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New community board gets down to business

December 15th, 2016
[by David Armstrong]

The Motueka Community Board ended 2016 in businesslike fashion with members eager to tackle several long-standing issues as soon as the holiday season is past.

Under the expert, decisive meeting management of new chairman Brent Maru, active problem areas and new initiatives were briefly discussed and delegated where possible to specific board members for follow-up and action.

The following quick summary rounds up mist of them.

Motueka policing
The community board last week met with senior police about policing levels in Motueka, and board members present said they were happy with the commitment shown by police to continue to improve crime resolution rates, and to provide more public information about the successes they have been clocking up recently.

Motueka Reserves Management Plan review
After hearing an outline of the review process from TDC policy advisor Anna Gerraty, board member Claire Hutt will prepare material for a submission on reserves which need attention, especially in relation to children's playground equipment and general family usability.

Civil Defence
Claire reported on the well attended meeting last week at the Recreation Centre, and will ensure that the "what to do" documents are easily available to the general public.

Pah Street public toilets
Claire also reported talks she had been having with TDC Reserves staff about using the up to $10,000 budget to improve the toilets at Memorial Hall. Although there is not enough money to demolish and rebuild them, there will be enough to make some modifications and improve the general state of repair and attractiveness.

Youth engagement
Brent has been talking with the Tasman Mayor about how young people could have a speaking voice at community board meetings. The key advice is that, while young people cannot be appointed to the board, they can be formally allowed speaking rights at the board table.

Pah Street Cenotaph
Its current poor condition needs fixing soon, and the RSA will be asked if and when it will tackle that task.

Open Forum meetings
The informal open forum meetings held by the community board between each 6-weekly formal meeting will be held at various locations around the ward, such as Ngatimoti, Marahau, Riwaka and Lower Moutere, instead of always at the TDC Service Centre. Board member Richard Horrell said the next meeting must be held as soon as possible. The next available date is February 8th and will be at the Lower Moutere Hall.

Motueka Historic Wharf
Board members remain mystified as to the first step in restoring the old wharf, and want to know the status, if any, of the charitable trust which Councillor Paul Sangster (Golden Bay) was to set up. They will ask Paul to attend the next board meeting to provide information.

Motorhome Friendly Town
One initiative that was raised in the public forum preceding the meeting was to investigate ways in which Motueka could become a recognised NZ Motor Caravan Association "Motorhome Friendly Town".

The potential benefits for Motueka were noted, including the huge membership of the NZMCA who would be attracted to stay in the town and spend money here. All members' motor Caravan is our self-sufficient.

There are 42 recognised motorhome friendly towns in New Zealand, and they figure strongly in promotions for events among the Association's 10,000 members.

The initiative was brought to the board's attention because the planners of the Motueka Kai Fest, to be held on April 9th next year, would like to have the event advertised on the NZMCA website. Claire offered to follow this up.

The facilities and criteria that must be met for Motueka to be a motorhome friendly town are:
  -  A legally-compliant Freedom Camping bylaw
  -  A public dump station, Council owned
  -  Access to potable water at Dump station site
  -  Refuse and recycling facilities
  -  Access to medical facilities
  -  A general shopping area for groceries
  -  A vehicle service centre

And a final editorial/opinion comment. This writer has attended and reported on almost every Community Board meeting over the past seven years, and can say that this one was among the best run in terms of keeping to the point, resolving next actions promptly, and clear evidence that although members did not always agree with each other on particular issues, they were prepared to listen, vote and accept the consensus.

We remain hopeful that this will continue and that the three-year term of this board will be fruitful.

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