$80,000 grant to enhance Havelock

COME TOGETHER:  A new boardwalk is planned to link Havelock to other walkways in the sounds.
COME TOGETHER: A new boardwalk is planned to link Havelock to other walkways in the sounds.

The Government has granted the Havelock Community Association $80,000 a year for the next three years for community development.

Association chairwoman Sandra Sewell said the money would be used to hire a community development officer, who would head efforts to develop the town, leading projects and activities sought by residents of the wider Havelock area.

In demand was a boardwalk across the estuary, linking the town with the proposed Link Pathway from Picton.

The development officer's job would be advertised within the next fortnight, Sewell said. The association was looking nationally for the right candidate.

They would need extensive community development experience and be able to drive projects from a small community, she said.

"A lot of people in the area have lived there a long time. Everyone has strong views on what should and should not be done."

The Havelock Community Association covered an area from Rai Valley to the cutting in Kaituna Valley and up to Linkwater, Sewell said. About 2500 people lived in the area, about 460 of them in Havelock.

There were many community groups in the area that did a lot of work under the radar. This new position would provide another layer on top, highlighting the attraction of the area and working to invigorate the community.

The boardwalk connection to the Link Pathway would be a key long-term project needing about five years of significant fundraising. It would provide somewhere away from the state highway for residents to walk and cycle.

Marlborough District Council agreed to contribute to the cost of the Link Pathway in this year's annual plan, speeding up its development.

Sewell said the association had to report to the Government regularly on its progress.

"They're not just giving it to us."

Community and Voluntary Sector Minister Jo Goodhew said Havelock was one of 12 communities to win funding from the Government's community development scheme.

The project aimed to build a sustainable community framework that was accessible to all and would "promote community cohesion, co-operation, collaboration, capability and sustainability", she said. Planned initiatives in the first year included creating a local communications plan, conducting a community asset mapping exercise and creating a community brand.


The Marlborough Express