Tagged: Rabbit Island

Community development committee meeting (5 May)

 

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The community development committee meeting was also held on 5 May 2016. Apologies were received from Cr Mirfin and Cr Dowler, with Cr Higgins arriving late. All other councillors were present.

The agenda contained one item: the Notification of Draft Moturoa / Rabbit Island Reserve Management Plan.

Draft reserve management plan

Council resolved (by majority) to receive the draft Rabbit Island (Moturoa) Reserve management plan and publicly notify the public for objections and comments (public submissions) by Friday 8 July 2016.

The staff report states that it “summarises the key directions provided to us at the Council workshop on 11 February 2016”. However, in my opinion, that is not correct. My recollection of the workshop directions was for the draft plan to adopt a smart management (or a mixed use) approach to forestry and recreational use.

During those discussions I had suggested that updated signage and smart management practices would enable a shared use approach that over-came any health and safety concerns. Yet the draft before now the council clearly proposed a separation of forestry and recreational use (as was first presented to the workshop – and rejected).

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When I asked why the draft had not reflected the directions of the workshop, I was advised a special committee of councillors (formed by the mayor) had reconsidered the workshop directions and had given additional weight to health and safety concerns. Basically, I was left with the impression that if the workshop did not endorse the preferred outcome of the mayor, another process would be added, to ensure it did.

To reassert the workshop direction, I suggested that additional dotted lines be added to the proposed map, showing other forestry tracks available for shared use for both cycling and forestry (eg Higgins Road, Bird Road, etc). At this point the usual suspects sought to rubber stamp the reworked draft proposal, by arguing that the proposed draft was fine, and that it still provided a shared area, with the coastal cycling track and Barnicoat Road loop option, and the extension of the mountain bike area alongside Conifer Park.

I found such an argument, to be blind to what was before them. Clearly the uses had been separated, contrary to the direction of the workshop, as cycling was now excluded from the centre of the forestry block, other than a single track that divided the two main forestry blocks.

Staff also added that council needed to manage the danger to the public by separating forest activities and recreational use, including the disposal of bio-solids in the area. They considered my proposed change wouldn’t be in the best interest of the commercial activities.

In my opinion, this staff observation showed that the focus of the reserve plan was not about managing the reserve as a whole, but preserving unimpeded management of the commercial activities. Effectively the management plan was merely a process to carve out the commercial activities.

Cr King also argued that he was not concerned with the final contents of the draft, as the community still had the opportunity to provide feedback? This argument found favour with a lot of councillors.

However, in my opinion, council should be putting the best proposal out for feedback, not relying on the community for feedback on a poor proposal. In my opinion, such arguments are made by people who rely on public apathy to slip through unsupported proposals. Its then easy for such a draft proposal to get rubber stamped by councillors, who prefer to rubber stamp motions, than put forward amended resolutions.

In my opinion, council needs to “show” it is acting in the communities best interests, and not invoke bad feeling from the community, by getting them to have to put in submissions to the contrary. Putting out a proposal that councillors know does not have public support, is just wrong on so many levels.

Consultation process

Fortunately, the public were quite concerned with what had been proposed in the draft plan. The massive volume of submissions (around 660 respondents) supporting a mixed use approach meant that the hearing panel (held on 1-2 August 2016) had to re-adopt the original workshop proposal – which provided for a shared use approach to all of the forestry blocks. I suspect the forthcoming elections (in October 2016) also had a part to play in the hearing panel’s recommendations to council.

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For information about the consultation process, see: www.tasman.govt.nz/policy/public-consultation/completed-consultations/2016-consultations/moturoa-rabbit-island-reserve-management-plan-review/.

Agenda and minutes

The agenda and minutes are located at: www.tasman.govt.nz/council/council-meetings/standing-committees-meetings/community-services-committee-meetings/?path=/EDMS/Public/Meetings/CommunityServicesCommittee/2016/2016-05-05.

Media

www.nelsonlive.co.nz/news/2016/09/recreation-not-forestry-rabbit-island/

www.nelsonlive.co.nz/news/2016/05/rabbit-island-tracks-may-close/

www.stuff.co.nz/nelson-mail/79666247/Rabbit-Island-draft-plan-restricts-public-access-to-some-trails

www.stuff.co.nz/nelson-mail/news/82710411/dont-touch-rabbit-island-urges-former-manager

www.stuff.co.nz/nelson-mail/news/84424785/Rabbit-Island-forest-trails-to-stay-open-in-amended-TDC-management-plan

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Community development (18 February)

The community development committee meeting was held of 18 February 2016. This was a rather brief information update meeting requiring no decisions to be made. All councillors (apart from Cr Sangster) were present.

The agenda included: (1) chair’s report, (2) community development managers report, and (3) action sheet. I will highlight the main topics of interest for me.

Golden Bay Community Recreation Facility

On 2 February 2016, a ceremony for the placement of the mauri stones on the site of the new Golden Bay Community Recreation Facility was held. Approximately 60 people attended the ceremony. Nine mauri stones were placed by a range of organisations involved with the facility project.

Seismic Assessment of Community Development Buildings

During the Annual Plan 2014-15 process council allocated $500,000 towards the seismic upgrading of some of council’s community development buildings. To date repairs have been made to Motueka and Richmond Town Halls and Bainham Hall. The reduction in the Government’s regulations to only require buildings to be raised to more than 34% of new building standards has resulted in savings of $75,000 for repairs made so far.

Remaining buildings include: (1) Motueka Service Centre, (2) Motueka Community House, (3) Golden Bay Community Centre, (4) Onekaka Hall, (5) Golden Bay Museum, (6) Pakawau Hall, (7) Old Wakefield Library, (8) Dovedale Church, (9) St Arnaud Fire Station, (10) Stanley Brook Hall, (11) Waimea West Hall, (12) Kotinga Hall, and (13) Brightwater Fire Station.

Kina Boatshed Lease

Council staff have received a request to construct the first boatshed on one of the sites on the Council’s land at Kina. The current proposal provides for a boatshed which meets the maximum site coverage, and a water tank and landscaping which will occupy the entire 100 m2 land area available.

Aquatic and Fitness Centre

Patronage number between 2013 and 2016 are illustrated below.

AquaticData2013-16

Rabbit Island (Moturoa)

The Rabbit Island (Moturoa) Reserve Management Plan and the engagement process started at the end of 2015. Over 470 responses outlining people’s views and ideas on the RM have been recived. The engagement process closes at the end of February 2016. The next step will be to prepare a draft RMP for formal public consultation in March.

In my opinion, the number of submissions is a great signal to council of the importance of this asset to the community. My concern is that council will attempt to prevent people accessing the forestry areas. In my opinion, council can very easily manage the forestry in a manner that enables smart use of the entire island. Effectively restricting public access to forestry blocks that are being worked on while allowing access where no work is being conducted. Its about managing resources smarter!

Waimea Inlet Strategy

In 2010, Council became a signatory to the Waimea Inlet Charter, a document aimed at fostering commitment between a number of agencies to implement the Waimea Inlet Strategy. The Waimea Inlet Forum was established, as part of the process. The forum provides a vehicle for the interests and activities of volunteers, members of the public or organisations and statutory agencies such as councils and Department of Conservation (DOC).

For some time the parties of the forum have been considering how the activities of the forum members may be better coordinated. Initially, the group is concentrating on the governance arrangements and reporting functions. The development of a Waimea Inlet ‘steering group’ is being considered which would consist of representatives from the strategy’s signatories and forum chair.

The aim is to improve links with the activities of the Forum to the Tasman Environmental Trust (TET) and use TET to coordinate operations (where necessary), report to the Steering Group and coordinate funding. Delivery of activities would still remain with volunteers, DOC, councils and other agencies. The diagram below illustrates the proposed structure.

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Reserves and Facilities

In Richmond ward, new training lights are being installedin Jubilee Park. Staff are working on this project with Waimea Old Boys Rugby Club who are part funding this with Council.

Libraries

The completion of painting and plastering of the minor extension to the Motueka Library will see the project completed by the end of February 2016. The extension will be used as a storage facility and staff workspace. Other work undertaken as part of this project has resulted in an improved staff workspace and safety improvements to the main entry doors.

Digitisation

From 1 July 2015, we changed our processing of Land Information Memorandums (LIM) to being completed electronic processing and delivery. Corporate and Customer Services have now completed a review of how property information is managed between these Departments.

Land Information Memorandums (LIMs)

Staff processed 775 LIM applications in 2015, an increase of 96 over the 2014 year. 100% of applications have been issued within the statutory timeframe of 10 working days.

Health and safety

There have been two recent health and safety incidents within the Community Development Department. One was the incident referred to in the Motueka Library section above, which involved members of the public in the library. The second incident was a computer screen overheating and blowing up in customer services.

Staff are making progress implementing the recommendations of the security review undertaken on the Richmond Library and the Richmond Customer Services area. Some recommendations have been implemented with others underway.

Agenda and minutes

The agenda and minutes are located at www.tasman.govt.nz/council/council-meetings/standing-committees-meetings/community-services-committee-meetings/?path=/EDMS/Public/Meetings/CommunityServicesCommittee/2016/2016-02-18.

My new books

I thought I would take this opportunity to promote my new book – Tax Administration Law Made Easy, together with two other books in the series that I have also been involved with – namely, Goods and Services Law Made Easy and Income Tax Law Made Easy.

All books can be purchased online from LexisNexis in hardcopy or eBook format.