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Residents indicate preferences for hub complex

August 23rd, 2014
[by David Armstrong]

A visitor information and booking area, public toilets and gallery space for local arts were the top facilities that a good community and visitor 'hub' should have.

This was one of the main outcomes of a good-natured public meeting held on Thursday for interested people to rate the wide range of suggestions that have been made as to what other facilities could go into any community hub that may be built along with a new library.

The meeting was hosted by the main hub proponents Vision Motueka at Community House, as part of an effort to gain community input into the concept design for such a complex. (See our earlier story.)

TDC is considering the construction of a new library building, possibly in Decks Reserve, along with a co-located council service centre and meeting room. As they will be requiring Motueka ratepayers to contribute to the cost, many people are saying that they would like such a building to be part of a complex with other community and visitor facilities.

About 20 people attended the meeting this week. About 25 ideas of possible facilities were listed and discussed, and then participants asked to rank them in order of what they thought were most important, down to ones that they though should not be included.

They were reminded that Council had not yet even formally said they would build a new library and service centre, nor had a definite location been chosen. However, the portion of Decks Reserve between the current i-Site and the Japanese gardens was the site preferred by last year's Council working party.

The meeting was reminded that those proposing the hub were not intent on using a significant portion of the reserve green space, nor much if any of hte car parking space.

The meeting also agreed that the name "hub" that has been used does not please lots of local people, but were reminded that it was just a working name so people could talk about it easily, and that a better name would be sought.

The results of the "voting" process are as follows, with an explanation below it.

Very highly ranked:
Visitor information and museum-like interpretive space
i-SITE-style visitor booking area
Public toilets (including an adjacent parents' room)
Gallery space for art/sculpture

Highly ranked:
Coffee lounge or cafe (indoor and outdoor areas)
Outdoor entertainment area like an amphitheatre or sound shell
Viewing tower to see surrounding district
Cycle trail attraction/depot like funky bike stands, free town bike hire
Water drinking fountain
Technology room or wing (part of library?)

Medium ranking:
Picnic / outdoor resting area with play stuff
Community noticeboard
Covered outdoor resting and play area
Museum or part-museum (for changing exhibitions?)
War memorial (relocated from Memorial Park)
A bus terminal/transfer facility

Low ranking (some positives):
Post office (or mail collection)
Other retailers (other than coffee shop)
Giant outdoor chess set

No:   (These all had more crosses through them than the few that rated them at all)
Youth Centre
Basketball halfcourt and small skateboarding facility
Weka enclosure

Explanation:   Because the "voting" system was quite loose, this is only a summary of the trends. Rather than numerical averages etc (some people numbered only 1 to 6, others 1 to 20), an effort was made to rate items according to the overall number of times they were even included in the 1 - 12 range (1 being the highest), as well as a rough average of the actual numbers within that range.

For instance, for the "Public toilets" option, all 20 people put it in their numbered list, with eight putting it at number 1, three rating it as 2 or 3, and 16 rating it as 4 or 5. Therefore this was rated 'Very High'.

On the other hand, for the "Giant Outdoor Chess Set" option, 6 people gave it any rating at all, ranging from 9 to 12, and one put a cross through it, presumably meaning No. Therefore this was rated 'Low'.


Comment by Jim Butler:
[Posted 23 August 2014]

Nothing wrong with having a wish list for Motueka. It provides an aim and we residents are very lucky to have someone like David Armstrong with his energy and drive pushing it along.

But with about two million dollars a year taken out of the Motueka Ward every year for the salaries of TDC staff based in the Richmond District office, which will be mostly spent in the Richmond area and a further two million dollars a year, this ward's share of the interest on TDC's debts, that will mostly end up in overseas pockets, this will make his aim much more difficult to achieve. David will need all the support and help he can get.

Comment by Phil Grimmett:
[Posted 20 September 2014]

Local residents were adamant that the green space known as Decks Reserve be retained in perpetuity as a gazetted reserve for enjoyment of all. A TDC scheme review, at least 20 years ago, to change the zoning was challenged. If implemented, this would have inevitably lead to commercial development and the loss of this beautiful park in central Motueka.

Following local outrage, Commissioner Reports, petitions meetings etc. and a local body election shake up, the TDC backed down, listened to the people of Motueka and had the green space of Decks Reserve formally gazetted. It has, over time, become a beautiful park for all to enjoy and I would support any plans to enhance it.

Any prospect that would diminish the area of the current green space would be a retrograde step, and counter to the expressed wishes of the people. The plans for a community hub, in this locality, is more likely to succeed if this is accepted from the outset. Namely, the retention of all the green space that is Decks Reserve.

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