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Board supports idea of a community development trust

May 14th, 2014

The Community Board has endorsed a proposal from Vision Motueka that would result in the establishment of a community development trust to focus on the town's medium to long-term future.

This follows a presentation by Chris Salt and David Armstrong at yesterday's board meeting of a community development strategy aimed at putting the Motueka community "more directly in charge of its own destiny". (Download the strategy paper here.)

Chris said a Vision Motueka strategy group developed the strategy concept during 2013. The idea was put to the Community Board at its April 2014 meeting, after which the board said it would like more detail to assess the practicability of the proposal.

Chris said the purpose of the detailed strategy was to seek the board's endorsement of the principles set out, which would enable Vision Motueka to:

  1. Form a steering group to begin building a framework to advance the idea further, and to draft the outlines of a constitution for the proposed Community Development Trust.
  2. Discuss the ideas one-on-one with the Tasman District Mayor, CEO and other major community and civic leaders to gauge their support (or otherwise); and to hear their ideas on how the strategy could be improved and implemented, or what barriers there may be.
  3. Research in greater detail the various funding models that are used in other NZ districts and overseas for similar schemes.

While there was general agreement that the concept was worthy of support, many of the comments by board members and councillors were about the suggested "cents-per-day" funding mechanism, a type of targeted rate.

Chris agreed that this would be a hard sell, but if the community wished for improvements and developments that Council is no longer keen to do then it needed to do something itself and not sit back waiting for someone else to do it for them.

"Council is unlikely to have significant funding in the foreseeable future for the sort of projects that would advance development within the ward. Council wants to get back to working on infrastructure and other core services.

"If the ward wants to advance its prospects, free of competing district-wide interests and severe funding restrictions, it will have to draw on its own resources."

David and Chris said they were "open to suggestions that could improve the concept or provide alternative ways of achieving the same results, including funding models".

"We shouldn't get bogged down in particular funding mechanisms at this stage," Chris said. "First we need to establish a vision that most of the community can get enthusiastic about, and then see how the required money can be raised."

The board's endorsement means David and Chris can confidently go ahead with the tasks of forming a steering committee, drafting a constitution or trust deed, and conducting talks with TDC about how Council and the proposed trust could work in partnership.

As Chris pointed out, if Tasman District Council is not able or prepared to help make the proposal work, the idea will be dead in the water.

 



Comment by Andy Furness:
[Posted 16 May 2014]

How about we raise some money for the township of Motueka by charging for the water being sent around the coast.



Comment by Paul Hawkes:
[Posted 22 May 2014]

After several phone calls and discussions with Motueka rate payers, as Chairman of the Motueka Community Board (MCB), I feel it is important to comment on our reported support of a Community Trust, as proposed by Vision Motueka.

As a Board, wishing to see Motueka grow and prosper, we unanimously support any forward thinking that may see the area evolve and the proposed Community Trust concept seems both worthy of consideration and commendable in the sense of planning for the future needs of Motueka.

It must be realised by now, that Council has a high debt level and as this is now historical, as rate payers, we are left to support the repaymentand reduction of such debt. Unless we, as a community, start to realise that there is no bottomless pit of money and that service levels will reduce in a bid to reduce this debt, certain projects, facilities and "wish list" items, will not be forth coming. Hence the need for the community to start thinking outside of the square and facilitate a means to make these needs and wishes become a reality.

In Chris Salt and David Armstrong's well written and presented business case proposing the Community Trust, mention was made of a targeted rate to facilitate such an organisations ability to plan and fund future recognised projects for the betterment and growth within the ward.

I must point out that this option is but only one way to fund such a concept. This suggestion bought lively healthy debate amongst those around the Board table. This particular funding option will be a hard sell to rate payers, already burdened with very high rate expectations. I for one realise how hard it is to meet current rate demands. I wish to reiterate that this is but only one funding option. For the "vision" to become reality, we must fully support the concept, to the next level with a formation of a trust group, allowing both consultation with rate payers and funding streams to be investigated.

The concept has definite benefits for the region and deserves the full support and open minded thinking of the community to investigate the viability of such a "vision".



Comment by Jim Butler:
[Posted 27 May 2014]

I fully agree with the Chairman of the Community Board, Paul Hawkes. Chris Salt and David Armstrong of Vision Motueka will have put in many hours of work on this concept for Motueka which they themselves realise is long term, 20 years plus. Their work should not be wasted, but they need to consider other funding than the ratepayers until they have something to show for their efforts.

It took some years before Keep Motueka Beautiful began getting serious funding from TDC. They need to be aware of the success and failure of the projects below.

First, the success story of the Friendship Hospital. Jack Inglis spent several years planning, fund raising and arm twisting before the first sod could be turned. Eventually he was able to build a 12 million dollar facility for five million dollars.

I also bring to Chris and David's attention a failure. A covered heated swimming for Motueka. A lot of good people put a lot of work over several years on this project. Also, before they got into serious debt TDC offered to fund the construction of this pool if the committee would raise the first million dollars. But back in 2002 the Pool committee made a planning error. Instead of picking the High School site for the pool where the Education Dept would have met some of the running costs, another site was picked so the public could have 24/7 use of the pool. As soon as TDC realised ratepayers would have to meet all the running costs, a poll of local ratepayers was arranged. The result of which sank the pool.

One also has to realise that every year through the facilities rate, Motueka ratepayer are helping to to keep the ASB Pool in Richmond in operation.

So my best wishes to Chris and David. I believe they know they are in for a long haul. Their hardest job will be to get the first sod turned.



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