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Vote on Motueka farmers market deferred

May 15th, 2013
[by David Armstrong]

The proposal for a Farmers Market in front of the District Museum was placed on hold at yesterday's meeting of the Motueka Community Board while it checks the rules on commercial activities in the space.

The proposal, put by Our Town Motueka and reported here, for a weekly mid-afternoon market during the warmer months, requires the permission of Tasman District Council and the Museum trustees to operate, and OTM has asked the community board to support its initiative.

TDC had already turned down the proposal but had agreed to reconsider if the community board and the museum trustees were in favour of proceeding. The community board was divided in its opinion, with David Ogilvie and Mark Chapman believing it would bring more people into the centre of town, while Cr Jack Inglis and Cliff Satherley opposed.

Jack believed it would impact on nearby retailers, while Cliff was mainly concerned that as the Council-administered rules governing the use of the area are believed to forbid commercial activity, this needed to be checked out first. Mark suggested that if this was the case, efforts should be made to see if a one-off exemption could be given and "ring-fenced".

Cliff said such a precedent could come back to bite the Council, and that the topic be held over until the board's June meeting by which time the rules and alternative options could be examined in more detail.

High Street crossing
Some annoyance also surfaced with the community board's offer to contribute to the cost of building a pedestrian refuge in High Street between The Warehouse and New World (see our earlier story).

Cliff Satherley said he was against it on the principle that it is NZTA's highway and making it safer was that government agency's responsibility. Paul Hawkes said that while he also was unhappy with that process, he had proposed the $15,000 contribution in order to make sure the construction went ahead as soon as possible.

"I wouldn't be able to sleep at night if someone was killed crossing that street and we hadn't done what we could to get the work going," he said.

The board formally approved a $15,000 contribution from Motueka's targeted rate toward the TDC's contribution to NZTA for the road modification.

Civil defence in Motueka
Following frequent requests, mainly through board member Paul Hawkes, for information on civil defence planning specifically for the Motueka area, Joe Kennedy, emergency services manager with Civil Defence in Nelson/Tasman, attended the meeting and presented basic information about his work.

Asked specifically about an emergency response plan for Motueka, he said that at present it is part of the plan that has been developed for Richmond, but part of the work of his office after July 1st this year is to develop a plan specifically for Motueka.

He said the process, which may not start immediately, would eventually result in documents which establish a plan to follow in the case of emergency or a disaster, along with lines of command and communications. Paul thanked him for attending and looked forward to the work ahead.

Targeted rate rise
As part of his meeting report, board chairman David Ogilvie recommended a rise of $2 in the Motueka Ward targeted rate, back to where it was two years ago. His reasoning was that, if all "special projects" slated for implementation this year are completed, and the $15,000 contribution to the Warehouse crossing goes ahead, the board will be in a deficit of up to $4,000 next year.

Several board members were unhappy with this, and argued that at least two of the special projects are unlikely to happen this year, so the targeted rate should not need to rise. In the end, David agreed to withdraw his recommendation on this issue.

Roundabout on Aerodrome corner
During the meeting's busy public forum, Shirley Frater asked about the state of planning for a suggested roundabout at the College Street / Queen Victoria Street crossing. Discussion on this was carried on later when TDC's transportation manager Gary Clark spoke to the meeting via tele-link.

Gary said this proposal resulted from a long history of road accidents there, and any changes were still at the investigation stage, with a proposed plan to follow, which would lead to public consultation. Actual construction, if agreed, may not commence for perhaps five or even 10 years.

Cliff Satherley asked that Gary check the statistics for more recent years, and particularly for the past 12 months since the right-hand turn rule changed, before any more is spent on the project, which may turn out to be unnecessary.

The road to the wastewater treatment works
Another intersection figured in the public forum presentations. Sue Clark and Phil Peters, who live in the strip of Thorpe Street north of Staples Street, said they were still getting regular passers-by hoping to drive to the beach along that road and finding that it ended instead at the sewage ponds.

They asked firstly that a 50kph speed limit be placed on that piece of road (rather than 80kph), and that improved signage placed at the Staples/Thorpe corner to make it clearer that this is not the way to the beach or Kaiteriteri.


Comment by Shirley Frater:
[Posted 16 May 2013]

There has already been commercial activities happening over the last 20 years - raffles, potatoes, cherries, clothes sales, community stalls and other things. Let's use the space. Careful monitoring and booking of the space can only be good for the centre of town.

Loud music/noise and litter are the biggest problems anywhere. If the market is controlled by a group of farmers, they do the cleaning up, then all is good. They would pay a fee for using it. It would draw people to the town centre later in the day and businesses get the benefit. A good idea.

Comment by Patsy O'Shea:
[Posted 16 May 2013]

I totally agree with Shirley - many 'commercial' activities have taken place on the museum frontage over the years. The ice cream cart comes to mind, along with cherry selling and numerous craft fairs.

We need to use all our creative power to keep our town vibrant and active - other centres have farmers' markets so we are already behind the trend. Give it a trial Community Board and see how it goes.

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