by Brian Hale
North West Country Business Association AGM. What a tremendous disappointment this was.
Don’t misunderstand me, it was perfectly run; It started on the dot, reports were given, motions were tabled and passed, almost without comment, committee members were elected (no voting required) and the meeting was over in 16 minutes.
So why the disappointment – because there were only 13 people in attendance, and I think either 7 or 8 were committee members. This is an organisation which is drawing $180,000 in subscriptions out of the businesses in the BID district, had a total income last year of $232,001 and yet of the over 400 members ONLY A FEW showed any interest and turned up to the AGM – WHY. The lack of numbers could have been influenced by the fact that the Notice of the meeting was buried on page 6 of the “News from Your Association” email of 10 October. It could have been that is was held at 6pm at the Helensville Tennis Club rooms – not easy to find and finding a parking space was diabolical as the netballers had claimed them all! It could have been that the reports and accounts, which ran to over 50 pages, were only available from the Association website and were not easy to find and download, or it could be that, from my point of view, the Association does nothing relevant to the vast majority of business owners.
The BID Vision: The North West – New Zealand’s creative playground and premiere place to live, work and do business and the location of choice for Aucklanders looking for a new experience.
Mission Statement: Inspiring and enabling businesses to thrive in Auckland’s Creative Playground.
The “Objectives” and Strategic Plan” (8 pages of it) which I suspect was written by some “marketing expert” from the Council contains phrases like:
Objectives: Work with businesses, agencies and iwi to improve our townships and key destinations.
Achievements: Planning underway in Kumeu for upgrade of part of main street at the entrance to Kumeu in partnership with Auckland Transport and Kumeu Village Body Corporate.
Objectives: Incorporate the history of our district and creative sector as part of our promotional program.
Achievements: Worked with ATEED to develop Triple Harbour map…
AND in the meantime Auckland Transport is planning to remove most of the parking spaces on the main road outside the shops at the end of Matua Road and put a traffic light controlled zebra crossing there. Can you envisage what stopping the already manic traffic on a regular basis so one person can cross the road will do? Plans are also well underway to remove parking spaces in Helensville and plant trees in the main street. I am heartily sick of the leaves from the trees in Matua Road blowing into my shop on a daily basis, the last thing I would want in Helensville would be what is being suggested!
To me this has the feel of a disconnected bureaucracy doing what sounds and feels good, but not what is actually good, and not what the people need and want. So, what is the answer? Well get more involved would help; be more informed would help; go to committee meetings – you are entitled to – and let them know what you think; get in the ear of your local committee member (see below); maybe even form your own ‘local’ business group to discuss what matters to you locally and push your views. What do you think?