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Men's Shed seeks help to expand

June 14th, 2012
[by David Armstrong]

Motueka Men's Shed has asked the Community Board to help its members find a location for larger premises as it outgrows the temporary building it is using at the Recreation Centre.

Following on from its presentation two weeks ago to TDC's Community Services Committee, Men's Shed representative Tony Small used the public forum of Tuesday's Community Board meeting to put forward four options for the community group to relocate and build further.

These included (1) land on the Recreation Centre site, (2) the land behind the community gardens in Old Wharf Road, (3) a site on Beach Reserve near the fishing wharf, and (4) an area at Marchwood Park. Further development at the Recreation Centre was pretty much ruled out, however, due to "parking compliance issues".

Proximity to town centre as well as a natural symbiotic relationship with the community gardens made the second option the preferred one, except that a power connection would probably be needed along with permission to use council land. The Beach Reserve and Marchwood Park are "a bit out of the way", but the latter provided several advantages.

The Men's Shed committee said they would talk with the Marchwood Park people to examine that option further, and would provide information so that the Community Board could make its recommendation to council at its June meeting.

The Men's Shed is a place where people, mainly men, can get together to make and repair things for the community and themselves; share skills, ideas and knowledge; tell stories and plan new projects; and enjoy each other's company.

Pedestrian crossing
Arthur Walker, speaking during the public forum, gave notice to the Community Board that Grey Power and other residents will up the ante in their campaign for a pedestrian crossing linking New World with The Warehouse.

Arthur said that in the light of continued rejection of the idea by council and NZTA, the board had to put pressure on those organisations to keep a crossing as a high priority. "If someone gets killed there, you people would swing for it," he said.

Birdhurst compost heap
David de Long used the public forum to continue his line of complaints about TDC's and the board's handling of the non-compliant use of land near the Motueka River to compost bark and hen carcasses. (See our earlier stories here.)

He listed what he saw as errors in the council's water testing process, and criticised both the council and the community board for not closing down the operation which still did not comply with its expired resource consent.

TDC's Environmental Information Officer Rob Smith responded to the questions about the testing, and said that Birdhurst has applied for a resource consent to keep the composting going until the present material has fully composted.

The application is being held while new information is being sought. Rob said that if consent is given it will be only until this composting session is over - no further material is to be added and the operation is to end thereafter.

Nelson Tasman Tourism (NTT)
Lois Walker, manager of the i-SITE information centre, made a presentation to the board explaining the work of her team and why it is so vital to the future growth of Motueka. Between 70,000 and 80,000 tourists go through i-SITE each year.

She said her team's aim was to provide information about this area in order to "slow people down as the pass through, so that they will spend as much as we get out of them while they are here", hopefully by spending an extra night or two and visiting more local tourist attractions.

She emphasised how grateful NTT (which runs i-SITE) were that the TDC is continuing to provide funding of $50,000 for the coming year to add to its own advertising and commission income, and hoped this will continue into the future. Discussion with board members and councillors indicated the variety of opinions going around about targeted rates for funding.

Access path beside the Gothic
The board discussed a letter from Ian Miller which suggested the board and council work on securing for future development a strip of land from High Street, beside the Gothic restaurant, through to near Sports Park. (Ian had written to Motueka Online about this - see the detail of his suggestion here.)

The board were very favourable of pursuing this further, and given that council does not own all of the land involved, would seek ways to at least place a designation on it so a walkway could be built later if and when the Manoy Street - Talbot Street connection is made.

End-of-year surplus
With the financial year coming to an end, the community board surplus of around $34,000 is looking highly likely. The board was congratulated on its thrift.


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