I am please to say that the absence of an ”official” Anzac Day ceremony failed to deter more than 100 people from attending the Matakana War Memorial this morning, first for a Dawn Service at 6am and then again at 10am. The spontaneous gatherings were part of an all-day “Holding of the Ground”, designed to encourage people to bring wreaths, poppies and pay their respects throughout the day at any time. A fantastic community turnout by everyone!
Here are Updates and progress before our full Quarterly meeting in May. Please note that all our meetings will be changing to the first Tuesday rather than Thursdays in future. This is because a few of our regular attendees have a clash with Matakantata practice on Thursdays. This meeting will be on Tuesday 7th May and will also be in the small room behind the hall due to unavailability of the main hall on Tuesday evenings; a cosy place to meet other community members over a wine or beer!
As always, if you would like to recap our previous newsletters for context around this one, they are here: past newsletters
Matakana Link Road (MLR) No more news. We are still waiting to hear about progress after meetings and submissions. Martin Dancy sent a submission to AT on behalf of our group which you can read on the website here. We will let you know when we hear anything new.
Storm Water diversion from Matakana Valley Rd All is still going ahead and we are still waiting for the work to start later in April.
Mahurangi Waste Busters (MWB) MWBs have presented to council and will get a response to their submission in a couple of weeks.5 groups presented tender documents to Auckland Council. The present contract finishes on 1 July this year when new contract must be allocated so time is short! People Donations and Funding
Thanks to Ivan Wagstaff for organising the donation box for our car park.
Thanks to all the volunteers who collected on for us on Easter Saturday (see below)
Thanks to Karen Schade for volunteering her time and professional fundraising skills to the fundraising programme.
Caring (compassionate) Community Since last month Janis Grummitt and Angela Kinnersley have been progressing research into possible ways we can add to existing initiatives in creating a more caring community. Sally is interested and has offered to become involved by writing up any stories for Local Matters.
Three areas were identified for research:
Creating or supporting the growth of smaller, local communities within the Matakana area
Catching individuals and families who are 'falling between the cracks' of existing support
Create a culture of community caring by bringing everyone together
1. Local Communities Angela had the idea that we should highlight and create role models of existing, effective smaller communities such as Rainbow's end. Their stories could be written and even work-shopped for newer areas or older ones wanting to develop a strong sense of belonging. We could even hold a caring community of the year award!
2.'Falling between the Cracks'. The first step has been to investigate the many existing agencies and groups that are helping: Homebuilders, Delwyn at the free stall, the Community garden, Churches, Wastebusters, various individuals already known to be connected to this issue and Beth Houlebrooke for a wider council perspective. This is on-going and has resulted in more people to see and agencies to investigate! There seems to be a lot going on but a lack of communication and coordination. Our role here might be to communicate, connect and contribute where needed.
3.A Culture of Community Caring. We discussed the importance of holding whole community events and decided that there should be food trucks in the village to coincide with the Warkworth mid-winter festival this year. If we are to be fully inclusive for all families in the area we should also fund a free stall where hotdogs, burgers etc. could be available for children however wealthy their parents are. Liz is talking to Justin about organising the food trucks.
Other possibilities under community caring include setting up events for older people and others who want to get to know members of the wider community...pot luck lunches in the hall; 'drop in' coffee groups. We can also encourage interest groups to set up (like the existing table tennis group or the men's shed) and publicise them on the website, the newsletters and Facebook.
A final idea is a project to create intergenerational mentoring - introducing young and old to learn from each other. This could happen through the school or if not through parents and grandparents who are keen to connect.
If you have any ideas about these approaches or would like to become involved, please let me know or come to the Quarterly meeting to discuss them. Thanks to Janis, Angela and all those helping by donating their time to this.
Points ahead and information
Safety around the village We are still waiting for the protocol around safety after the input mentioned in the last two newsletters. Jubilee Park The Community group is engaging in positive discussion directly with the Pony Club rather than working through council to reach a fair and future focused outcome for all. The groups that currently use the park are coordinating an agreement together before contacting Auckland Council. Likely developments include draining the back part of the park so that this could become an area for cricket nets, football etc. There is also talk about family use for BBQ and picnicking. The only parking problems seem to be on Saturday mornings.
Historic Walkway Work is still continuing to progress the production of plaques for this heritage walkway.
Community Fundraising The aim is to have a self-funding and strong Community able to develop new projects and support existing structures. As a first step, Karen Schade has produced a report on a strategy for regular funding through donations - by both individuals and organisations. The funding group include Karen, Rachel Demler, Ivan Wagstaff, Robin Barclay and Liz Sharek have planned the following activities around their four areas for focus: Jubilee Park, Planting, Car park and Village Maintenance:
A donation box has been installed in the car park for weekend visitors to use.
There was a gold coin collection on Easter Saturday that raised $500 More are planned for each holiday week end.
Local businesses (especially those who benefit from the car park) will be approached to ask for monthly donations.
There maybe a 'Give-a-Little campaign in the future.
If anyone has any ideas of views about our fundraising, please contact me. Possibilities for the Future
The Matakana Volunteer Fire Brigade (MVFB) The MVFB is still desperate for new members to help maintain this vital service in our community. Volunteers for these services are in short supply. It isn't widely known that women would be welcomed and retired people whop are reasonable fit; much of the work isn't heavy fire fighting but medical emergencies. If you feel able to contribute your time just call and talk about your situation. No limitation as regards age or gender, you just need to be fit, active and have a desire to help the community.
Feedback and council information
Don't forget to make submission if you own a dog Public consultation has opened on changes to Auckland Council’s Policy on Dogs and Dog Management Bylaw. This consultation is seeking public feedback until 10 May. This is a very contentious issue with dog owners...make sure you make a submission. For details on this and an update from council about the Freedom Camping laws, go to our website
Check the website and Facebook page regularly for information from Beth about any RLB news and submission details.
That's it for this month. Don't forget the next meeting is our Quarterly one on Tuesday May 7th in the small room behind the Community Hall. All welcome to discuss and share a drink with us. Also stay in touch by checking in on the Facebook page and the website.