2013 - Chairman's Report
2013 ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
Chairman's Annual Report
First and foremost in presenting the 17th Annual Report my thanks to our excellent and dedicated committee, who are a pleasure to work alongside.
Our membership is indebted to our Secretary/Treasurer Ken Meredith for such comprehensive minutes, thoughtful submissions and reports. Not to mention Ken’s steady stream of pertinent ‘Mailbox’ letters, many of which often make it to the leading letter status.
Pam Frahm has also made a huge contribution this year as editor of the NRA Web-page:
which well reflects our objectives, it’s a real credit to her.
Since NRA's inception Kerry Neal has been a staunch stalwart having a life-long active participation in civic affairs and recently going in to bat for the Residents of Headingly Lane in the Tasman District.
NRA has also taken an active interest in the storage of our district's heritage collections that have now spilled out into various shipping containers and off-site coolstores. The present building is continually at risk from flooding as well as storms that bring down trees towering over our archives building.
Nine NRA members were present at a Nelson Historical Society celebration to mark the 40th anniversary opening of the Nelson Provincial Museum at Isel Park. Sadly the building was closed due to earthquake concerns.
In human terms some folk are still unable to return to their homes due to the Dec 2011 storm aftermath. In the meantime, more ratepayer dollars have been lost on various legal bills for the unwanted ‘pokie’ machines at Victory Square, the Montgomery Square carpark debacle, the pursuit of Hone and his horse, Barny, and the unsuccessful appeal by the council against the ruling of its own commissioner on an RMA application for changes to a by-law controlling amplified noise at outdoor events on council land.
At the same time NRA have resisted the unending stream of daily increases in council charges for both general rates and associated charges for council fees and services.
Therefore many residents react when sculptures and statues get erected along with the inevitable substantial cost over-runs. The ‘final straw’ for many residents is when we read comments by some Councillors and, I quote, “Being on council is thrilling, every day’s a party” while, at the same time, we read a comment by our local MP Nick Smith that “Annual rates have gone up faster than any other part of New Zealand during the past decade”
The poor performance of our “Hands Up” council can be measured by the appearance, in the Nelson Mail “Mailbox” columns, of highly critical messages from retired former senior managers of the NCC bureaucracy.
When ordinary long suffering residents write letters of alarm to the editor ,our present Mayor reacts by saying these letters “are nothing but politically motivated nonsense and lies”
In the formulation of its recent submission to the NCC Draft Annual Plan your executive committee came up with the slogan:“The culture has to change [in our local government]”
Moving on, I would be failing in my duty to our members, if I did not make comment and sound the alarm bells over the proposed construction of the Brook Waimarama predator fence. Wellington ratepayers have now given more than $18 million towards their sanctuary. A Dominion-Post editorial said “The time has come for the Wellington City Council and the Sanctuary Trust to accept the experiment has failed. Financially the Zealandia Sanctuary is an unmitigated failure”. Regrettably the recent intrusion by a local car dealership into the local project may have created a fait accompli , for which ratepayers will have to pay in future.
In conclusion, I must record my sincere appreciation of the efforts of our out-going committee and their support during the past year.