Holiday park's revival is 'still possible'

BILL MOORE
Last updated 11:16 29/05/2014

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A Brook Valley Holiday Park resident says the mayor is happy to discuss re-opening the camp, and has held a meeting of residents and interested people to seek support.

Moira Bauer, who has lived in the camp since the beginning of the year, made a presentation to the council's community services committee a fortnight ago, on behalf of the Brook Valley Community Group.

She said then the group feared a hidden agenda related to the Brook Waimarama Sanctuary was driving the council, and sought greater transparency.

She said this week she was not a member of the camp residents' committee, but was working with it. She publicised her meeting, held on Sunday at the camp, in a post on the "Save the Brook" website, set up in response to the council's moves. About 20 people attended and the question of residents managing the camp was explored, she said.

Since the council went public with its proposal to shut the camp - a position it has since pulled back from after it hit opposition from residents, the Brook Waimarama Sanctuary Trust, and others - it has been closed to casual camping. Some of the 50 or so permanent residents have left and others are contemplating upping stakes.

In her website post, Bauer said she had been in contact with Mayor Rachel Reese.

The mayor had said she'd be happy to meet her to "discuss the possibility of having the camp re-opened ASAP".

"Great news! Now I need help," she posted. "In short, I will do my best to convince the mayor that we as camp residents are perfectly capable of managing the camp, and would do it a whole lot better than the council is doing at the moment."

She told the Nelson Mail that her meeting with the mayor was scheduled for June 18 but she was trying to push it forward.

"That's only a week or so before the committee comes out with their next proposal, which kind of seems to defeat the purpose of having the conversation in the first place." She felt that the camp was being run down, with people who would want to move in but weren't allowed to.

The mayor said yesterday that Bauer had made a "really good presentation" to the community services committee. "I'm happy to catch up with her but in terms of commitments, that's got to come from the committee," she said.

"I'm here to listen and help provide information that would be useful to Moira but I'm not in a position to make any commitments around matters related to the Brook camp."

The committee will see a new report on the camp's future next month and it will then come before the full council.

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