The Piha Ratepayers and Residents committee have twice unanimously endorsed approval of the proposed PIHA COMMUNITY SPORT AND RECREATION CLUB project that sought to co-locate the Bowling and Tennis Clubs and foster the growth of further sports in the community. The project is now in serious jeopardy. The following summary, written by a member of the Piha Community summarises the present situation. We encourage you all to read the summary and take action.
COMMUNITY PROJECT LOST FOREVER! 08 May 2013
By the end of May the Piha Community will have lost the opportunity to have a funded community venture. A venture that would realise the dreams of youth in our community. A venture that would be of universal benefit to all the people of Piha and create a facility to cater for emergency, the proposed…
PIHA COMMUNITY SPORT AND RECREATION CLUBHOUSE.
This was the project that the Piha Bowling Club galvanized support to initiate two years ago, an idea that sealed a relationship with the Piha Tennis Club to jointly promote as a co-location on the Piha Domain.
These two clubs together have realised an opportunity, in a small cash bereft community, to promote a new joint facility which would not only help promote their respective sporting endeavours, but also cater to the dreams of both the youngsters and the elderly in the community. The building was seen as a focus to foster health and well-being in the community, one that would promote interaction, offer healthy lifestyle opportunities and promote community spirit. It would be a multiuse building to realise the needs of the community now and in the future, a building to cater for Piha and local coastal community events, to promote youth in sport and youth education. It would be one that could accommodate the many events of the community including pubic gatherings, meetings, weddings, birthdays, concerts, dances, educational and cultural evenings, movies and drama events all in a healthy, safe and modern, complying building with fully serviced facilities. This facility had the potential to realise some serious rental income which would sustain and fund its operation and be flush enough to generate, support and initiate ongoing community events.
Furthermore the proposed building could be a refuge to people in disaster, a building which would accommodate all the workings of a refuge in times of power outage, flood or civil emergency. It could accommodate 150 plus people, have toilets and shower facilities, power generation, food, water and medical supplies in a community with resources including a volunteer fire brigade and first call medical attendances. The building could provide overnight accommodation for a similar number of people in an mergency if required.
As co-inhabitants of the Piha Domain, the Piha Bowling Club with the unanimous support of the Piha Tennis Club and the enthusiastic backing of Auckland Council, had a joint mandate to launch the project with Council funding and create a valuable venture and community asset for future generations.
Initial evaluation in late 2010 identified the uneconomical viability of retaining and the impossibility of funding any
significant up-grade of the existing Bowling Club building. Consequently a decision was made to look to a new build. A steering committee was democratically appointed from the local community. It consisted of people passionate about the project and the possible opportunities. Representation on the committee included the Piha Bowling Club, the Piha Tennis Club, the Piha Kids Charitable Trust and the Auckland Council. Funding enabled the appointment of some 10 consultants [locals where possible] to prepare feasibility and designs for a Resource Consent Application which was promoted to the Piha Community through the Bowling Club, Tennis Club, Residents and Ratepayers Association, the Piha Community Newsletter, on line at both the www.pihasports.wordpress.com and www.villagevoice.co.nz websites and by word of mouth. The process was continued through the Resource Consent pre-application meeting at Auckland Council and is 95% complete awaiting final co-ordination and lodgment.
In parallel to the initial planning phase further public funding in the vicinity of some $1 to 1.5 million has been identified from several sources to secure the future build.
For some 5 months now this venture has been stalled while the management of the Piha Bowling Club has been overthrown by a vocal minority and the endeavours of the steering committee have been frustrated.
It must be noted that while the Bowling Club has some 65 members and the Tennis Club some 200, the community some 2500, it is a minority in the Bowling Club that has stalled this community project.
As the community is aware the Bowling Club building is in a shocking state of disrepair. It is a building which has been inadequately maintained as a consequence of lack of income and therefore funding. The current building is a structure with an asbestos roof for rainwater collection. Water is now not collected from the roof. It is a building which sits below the flood plane, is located in the stream yard, is not built to current earthquake or wind loading codes, has insufficient insulation and is not constructed to present building code standards. If the funding to upgrade it was available, it would not obtain consent because it sits below the flood plane. The only works that can be undertaken are those of repair and maintenance. The Bowling Club is struggling to fund its own running let alone able to undertake costly repairs and maintenance work.
The Auckland Council have now advised that the remaining funds to progress this opportunity will be withdrawn and those funds repaid by May 31st, the deadline. So due to the badly informed lobbying of a minority, the opportunity to have a publicly funded, state of the art, eco-friendly, energy conscious, self ventilating, passive heating and cooling, new community building will be lost forever.
ACT NOW! YOU MUST HAVE YOUR SAY! SPEAK YOUR MIND!…………YOU HAVE UNTIL 31 MAY 1013