Monahan St, and the preferred speed limit for Main Road Lower Moutere. The response rate for all three was about 30% and indicated retaining the status quo.
  • The Sunday Market lease is coming up for renewal, and while the board has no intention of seeking any changes to the current operation it decided to at least acquaint itself with the lease conditions and rules.
  • A long discussion was held on the Council's Reserves Financial Contributions for the coming year, mainly in relation to the allocation to the Motueka Museum for waterproofing work. David Ogilvie expressed a dissenting view that this should be funded from the Museum Facilities budget rather than Community Reserves.

Five community organisations applied for and were granted board discretionary funding for projects. These were:

  • Motueka SPCA, for costs incurred in the control and euthanasia of feral cats ($480).
  • Motueka Junior Football Club, for three halogen lamps at Goodman Park for evening training ($500).
  • Motueka Museum, for software to complete its new database to handle multimedia ($500).
  • Motueka Community Gardens, for a signpost and noticeboard explaining what the garden is about ($500).
  • Motueka Clock Tower Trust, to pay for some final work to place the original Post Office clock back on the Guthrie Bowron building ($499).


Comment by William Cleaver:
[Posted 18 June 2011]

I write in regards to the operation of the Sunday Market and its renewal of lease. Last year I put through a proposal to the Community Board to have the market operated as a non profit organisation allowing any profits made go back into the community. Also in my proposal were suggestions to bring the Sunday market up to safety standards required by law (OSH).

[The comment above] about bringing the community board up to speed with requirements and laws is good but in doing so you are not giving the greater community their say on what and how the market should be run. The current operator has failed to improve safety standards and the general outlook also implement any improvements that the said market should require. This letter is not a attack on the current owner but a way of insuring that the Market grows for the benefit of the community by the community.

The Nelson Market and its operators have dramatically improved all aspects of their market and the results are evident. I suggest that the lease on the Motueka market and what the public want be put out to vote so another year of complacency and improper safety standards goes by.

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