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Official Newsletter of the Plimmerton Residents’ Association Inc

April 2006

Issue No. 77


MAKE YOUR OPINIONS KNOWN NOW!

On 3 April 2006, during the debate on the 10 year Long Term Council Community Plan, the Porirua City Council passed the following amendment:

“That the Village Development project capital expenditure be reduced to $3.0 million by reducing expenditure in years 2010/11, 2012/13 and 2014/15.”

Voting for this axing of funding were the Mayor Jenny Brash, Councillors Euon Murrell (mover), Dow and Gillon (all from the Northern Ward) and Councillors Kelly (seconder – Western ward), Rangi, and Palmer (from Eastern Ward). Voting against were Councillors Green (Northern Ward) and Stanley (Eastern Ward). Cr Shaw (Northern Ward - present - did not vote).

Effectively, the axing of $3.0 million from the programme for suburban development is on account of a proposed replacement of the Recreation Centre to cost at current prices $17.2 million.

During 2004/5, Porirua ratepayers were consulted about the recreation centre replacement ($12.5m just 1 year ago). Ratepayers then expressed real concern at the impact of the decision not just because of the cost as indicated, but because such a development would stymie all other development in the City for a 10 year period.

“News & Views” is appalled that all the voluntary community work up to now undertaken in so many of Porirua’s communities to create Village Strategies (let alone the hundreds of hours on our own for Plimmerton) has been decimated by the Council in favour of a project that has such minimal support. This squandering of the city’s rating base will seriously affect the much needed infrastructure so vital for the whole of Porirua. Spin doctors promoting sponsorship for the Centre to off-set costs have nothing concrete to offer as yet. They suggest net $6.54 million can be used from the sale of the Aotea Block towards the cost of the new centre, but seem to have forgotten to deduct the purchase price and expenses incurred for it in the first place. The politics of the project remain unimpressive and cavalier.

During the last LTCCP discussions three years ago, the Village Strategy programme for Porirua established $1 million for each of the years 2006/7, 2007/8 and 2008/9. Ongoing funding was to be budgeted as interest in the Community Planning grew and incorporated in the 10 year plan. We have had a clear expectation of Council commitment to support the Village Strategy. They have had a clear indication from Communities in Porirua that they want to create their own vision for the future with Council support.

The present Sports Centre needs a million dollar roof, some better toilets and a repaint. We ask, “Do we need a lavish centre which will commit Porirua to on-going financial penury for a minimum 10 year period, with not just a commitment to capital costs but an annual subsidy of operational costs also?” This project will allow scant other development for 10 years.

Perhaps we would all like a super indoor sports area. Maybe this should be in years 2012-15 when the necessary District Plan reviews, stormwater and drainage improvements, toilet renewals, walkway developments and Village developments are all paid for and completed. A side issue, but nonetheless relevant, is the carving up of our central green space, Te Rauparaha Park and the skateboard facility. Once city green space is used it cannot be reclaimed.

This $17.0 million proposal is a clear contradiction of the wishes of people as expressed last year during the formal consultation round. There are major implications for you individually to consider, including the clearly indicated ongoing rates increase for a city already one of the highest rated in the country.

We need honesty. We need Council to listen. We need Council to support the very Villages who are their constituents and take a bottom up approach to their decision making instead of this heavy handed top down one which we will all pay for.

DO YOU CARE? DO YOU AGREE? WHAT DO YOU THINK …… PLEASE MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD!


COMMUNITY EMAIL DATABASE

To date we have had a wonderful response from the local community in regard to membership of our community database. We now have over 320 members. I assure everyone that if you give us your email address, it will be treated with the utmost confidentiality. All practicable steps are also taken to protect recipients from unwanted Viruses and SPAM. For further protection, please also ensure your PCs are adequately protected by using reputable anti-virus software.

Remember also, that if you change your email address, let us know. Otherwise you will drop off the database.

If you would like to include your email address on our database, please forward details to our Secretary on: dfsprowell@xtra.co.nz - with the subject being “Database”.


PLIMMERTON PROMENADE

Your input in 2004 towards our Village Strategy through our 23 street meetings continues to form the basis for everything we are trying to achieve. Every week we edge a step closer to change, but everything requires on going liaison with numerous parties and patience.

Our concept plans are complete, have been costed and are before Council as they now deliberate over funding for our proposed developments through their Long Term Council Community Plan process. As a result of the hundreds of hours of voluntary contribution made so far, the PRA is more impassioned than ever that our community must have well planned development which does not compromise the character of Plimmerton but enhances its special sense of place. This requires funding and given that comparatively little has been spent on our community for years, we have an expectation that we will be considered favourably and receive sufficient to implement our shared vision.

Concepts developed for Stage 1 (State Highway 1 through to the Fire Station) are currently being developed in detail by 2 members of our community, Russell Black and Linda Kerkmeester. Our over-riding focus is to reclaim Plimmerton for the pedestrian and to this end re-thinking parking, speed, transport studies and traffic calming measures have been uppermost in our thinking.

We are currently discussing a subway from the Domain through to the station platform with GWRC, OnTrack and PCC. This would allow many commuter parks on the Domain side and reduce the log-jam on Steyne Avenue. Hopefully parents would drop off and pick up their children from the Domain also. The planning is like a massive chain with each link contingent on something else happening. Landscaping will be a feature from SHI right through.

And then there’s the fence….. At the time of writing we are still not satisfied that the minor remedial works carried out by OnTrack are adequate. The ballast behind the palings is putting a great deal of weight on the fence itself . Additionally the broken down wire fence at the entrance to Plimmerton continues to be a disgrace. We are on the radar of both PCC and OnTrack and hopefully an acceptable solution can be found. Your energy and enthusiasm will be called on in the next few months to join our community “Paint-in” and BBQ. Notice will be sent out by email so make sure we have your email address if you want to be kept in touch. Many hands will ensure the job is done with minimum hassle and lots of fun.

Finally, we hope to create an art trail along the waterfront when the basic infrastructure work is complete. Meryl Harwood is taking over the fundraising for this. Please ring Meryl if you would like to discuss any ideas with her on 233-0186. We currently have a blank sheet of paper to work from and as always your input is appreciated. So much seems to happen on a weekly basis, that it sometimes seems we take 2 steps back and 1 step forward, but on reflection we are, thanks to the extraordinary generosity of time and expertise by so many members of our community and help from Council Officers, much further forward than we were.


PRA AGM

The Plimmerton Residents’ Association Inc is to be held on Monday, 22 May 2006 at 7:30pm at Plimmerton Pavilion.

Our guest speaker this year is Adrian Webster, Chairperson of the Transmission Gully Action Group. We will also be able to give you an update on the progress with the Plimmerton Promenade project and some copies of the final concept plans will be available for everyone to have a look at.

Last year we had a record number of people from our community attend our AGM. Please help us do even better this year by coming along and bringing some of your neighbours.


CHANGES TO THE PRA CONSTITUTION

At our upcoming Annual General Meeting, we propose to make a few amendments to our Constitution. We need our members to look over these changes and come prepared to vote regarding these changes. Why change the Constitution? In 2005 we made an attempt to register ourselves with IRD to gain tax exemption from paying withholding tax on our interest-bearing accounts. IRD came back to us saying our Constitution was too loose in a couple of places and that they would not consider our application for tax exemption until we tightened up our Constitution.

As you can see from the clauses below, the issue is around who would benefit if the Association should come to an end. None of our members are to gain any benefit from us winding up, however our Constitution didn't make that clear. So tightening it up was necessary.

The following changes are requested to be approved at our AGM 2006 to meet IRD’s requirements.

CLAUSE 3.10 - Current wording: “WINDING UP - In the event of the winding up of the Association, the control of any assets may be disposed of as directed by the meeting which authorised the winding up in terms of Section 24 of the Incorporated Societies Act 1908.”

The purpose of the change is to prevent members from receiving any personal benefit of a wind up. Proposed replacement wording:

3.10 LIQUIDATION (a) Resolution to liquidate the Association. A resolution to appoint a liquidator may be passed by a majority of those members present at a Special General Meeting of which notice has been given in accordance with Rule 3.6.

(b) Confirmation of the resolution. The resolution must be confirmed at a subsequent General Meeting called for that purpose and held no earlier than 30 days after the date on which the resolution to appoint a liquidator was passed. If the resolution is confirmed by a majority of those present at this meeting, the meeting must then appoint a liquidator. If the confirming resolution is lost, the earlier resolution lapses.

(c) Transfer of property on liquidation. In the event of the liquidation of the Association, the property of the Association shall be applied first to the liquidation of its debts and liabilities and to the costs of liquidation. The remainder of the property shall be transferred to an organisation with objects compatible with those of the Association and agreed upon at the Special General Meeting. No property of the Association may be distributed to members upon liquidation.

CLAUSE 3.11 - Current wording: “AMENDING OF RULES OF THE ASSOCIATION - The rules in this document may be amended by requesting the executive committee to publish the details of and reasons for the proposed area covered by the Association at least 14 days prior to a special or Annual General meeting. The proposed rule must, prior to advertising, have been submitted to and approved by the Assistant Registrar of Incorporated Societies.”

The purpose of the change is to prevent some key clauses from being subject to change that could possibly lead to anyone gaining personal benefit from the Association’s assets. Proposed replacement wording:

3.11 AMENDING OF RULES OF THE ASSOCIATION

(a) The rules in this document may be amended by requesting the executive committee to publish the details of and reasons for the proposed area covered by the Association at least 14 days prior to a special or Annual General meeting.

(b) No change to the Rules which would affect Rule 3.10 relating to liquidation of the Association or which would have the effect of giving to a member of the Association or person associated with a member a payment of any income, benefit or advantage whatsoever may be made without the prior approval of Inland Revenue.

CLAUSE 3.12 - This would be a new clause added. It’s purpose is to cover the Association if it should in the future wish to pay wages, honorariums or remuneration. The Constitution must include a personal benefit clause.

Proposed wording:

“3.12 WAGES, HONORARIUMS, OR REMUNERATION - Any income, benefit or advantage shall be applied to the objectives of the Association. No member of the Association or any person associated with a member shall participate in or materially influence any decision made by the Association in respect of the payment to or on behalf of that member or associated person of any income, benefit, or advantage whatsoever. Any such income shall be reasonable and relative to that which would be paid in an arms length transaction (being open market value).” Janita Stuart – PRA Treasurer


PORIRUA/PLIMMERTON WIKI

Robin Patterson, who was formerly the Assistant Town Planner for Porirua has set up some completely public web pages about aspects of Porirua.

Robin says that some local residents will remember visiting a fairly private website he set up for the community a few years ago. He remains grateful to those who contributed to it.

He has now organized a few completely public web pages about aspects of Porirua, two of which should be of particular interest to the Plimmerton community. One is called “Porirua:Plimmerton” and the other is “Porirua:Transportation”. They are part of a “wiki”, an offshoot of Wikipedia.

No passwords are needed. Anyone can read the pages. Better still, anyone who can read them can alter or add information to them! Or add comments and opinions on a related page. It is not necessary to register or log on (though you can for certain advantages). Just click the “edit” button, type in the box that appears, then click the “save” button. You don’t need to be a computer expert, and by visiting the site you will not expose your PC to Spam!

To access the website, go to: http://cities.wikia.com and then enter Plimmerton in the FIND box.

Robin would like to see Plimmerton residents contributing to these pages. He says that we have people in our community who have a wealth of knowledge of Plimmerton history. It is important that we capture this knowledge for our future generations.


VICTORY OVER COASTAL HIGHWAY!

The crazy proposal to expand the Coastal Highway across our beach and domains has been clearly rejected in the public consultation process. The Regional Land Transport Committee is now actively pursuing the Transmission Gully alternative.

Hundreds of Plimmerton residents made written submissions and personal presentations to the Hearings Sub-Committee, which was left in no doubt about our determination to protect our community and lifestyle.

Although less well-publicised, the Hearings panel also endorsed proposals for huge new investment in commuter rail transport over the next two decades.

We have earned the right to celebrate our success to date, but we must remain vigilant. The opposition has not conceded defeat and we can expect rear-guard action over needed funding approvals by Auckland MPs and some officials.

After funding is secured there will need to be further public consultations on Transmission Gully and it will be important for us then to show our support – albeit with recommendations to protect Pauatahanui Inlet and Grays Road.

Inevitably, we’ll be waiting some years for the new inland motorway to be built. While we’re waiting the traffic volumes and congestion on St Andrews Road and Mana Esplanade will increase. We will then face renewed pressure for an upgrade of the existing route and we will again need to defend our beloved Plimmerton.

So hang on to your copy of the Hearings report – it covers lots of issues which we may need to address again!


PLIMMERTON VOLUNTEER FIRE BRIGADE

Most of us all pass the fire station daily, but how often do we remember the brave duty and service of our local volunteers there?

You might agree that a gesture of gratitude is in order – perhaps by occasionally dropping off a box of beer or a tin of home-baked goodies??


PRA MEMBERSHIP RENEWALS

Over recent months, we have had many enquiries asking when subscriptions fall due for membership of the Plimmerton Residents’ Association. Membership Subscriptions run from 1 June to 30 May each year. The due date for renewals normally coincides with the PRA AGM which is held on the 4th Monday in May each year, but some people join throughout the calendar year.

As well as posting the completed membership form and your cheque to us at P O Box 57-027, Mana, payments can now be made direct into the Plimmerton Residents’ Association Bank Account – Westpac Account No. 03-1533-0019155-00.

If you choose this option, please ask the bank to enter a reference (your name) against the deposit (which will appear on our bank statement) and email us your details. Alternatively you can send us a completed membership form, so we can update our membership database and record your payment.


APPEAL FOR COMMITTEE MEMBERS

We have been very heartened at the response to our drive for new members over the last few months, but in addition to new members, we are in desperate need of more people to come forward to join our Committee or at least become a member of a specific Project Team from time to time. If you would have a few hours a month to spare, we would love to hear from you. Please feel free to contact any of the Committee Members listed on Page 8.


A COP’S LOT – MANA COMMUNITY POLICE

As reported recently in Kapi-Mana, our Community Constable, Rob Gregory, is becoming frustrated at what he describes as “sheer stupidity” by some motorists coming into the Plimmerton area.

He is getting reports of thefts of cash from cars, as well as cellphones, sunglasses and other valuables. Rob says that the amazing thing is that in almost all cases people have left valuables in unlocked cars.

He says that offenders wander around the beach car parks simply trying door handles – when the door opens they quickly grab anything they can see and simply walk away.

Rob Gregory stresses that car owners must take responsibility for their own property and advises owners to always lock their cars and remove valuable personal property before leaving their vehicles.


PLIMMERTON BOATING CLUB’S 2nd CLASSIC and WOODEN BOAT FESTIVAL

Sparkling seas, light airs and plenty of sunshine were the hallmarks of the second Plimmerton Wooden Boat Festival which took place on the 18/19th Feb this year at the Plimmerton Boating Club.

The objective was to provide a venue for all in the Southern Part of the North Island who have a classic or wooden boat to share their experiences and mess about in boats together. It was good to see so many people who came last year and to see so many keen sailors.

Kevin Clark’s Dixie band out on the water was a great hit, as was the fly past of a vintage aircraft from Hood Aerodrome.

The festival will be held again next year and a tentative date of 3 March 2007 has been set.

Everyone will be welcome, so put the date on the calendar now and bring the family. A big thanks to all who helped with the organisation, to members of the Boating Club and to PCC for their support as well.


PLIMMERTON PHARMACY CLOSES

Following John Ralfe’s retirement, Plimmerton Pharmacy was sold to Stephanie Barrowman of Mana Pharmacy. Now that a full trading year has passed and analysis has been completed in regard to the viability of the business, Stephanie says she has had to make the difficult decision to close Plimmerton Pharmacy as from 31 March 2006.

This has been due to:

 A significant reduction in turnover as a result of people transferring their business to Mana Pharmacy and an increase in three monthly prescribing;

 Higher running costs; and

 Staffing difficulties due to a chronic shortage of suitable registered Pharmacists.

Stephanie says it was not a decision she took lightly, as she respects the loyalty of local Plimmerton people in supporting their local businesses. However, she believes she and her team at Mana Pharmacy will be able to offer an even higher standard of pharmaceutical care. In summary, this will include:

 Free delivery (she has purchased a small vehicle specifically for this purpose);

 Home based medication management with a Pharmacist or Technician available to visit local people at home;

 Free faxed prescriptions from your Plimmerton Doctors;

 Longer opening hours

Stephanie asks that everyone gives her the opportunity to demonstrate the benefits that the consolidation of resources will bring. If anyone has any queries or concerns, they are most welcome to ring Mana Pharmacy on 233-0800.


MANA ISLAND ACTIVITIES

AGM 2006 – An Extract from the President’s Report


It gives me pleasure to present this report for the activities of the Friends of Mana Island for the past year.

For me it has been a very rewarding third year in office and that is mainly as a result of having a dedicated and enthusiastic committee, who have applied their energies with great efficiency and with successful outcomes.

The main achievements over the past year have been the continuation of the planting program which this year will be the 19th Year of the 20 year program as set out in the Conservation Plan for the Island. The purchase and modification and transport of the mobile field centre (a caravan really) to the Island for use by volunteers in the various release programs planned for the Mana.

The latest release has been the transfer from Long Island in the Queen Charlotte Sound of 40 Fluttering Shearwater chicks to the Island in January. This turned out to be a different proposition to that of its predecessor, the Fairy Prion and clearly identified that one can not directly extrapolate from one species to another.

We will be better prepared for the release of twice that number next year and the bonus is that some volunteer opportunities will be available to prepare new burrows and for modifications to the Field Centre.

Monitoring of released species continued through the year, including kakariki, takahe, North Island Robin, all of which are doing particularly well.

I understand that the Department intends to get into the export business for the Takahe this year, having failed in their attempt last year.

A highlight in January was the finding of a returned Fairy Prion which had picked up an unbanded mate and produced a chick which fledged. This is the first such event from the release 4 years ago. Whilst Planting was a struggle last year because of unfavourable weather, we still managed to contribute to the 14,000 trees planted. As has become the norm now, we only managed to get half the planned trips away. The target for this year is to carry out some infill planting of around half that number of trees. The landing of volunteers on the Island is becoming increasingly difficult and this issue needs to be addressed with the Department if we are to provide safe access for volunteers.

The Historic Sub-Committee is quietly beavering away. A list and photographic record of artifacts has been published. Further progress has been made on an oral history.

We have sourced funds for the start of the transfer of the endangered Speargrass weevil to the Island.

None of the achievements of the Friends of Mana Island would be possible without the substantial effort of the people who make up the Committee and volunteers.

I must pass special thanks to a number of people on the Committee which has operated as a well oiled machine and has been responsible for so much over the past few years. I personally would like to thank Jan for her financial control, and her ability to control the Auditor, to Darlene for very efficient secretarial duties, to Doreen for coming to grips with Microsoft Publisher and producing truly interesting Newsletters and to Kelvin for his efficient management of the volunteer planters and Marinowai.

Last but by no means least, I bid farewell to Colin Ryder, our founding President, intrepid fund raiser who was so properly rewarded for his contribution to conservation last year by the Department of Conservation. Colin’s wisdom and enthusiasm, even his impatience, will be sorely missed on the Committee.

Brian Paget - President

For more information, visit the FOMI website - www.manaisland.org.nz


PAUATAHANUI INLET COMMUNITY TRUST

The Pauatahanui Inlet Community Trust was formed in 2002 to oversee the implementation of the Pauatahanui Inlet Action Plan and since then has been very active carrying out the requirements of the Plan.

The Department of Conservation lists the Pauatahanui Inlet as a “Site of Special Wildlife Interest” while Greater Wellington Regional Council identifies it as an “Area of Significant Conservation Value”.

Trust Chairperson Russell Plume says deforestation, urban development, reclamation, excessive earthworks and traffic volumes in the catchment areas have impacted on the environmental quality of the Inlet and the Onepoto Arm.

Russell says that we all need to take personal responsibility for the environment we live in. Our goal is to lead people to understand this responsibility and then to act in a way that values where we live so that it will remain amazing for our children and grandchildren – as it is for us today.”

For more information on the Pauatahanui Inlet Community Trust, see www.pict.org.nz


NEW RESIDENTS TO PLIMMERTON – DO YOU REALISE WE HAVE A GREAT LOCAL LIBRARY?

It is situated at School Road, Plimmerton

Opening hours are:

Wednesday 1:00pm – 4:00pm Saturday 10:00am – 12 noon

Although the smallest branch library in New Zealand, it carries a wide range of books, which are regularly changed. It is staffed by librarians on Wednesday afternoons and by a band of dedicated volunteers on Saturday mornings. Full services, including the ability to search the catalogue on-line and place reserves, are available on Wednesdays.


TERM ONE AT ST THERESA’S SCHOOL

We were thrilled to welcome many new children and their families over this term. St Theresa’s is developing a special way of welcoming new families – one of the most important aspects is a special powhiri in our school grounds and Mass in the church, followed by morning tea in the Hall. This was a wonderful celebration for the whole school community.

House Captains and Vice Captains were chosen this term to be leaders of the four Houses during 2006. They take responsibility for leading their House in a variety of activities, they will attend the Anzac Day ceremony in Porirua on April 25th, and they will also attend a Young Leaders Conference in Wellington in May. The position keeps them very busy!

The New Entrants visited Palmers Garden World last week to see the giant pumpkins! They were each given a special giant seed to plant in their gardens at home next spring. One of them might produce next year’s biggest pumpkin!

Article contributed by Zita Smith, Principal, St Theresa’s School

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