Omaha Beach Community Inc Omaha Beach, New Zealand
Previous Minutes

Minutes of the Annual Meeting of Omaha Beach Community Inc. ("OBC") held at Omaha Beach Community Centre at 4.00 pm on Saturday 3rd January 2009

PRESENT

  • President Graham Painter (Chair); Committee Members Kim Fisher (Treasurer), Judy O'Callahan (Secretary), Chris Allan, Mike Campbell (OBRS representative), Glenys McBain (co-opted), Nick Mantell, Belinda Thomas
  • RDC Mayor, Penny Webster; Councillors Dave Parker and June Turner
  • 64 signed-in members; approximately other 44 members and visitors

WELCOME

The Chairman welcomed the Mayor, Councillors and members.

APOLOGIES

Committee: Merv Dry & Heather; Steve Marshall and Judy; Members Richard and Leigh Fisher; John and Sarah Taylor; Leslie & Brian Holmes; Maurie Rendle
Motion: That apologies be accepted.
Moved: Mike Campbell Seconded: Chris Allen
Motion carried

PREVIOUS MINUTES

Agreed by the members present that minutes of the previous AGM held 3 January 2008, available on website throughout the year, did not need to be read at the meeting. No matters were raised in relation to the minutes.

Motion: That these minutes be accepted as a true and accurate record.
Moved: David Hanson Seconded: Peter Jackson
Motion Carried

PRESIDENT'S REPORT

President, Graham Painter, noted that his report was published in the December newsletter (additional copies of which were on hand). Additionally:

  • He asked that members who have matters to raise communicate with the committee: through the website, by email or by phone.
  • He thanked Greg Stenbeck, OBC president for three years until the Annual Meeting 3 January 2008 and committee member during 2008, for his work, particularly the major role he had played taking OBC through an important transitional period.
  • He referred to the community's relationship with Ngati Manuhiri, the local iwi, which has in the past been very limited, but which we look forward to developing during the next twelve months, with opportunities for the whole community to learn more of their role, their history in our area, and the background to significant features such as the middens and the carvings.
  • He noted two Life Memberships recently offered and accepted, outlined the exceptional contributions made by these two members, and thanked them for their work in and for the community, noting that both continue their contributions:
    • Michael Dow - "a stalwart of no mean note" - in particular as a major sponsor of the Golf Club; and
    • Peter Jackson - member of OBC and its predecessor, Omaha Beach Residents and Ratepayers Association, Vice President of OBC; involved in the growth and strength of OBC and in incorporating OBRS with OBC to make it an inclusive organization; major role through forging contacts with RDC and others; generous contributor to funds for projects.

Members expressed their appreciation with applause.

ANNUAL ACCOUNTS

Treasurer, Kim Fisher, presented his report.

  • Annual Accounts for the year ended 31 October 2008 were included in the December newsletter
  • 90% of the Omaha Beach population are members of OBC and there was "terrific support" for the security levy for the 2007/2008 summer RDC's contribution to the security levy was 25% last summer and is expected to be 33% this year.
  • 93%-94% of the cost of producing the 3 newsletters for the year was paid for by advertisers.
  • Expenditure as set out in the accounts was summarised.

There were no questions.

Motion:That the 2008 accounts be adopted.
Moved: Kim Fisher Seconded: Judy O'Callahan
Motion Carried

AUDITOR

Treasurer, Kim Fisher, paid tribute to the work done by the honorary auditor, Paul Kiesanowski, a partner in KPMG who, while retaining a property here, is transferring from Auckland to Christchurch and has advised that he will be unable to continue as OBC's auditor. Members expressed their thanks to him by acclamation.

The treasurer advised that we have no replacement auditor at this stage, and asked that if any member knows a suitably qualified Chartered Accountant they contact him - noting that honorary auditors are 'disappearing', due in large part to the obligations placed on them by the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants. We do have a backup plan and have spoken to a midsize CA firm.

Motion: That the meeting authorize the committee to make an appointment when a suitable person or firm has been identified and is prepared to act.
Moved: Kim Fisher Seconded:Mike Campbell
Motion Carried

ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTION

The Committee, having considered the amount of the Annual Subscription Fee and the Security Levy had resolved that they be retained at the current levels.

Motion: That the membership fee for the 2009 year be set at $25 and the Security Levy be set at $20.
Moved: Kim Fisher Seconded: Graham Painter
Discussion:
Is the security levy charged on spare sections? "Yes (and note security cover is provided throughout the year by Insite, not just over the summer)".
Motion Carried

ELECTION OF COMMITTEE FOR 2009

Nominations were received in accordance with the Constitution for the following committee members:

  • Sitting members: Graham Painter, Merv Dry, Kim Fisher, Judy O'Callahan, Chris Allan, Glenys McBain, Nick Mantell, Belinda Thomas
  • New member: Roger Donald

Motion: That, there being 11 nominations including two representatives from OBRS (currently Mike Campbell and Steve Marshall) and no other nominations, these nominees be duly elected committee members of OBC for the 2009 year.
Moved: Judy O'Callahan Seconded: GP
Motion Carried

MAYORAL MESSAGE

Asked by the President to speak to members, the Mayor expressed her view that it would be a very exciting 2009 and assured members that RDC is "working very hard to keep rates right down". She herself has been appointed to a technical advisory role on a national committee reviewing the Resource Management Act.; She thanked Dave Parker for his work as liaison councillor with OBC and thanked the other Northern Ward councillors (June Turner and Grahame Powell) for their work, commenting that they four are all from this area of the northern ward. She noted that Alpurt B2 [the State Highway 1 Northern Motorway Extension] is scheduled to open on 25 January.

CLUB REPORTS

Golf Club Report

Murray Ward, Golf Club President, paid respects to Jean Devenie (wife of Life Member Phil, aged 92) who had passed away that morning. Golf Club membership stands at around 550. It costs some $700,000 pa to maintain and develop the course. Revenue comes from fees, fund raising and sponsorship activities, and he urged OBC members to support these. There is still room for new members and new membership classes have been introduced. The focus continues to be on maintenance and development of the course, the plan for which can be viewed on the whiteboard.

He thanked OBC for their support; issues such as rent review and landlord issues having been worked on together, and passed on the Club's appreciation to the Council for being very accommodating. He urged members to recognise the Golf Club as a central part of the community.

Surf Club Report

The Surf Club president, Jonathon Williams, had hoped to attend if time permitted, but was preparing for the Surf Club fundraising dinner dance, starting 6.30pm. [The OBC December newsletter carries a report from the Surf Club.]

Bowls Club Report

Judy Crooks (Life Member, OBC) commented that she's "impressed we're all still coming to these meetings". She noted that the new green carpet is down - but not as many people are turning up to play. The annual subscription is only $100 ($40 for the first year); casual membership - non-affiliated (ie no inter-club participation) $40. Omaha is the only northern club to encourage mufti dress. During daylight saving Friday nights are 'free-for-all rollups'. Bowlers need brain power and subtlety too! The club is looking at a proposal for business house bowls. Judy urged any members belonging to a group to get the names of people from here, to contact and express an interest, stressing that it's a great venue, an inexpensive sport, and fun.

Tennis Club Report

David Grieve advised that their capital expenditure programme is finished - with blue courts (like those for the US and Heineken Open tournaments). They cost $90,000 and the club will now save to replace them again in another ten years. They really want some Omaha-based residents to join the committee and are happy to answer any questions. They are looking forward to enjoying play on the new courts over summer - and note that a family subscription is only $70 pa.

SECURITY

The President invited Chris Martin, Insite Security, to outline his views on security over Christmas: "So far, so good" - and "pretty good, New Year's Eve". They had a strategy meeting with the police prior to New year's Eve, and "weren't actually particularly stretched", not needing to activate any plans for additional resource.

Chris noted that there are half a dozen properties - "generally rented" - which cause problems and hopes that some follow up with Auckland-based owners will alleviate these problems in future.

The nightly patrols are continuing, and in his view are going especially well this year, with "local hoons and crims particularly noticeable by their absence".

Councillor June Turner thanked Chris for the work he does.

GENERAL BUSINESS

  • The President, except where otherwise noted, reported on the matters below. "GP" refers to the President, other initials to other committee members.
  • "Q" or "C" denote questions or comments from the floor and/or in course of particular discussion.
  1. Rubbish: general/shop
    • The owner of the new superette has agreed to 'put something around the shop'.
    • In general: Much better this year. The 1,000 additional visitors going to the Highlife Experience concert overwhelmed us, but the beach was in good shape on New Year's Day. Have spoken to Highlife Experience organizer, and to Mason Bins. The three green bins have been very useful but would have been better if fewer additional visitors. We will again look at possible service improvements for next year.
    • GP thanked the RDC Mayor and Councillors present for RDC's support, to applause from attendees.
  2. Liquor licence
    • We haven't any Public Notice of application for an Off Licence for the superette, but have put in an interim objection.
    • GP asked for members' views on any proposed 'takeout' licence.
    • Q: Couple of brief reasons we oppose it? A: General history: Up until the liquor ban and fire ban were put in place there was a significant problem with rubbish, mostly bottles. We haven't had this to the same extent over the last twelve months. Banning liquor there won't eliminate the problem but will help keep it under control.
    • C: This is a civilized society; shouldn't people be able to buy liquor and take it away?
    • C: "Young kids" are not going to be involved.
    • C: It's the impromptu buying that creates the problem.
    • C: The superette may need to sell liquor to be able to carry itself through winter.
    • C: The superette has nowhere to store alcohol: they're already using four containers and two fridges in the carpark.
    • C: This is storage problem, not liquor problem.
    • GP: There are already two take-away liquor outlets in Matakana and one in Pt Wells.
    • JOC: We're differentiating between 'takeout' liquor and having wine with a meal in a licensed café or restaurant.
    • C: Omaha Beach, originally, was to have no commercial area; having shops at all is one backward step; letting alcohol be sold would be another. (Spontaneous applause)
    • GP asked that those in favour of takeout liquor being sold raise their hands; 10 hands counted. Those not in favour: many. Ratio approx: 7% for; 93% against.
  3. New Year / Highlife Experience
    • The organiser was very responsive to our pre-concert concerns and is very keen to work with us; may be a possible sponsor of some major project(s) - eg walkways?
    • We have identified some areas that need to be addressed next time, and will have a debrief with the organiser.
    • C: Security is an issue: 200 young teens gathered in the carpark and wouldn't disperse.
    • The Surf Club President and the OIC, Warkworth Police have already noted that there was 'nothing much on' for the younger age group and will look at whether the surf club, for example, can organise or sponsor something next time.
    • C: We shouldn't get involved with other organisations who are arranging and planning entertainment. We need the community to provide what's required, not 'sell our souls' for sponsorship.
    • C: Temporary visitors don't always treat public or private property responsibly.
    • C: If residents choose to rent out their places the problems are brought on by themselves. Did they think about the issues?
    • Q: Could we be given 'problem addresses' and we could contact owners over the next few months?
    • C: Illegal camping, especially at the southern end, on vacant lots and grass verges is a bigger problem.
    • C: We're opting out, in planning an event around Christmas / New Year.
    • C: Should we ask them (the concert organisers and attendees) to camp out on a farm somewhere instead?
    • GP noted that this is a commercial activity - we have to be realistic.
  4. Walkways: Kaihikatea / Matakana
    • These are both in the planning stages; we will need to raise 'serious dollars'.
    • C: Should we be moving to new walkways while we can't manage our present walkways, within the subdivision? eg at Northern end: start at Surf Club and walk back toward the boat ramp; and at walkway 7 ("contractor should be reprimanded").
    • C: Around quarry at southern end: trip over flax, gorse etc.
    • GP noted that Council and the contractors have done a lot and asked that members who have a problem put it through the OBC committee: tell us precisely what the problem is.
    • Comments from long term residents: walkways are not maintained; weeds are not killed, overgrowth over paths not trimmed, holes in concrete paths not repaired, trees not maintained; calls to Council have not brought results.
    • GP reiterated his request that members email a committee member with specific issues. We will walk the walkways and will initiate priorities and an action plan with RDC.
  5. Skateboard ramp
    • We have a problem: "no-one wants it in their backyard". Please pass on any suggestions: it is a way to keep younger ones occupied. This could be an asset, but if no-one wants it near them, it won't happen.
  6. Omaha Drive footpath
    • Hard work, and is on the agenda.
  7. Stormwater
    • Since situation as outlined at November Planning Forum we have had further correspondence with RDC and have "asked for chapter and verse" on money spent by RDC on this over the years.
  8. Inundation
    • We received Tonkin & Taylor follow up only two days before Christmas; a meeting is now set down for 13 January. (GP gave a layman's version of the general issue and an example of one aspect expressed in technical engineering terms.) We understand the number of affected properties is now 'down to around 20'; any member wanting to know if their property is one of these is asked to contact the committee.
    • Q: If a property's out of the blue zone, will the LIM have been altered? (Questioner noted his availability for 13 January meeting.) A: Some LIMs apparently refer to a 'possibility'; others are unaltered. GP: We will resolve the blue line first, then deal with the LIM.
  9. Miscellaneous
    • Q: Was there any issue regarding lack of toilets with extra people turning up? Is there planning? Do we need more signage?
    • C: Please nag, encourage and otherwise get dog owners to pick up dog faeces from walkways.
    • C: Pioneer Cresc resident observes traffic approaching roundabout from causeway; traffic needs to slow down. Could there be eg a painted '50' on the road?
    • Q: Does the Omaha Drive reserve still exist? Questioner wrote during the year and was given the answer that residents could till use the land, despite the Golf Club developing it further. He noted that long-time residents 'fought the developer' to have the reserve there, but it seems to be disappearing, and asked what the OBC committee is doing about maintaining its identity.
    • The President replied that we gave a false assurance: we passed on the information we were given, but that was wrong.
    • Committee member NM explained that the area has always been part of the Golf Club lease and that there is some confusion as to whether the area in question was ever designated as a reserve, and if so, when. He agreed that it does look as if the Golf Club is developing it further.
    • C: The land in question was originally held by the developer for more residential sections, but was apparently merged with the Golf Club.
    • C: The Golf Club is putting in a practice facility - and fencing the area just to try to stop cars getting on it.
    • Q: Is it going to continue to be available?
    • GP: We do need to resolve matters and will keep members informed.
    • C: Please keep dogs out of dotterel area.
    • C: A member "coming here 100 years", as a windsurfer and on behalf of all windsurfers, commended and thanked those who objected to the classification of the area by the two "nursery beaches" by the causeway as an area for motorized water vehicles.
    • C: Re liquor licence: technically, there is an issue as to who can lodge an objection. GP noted that we are aware of this.
    • Thanks: GP thanked the Mayor, who left the meeting at 5.25pm.
  10. OMAHA PARK
    • Paul Dale provided an update on separate legal proceedings underway in relation to Mark Ching's property, stressing that these proceedings will not delay the Environment Court mid-2009 hearing in which OBC is a party. He noted that the proposed development "would not work" for the developers it if wasn't substantial, and that Omaha Beach residents will have to bear the brunt of the funding for what is likely to be a three-week hearing, with expert witnesses involved.
    • GP reported that we have had further talks with Auckland Regional Council personnel and that the ARC is 'very much on board', thanks to Kerry Connelly's submission last year. He thanked Kerry and also Ian Cowper, who has worked with ARC, and introduced Ian to the meeting.
    • Ian Cowper (an environmental law barrister) explained the ARC process and how the ARC is 'taking the issue far more seriously now', including in relation to its regional statement and plans (landscape and visual aspects, and this area not designated as one for development) and with regard to the impact on Whangateau estuary (from any level of development, plus clay soil, fisheries etc).
    • GP noted that we need to marshal as many allies as we can, but without doubling up on expert witnesses.
    • Richard Brabant ("RB") updated the situation with regard to OBC and OBRS legal proceedings.
    • Re the Omaha Park appeal in the Environment Court:
      • One year ago, OBC had requested S274 status, and at the April 2008 hearing Omaha Park was unsuccessful in opposing us joining in. Mark Ching and other materially affected parties have since joined in.
      • We are still waiting for the hearing because there are a large number of District Plan appeals in the queue ahead of Omaha Park.
      • In December 2008 the Environment Court advised that it wants all appeals on the RDC Plan disposed of by end 2009.
      • The Environment Court wants a meeting of parties (lawyers and expert witnesses) early in the year to identify the issues, assess what information / data can be agreed on (eg factual details), and to get the experts to start talking to identify where they disagree.
      • From this a timetable will be developed. For example the agreed statements may be April-May; followed by the exchange of evidence and a two-to-three week hearing commencing August -September.
      • Richard, on OBC's behalf, is assuming that ARC's expert witnesses will look after matters such as water quality, and is talking to Simpson Grierson, who act for RDC, about sharing witnesses.
      • The case is going to proceed to hearing and determination this year, and OBC needs to get funding underway now.
      • There is an expectation in ARC and RDC that the Omaha community - associations and neighbours - will be involved as a full party in these proceedings.
      • This expectation also applies in the Environment Court.
      • If we feel strongly, we need to be able to resource the challenge. We need funds available from now on.
    • Re OBRS and the Southern end covenants: We are seeking a High Court ruling re Omaha South properties. There is an initial conference in February, and we will ask for a declaration on this before the Environment Court appeal is heard.
    • Q: Is there anything else we should do - eg lobbying...? RB: It is beyond that, now; up to the community: encourage neighbours, friends etc to contribute...
    • Q: Do we have a budget? A: Yes, but it's like 'how long is a piece of string'... Note: "The other side can't win it by keeping on throwing money at it." It's the quality of the expert advice that counts.
    • Q: What's the target figure? A: If we can raise $400k we'll be comfortable we can cover it.
    • Q: Would there be a right of appeal? A: Yes, if it went against us in the Environment Court we would have a right of appeal, but on a narrow basis / points of law only - very limited.
    • Michael Dow introduced himself, stating that he sells around 70% of Omaha real estate but declaring that he's vehemently opposed to this development. He noted that there are 1409 property titles here now: 839 at the Northern end (Broadlands Drive to the Northern spit); 570 at the Southern end and stressed that "this development will affect every one of us", and stated his intention to put up $500 for each of three properties 'right now'.
    • GP observed that there are alternate views re fundraising, noting that it can't be compulsory. One way is to look at the impact on specific properties in assessing contributions. We do have to 'get stuck in' now and he urged members to call / talk to the committee. He noted that the funds are all going to the Grove Darlow Trust Account and that any surplus funds will be refunded in proportion.
    • Q: Is there any contribution form with instructions, on the website? A: No, give us a call.
    • Committee contact details are on the website. [www.omahabeach.co.nz Select Administration / Office Bearers / Current office Bearers]
    • GP stressed that this case is winnable, and thanked Kerry Connelly for his work and for Ian Cowper for coming up to address the meeting.

CONCLUSION

The President thanked everyone for their attendance.

Meeting closed 5.55pm.