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Community Board concludes three-year term

September 12th, 2013
[by David Armstrong]

The Motueka Community Board wound up its 2010 - 2013 term on Tuesday with discussions on several interesting issues and a thanks all round to the board members and in particular the two who are not standing for re-election.

Of the four elected Board members and three co-opted ward Councillors, Mark Chapman and Eileen Wilkins are not standing this time around, and their work over the past term was acknowledged by the Board chairman as well as people speaking in the public forum.

Chairman David Ogilvie also thanked the Mayor, who was also present and took part in the final photo shoot, for his change in policy during this term of allowing Community Board members to sit in and have speaking rights at Council meetings. He said this had helped promote understanding of the roles of Board and Council and improved communication.

Eginton Park pathway
Another small project for Motueka was voted through to the next stage when the Board agreed to get quotes and liaise with Council to construct a 2 metre-wide and 65m-long sealed path through the Moffatt Street playground linking the northern entrance from Moffatt Street to the table/seating near the Eginton Park play equipment. The wooden barrier at the entry to the park’s open space will also be removed.

This development, which will help the underused park to be more family friendly, is aimed to be completed by the end of November, and funded from the Community Services budget for 2013-14.

Abuse of recycling bins
Less clear cut was what to do about the smashed glass around the central town recycling bins, in particular the one outside i-SITE in Decks Reserve. Sunday market operator Judy Roper made an impassioned plea during the public forum to do away with the bin there in the interests of safety and tidiness.

Analysis of the underlying reasons suggested the main problem was that many people - mainly locals rather than tourists - are bringing bottle to the recycling bins in large cardboard boxes following big parties, and put these beside the bins because they could not easily be put inside. Then vandals smashed the easily available bottles to make a mess.

Options the Board debated included removal, replacing the bins with ones with a larger capacity and the ability to put boxes of bottles in them, and getting the bins cleared much more frequently.

Most felt that it was at least good that people were recycling rather than just dumping bottles elsewhere, but further work was needed to retain the bottles away from juvenile hands.

The Board resolved that as a first step they would see if the Nelmac maintenance worker who opens the i-SITE toilets could also clear the bottles left around the bin each morning.

Discretionary fund grants
Two groups were granted money from the Community Board's discretionary fund. The Kidpower Teenpower Fullpower Trust was given $480, to be used to provide eight one-hour Kidpower workshops to primary schools in the Motueka area for Year 5 and 6 students.

These interactive workshops teach pupils how to say No and keep themselves emotionally and physically safe from potentially difficult situations and bullying. They provide resources to teach and practice safety skills.

The second grant of $500 was given to the Motueka Church of Christ to help pay for the Motueka Christmas in the Park fireworks display.

In 2012, more than 1000 people attended the first Motueka Christmas in the Park event. The Church proposes to again run an event to celebrate the season in an alcohol free, family friendly environment. Entry will be free so as to encourage wide community participation.

Stormwater concerns
The only contentious issue discussed at the meeting followed the tabling of a report by David Ogilvie questioning the amount of rates money being spent (or not) on Motueka's stormwater management concerns and seeking more information on budgets for stormwater work for the next two years.

He said that "despite well reported concerning aspects of the Motueka stormwater network, there are no specific upgrades shown in the 2013-14 Annual Plan, nor in the Long Term Plan or Asset Management Plan.

"To the contrary, the Council resolved to delay by one year, the Motueka Stormwater Discharge Consent. This reduces expenditure in 2013/14 by $21,528.

"The Council has also decided not to prepare a Catchment Management Plan for Motueka during 2013/14. This deferment will most likely lead to actual projects being also deferred, because the appropriate plan is not available."

He added that the "overall situation is a serious concern. Major flooding in Motueka (in April and June) was avoided by favourable tides and timely easing of the rain."

TDC Mayor Richard Kempthorne and chief executive Lindsay McKenzie made it perfectly clear that Council was facing a huge stormwater problem throughout the district following serious weather events of the past few years, and said the district-wide plan will be strictly adhered to.

Rates dedicated to these issues are being protected, and there will be no changes to the plan to accommodate the particular concerns of areas such as Motueka. Community Board responded that they would like to see the Council's project priority list with explanations of why some stormwater projects have higher priority than others.


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