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Record crowd at community board public forum

April 19th, 2017
[by David Armstrong]

What must be a record number of people at the Community Board public forum yesterday is a testament to the increasing faith Motueka people are placing in the effectiveness of their new representatives.

The public forum section leads the monthly board meetings and normally up to a handful of people use their five-minute slot to complain about something or other.

Yesterday 32 people (not counting board members and council staff) packed into the hopelessly small TDC Service Centre meeting room, with up to five having to stand the whole 50 minutes that the forum ran for.

During the forum, standing orders mean that while the speaker can say their piece, the seven board members are restricted to asking questions for clarification and cannot provide direct answers.

However, items raised may then be moved onto the formal meeting agenda later for debate if some sort of reasonable action has been requested.

Board chairman Brent Maru ensured all speakers got a fair hearing while keeping proceedings moving and comments well-mannered.

The major issues raised yesterday included:

Proposed Tudor Street pedestrian crossing
TDC's plans to site a pedestrian crossing across the western end of Tudor Street but 15 metres back from High Street drew criticism over that being too great a distance, meaning most people won't use it.

Tarrant Memorial funding shortfall
The project to restore the Tarrant Memorial on Motueka Quay has not raised sufficient funds to complete the task, so the Community Board was asked to make up the shortfall of a little over $3000. Later in the formal agenda, the board agreed to do so with money from its Special Projects Fund, which remains underspent.

10 Teece Drive
Residents living close to this residential address placed a formal complaint that its new owner has set it up as an accommodation business housing at present 21 horticultural workers. They questioned how TDC could allow such a commercial activity in a residential area.

Laura Ingram Kindergarten
Two people presented and spoke in support of a petition, signed by 1069 people, asking TDC to renew a long-term lease for the kindergarten behind Motueka library, and not allow the kindy to be bowled to make way for a car park.

Anarewa Reserve
About 10 people were present to give their opinions and find out more information about TDC's plan to develop the Anarewa Reserve, beside Tapu Bay beach. Five people spoke, some with views opposing others. The issue was discussed by board members during the formal meeting later.

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