Te Awaroa Residents & Ratepayers Association have played a role in reversing the Local Board Decision to significantly increase hall hire charges throughout Rodney. Recently meeting with Jo Heaven, Rural Halls Advisor Rodney, she mentioned she had seen all our letters. A significant drop in hall bookings has caused a re-think by the Board. Power to the people!
However, many regular users have found other venues and may not return readily to our Helensville War Memorial Hall or meeting room (e.g. Community Christmas Dinner is better suited to the Helensville Primary School facilities).
Alongside this Council has for some time been promoting communities taking responsibility for their halls. I have been strongly opposed for several reasons. However, at our last meeting in February, Local Board member Brenda Steele clarified factors such that I now see some very positive possibilities. If we could resolve this, requiring a committee, we could handle bookings ourselves, choose to make facilities free of charge to community organisations, and use fees paid for such as replenishing kitchen equipment.
With nearly 200 signatures already (aiming for 1,000) on the Bypass petition, and initial connection with our MP Chris Penk and Transport Minister Phil Twyford, I am actively progressing this initiative.
HOWEVER, participation by members and committee involvement has waned to the point that our Association is not viable in practical terms. Having achieved as above, is the community prepared to lose the influence of having a ratepayers organisation?
Due to our planned April meeting date clashing with Anzac day (meeting room not available), our next meeting is set for Wednesday 2nd May 7.30pm at the War Memorial Hall meeting room. Please consider attending to revive the life of TARRA and retain a connection with Auckland Council for our community.
Holly Southernwood Chair of TARRA

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