Mixed responses to proposed Motueka hub
Reactions to proposals for a centralised service hub in Motueka have been split.
Vision Motueka, a new civic improvement group, is proposing a centralised hub that would be the focus of meeting, activities and information for residents and tourists.
The group’s co-ordinator, David Armstrong, who runs the community website Motueka Online, said the hub could include many of the town’s major civic and community facilities, including a library, i-Site and council service centre in one space.
In online comments to a story about the plans, Cathryn said: ‘‘Look at how planning and foresight has revitalised Richmond. Motueka should be the centre of the Tasman Region, not Richmond but due to a few holding the commercial land in town it has just limped along, with little changes here and there only adding to the ad-hoc planning. I look forward to seeing the visionary plans.’’
Barbara, who described herself as a recent first-time visitor from overseas, said ‘‘having to hunt for a town’s highlights, perhaps stumbling on a facility, perhaps not, can be very frustrating. And just adding a few signs pointing to opposite ends of town is equally frustrating (and not at all welcoming to an outsider). The natural reaction is to maybe pop into one facility (at most) and then skip the rest. Or perhaps not stop at all.’’
Lorelei commented: ‘‘Motueka doesn’t need to make these changes and spend unnecessary money doing so. It is obvious that visitors have no problems finding the information centre or the library and the TDC service centre is only of interest to locals.’’
Vision Motueka has a seed group of eight people and support from about 30 more town leaders, business people and residents, including the Tasman mayor Richard Kempthorne.
It is preparing a feasibility study to identify several options and is canvassing potential major stakeholders for their opinions and ideas. Decks Reserve would be the most likely site for the hub, David said. The group is planning a public meeting to seek ideas on the hub within the next few weeks.
He said it was too early to put a cost on such a hub or decide where funding might come from. The goal of the feasibility study is to develop a well-researched plan that would gain the support of the community at large so that it could then be included in the Tasman District Council’s 10 year plan.
In discussing the proposal with Motueka Community Board chairman David Ogilvie, he had learned that a similar proposal had been drawn up by the Motueka Borough Council in the late 1970s and he was aware of several other efforts to advance such a plan. The 1970s drawings included a recreation facility, a social and activity centre, library, council administration centre and commercial development, all at Decks Reserve.
The Motueka library is budgeted for a $1.1million overhaul to expand its space by 50 per cent to bring it into line with national standards but the community board has questioned whether it should be resited and whether the budget is enough. The board and the council are to meet on the those questions within the next few weeks.
David said that if locals continued to resist change , Motueka would ‘‘fizzle’’ within 20 years.
‘oh, we have an extra $2 million that we can use to reduce everyone’s rates’. But all that it means is that if Motueka says no to everything, another community will benefit.’’