Open Day 15 May 2011

Wild and woolly weather couldn’t keep the crowds away on Sunday….

There was a steady stream of over 250 people through the doors between the hours of 12 and 4pm on Sunday afternoon.

Conversations between old friends and acquaintances kept the background noise to a gentle, harmonious murmur occasionally punctuated with a laugh or a cry of delight as reminiscences were shared and old neighbours recognised.

The history display was a reminder of times past,  with Fletcher Transport – the Beehive and Wecks featuring as three of the many businesses that have called Patumahoe home over the years.

There were also displays from Patumahoe Primary & Mauku Schools, Patumahoe Community Church and Whakaupoko Landcare.

Our local Patumahoe Fire Brigade more than performed past their call of duty…  following up their honours award dinner the night before, they cleaned up the Junior Clubrooms then came over to set up the Bouncy Castle and spent several hours helping out, while manning their own display as well.  Thanks to you all – I’m thankful that marathon effort was not followed by a callout for you all.

Their were also displays on Environment & Nature – Traffic/Transport – Community Centre – and the Structure Plan project, all of which invited comment and suggestions from the onlookers. This is invaluable in trying to determine what the community feels is important and what they would like to see included.  We are grateful to all who took the time to participate and make comment.

An enjoyable afternoon all round – thanks to the Rugby Club for allowing us to use the venue – and all those involved in the preparation and on the day.


Schools, pools and automobiles…

(Originally posted 29 November 2010;

(…perhaps a bit of a misnomer – but I couldn’t resist.  Note: the following is almost sheer editorial comment)
During the last couple of weeks, as I have been driving past the Patumahoe Rugby clubrooms, I have occasionally noticed people hard at work.  For some reason, I have made the assumption that those grafting away are not council driven, committee driven or otherwise.  I have the impression that a job needed to be done, and they are getting on with it.  Without fanfare, without interference, the work is getting done.  This impression is reinforced by the contact I have had over the last week, regarding the concern over the unconsulted work on the domain fringes.  This approach of – see the need – get it done, has a long and rich history in Patumahoe.
Along with the grafters, there have been the forward thinkers.  The people who have seen possibilities and have endeavoured and succeeded in making ideas come to fruition.  Again, often without public acknowledgement or need for it.  I have been fortunate in having so many contact me with rich local history of the domain, the playground and more of the same over  the last few days.  So much of Patumahoe heritage is held in memories and anecdotes, and as a new resident, it is always interesting to be informed of the depth and breadth of community spirit that often lies invisibly at the heart of places.
We also need to add to the grafters, and possibility makers the rare few who are prepared to put their head above the parapets and say “Hang on, what’s the story here?”.  They also have a vital role to play in making a community live.
During the recent flurry over the use of domain land for school carparks, we have had all three.
Regardless of final resolution, the community once again benefits from this dilemma.
We have a resident, who, well aware of the controversy that may result, takes action when no other avenue has been previously offered, and is prepared to take the flak.  We have a much valued school, who, instead of digging in it’s heels and creating conflict, acknowledges a courtesy omission (not a legislative one) and offers to sit and talk through concerns.  And we now have a council directive that specifies that any changes to community property or facilities in Patumahoe from this point on, will be advertised and consulted on before resource consents are issued. 

From conflict, we have resolution – we should appreciate that the Patumahoe community is robust enough to handle situations without need for standtaking or lines drawn in the sand.

I am under no illusions that the work we are trying to undertake regarding future community spaces and linkages –  if successful – will be just another small drop in an overflowing bucket.  And although we are trying to avoid the mistake of misinformation, hope that if we are making a critical error in our reasoning, someone will stand up and tell us – so that we can correct ourselves and move on.
Thriving communities have members of all sorts of personalities, the grafters, the planners, the quiet providers –  and those willing to be targets…  Patumahoe appears to be bursting at the seams with all of these.
Other communities should be so lucky.
Final note: During the week, I have received a lot of information regarding the history and background to the domain, the playground, and importantly, work that has been going on regarding the relocation of the Scout Hall to the domain playground area.  All of which, is fundamental to understanding the concern shown by some for the unconsulted use of the domain grounds for the school carparks.
I have been asked to publish one of these letters on this blog, which I am more than happy to do, and which has prompted the post above.  Since this time, I have received another letter for which the author has given me permission to publish.
Letters from Kay Carter and Keith Hardy are below, along with a copy of the resolution of this issue which Ron Gordon has given us permission to publish. 

Old Church project
Calling for expressions of interest
Many of you will be aware of the old church on Mareretu Ave- the only public historic building left in Patumahoe. It has a rich local history, doubled as the first school (on a different site) and was built of swamp kauri milled from a local farm.
Since the Scout Movement (present owners/administrators) has lapsed in Patumahoe, there have been some efforts made by the Patumahoe Emergency Support Charitable Trust (largely because the trust has a protective infrastructure already set up) to negotiate moving the church to a new site so the scouts can deal with the sale of their section.
On 18 December 2006 the scouting Assoc. agreed to gift the church to the above trust .We understand the scouts intend to use the majority of the proceeds to upgrade the camp at Schlaepher Park , thus keeping the money in the local area and using it for community purposes, which continues  the spirit of the original congregation/scout  negotiation. They have also agreed in principle to contribute some funds towards the removal and re-establishment of the building on Clive Howe Reserve.
In the last few years the school has made use of the church as an extra teaching space, there has been the happy occasion of a wedding, and the school has indicated it would like to continue using the church—keeping in mind this may fit in with some other community activities (such as further weddings!) It is intended that it be registered with the Historic Places Trust.
The use by the school breathes life and value into this old building, and it is great to think children in the 21st century will grow up and say “I was taught in that old church”.
We have a copy of a letter from Greg Lowe, Parks officer dated 25th October 2006 , Ref R600/P03 that the council agreed in principle to the relocation of the building onto the “passive” area of the reserve ,and have had discussions up until very recently with Mark Balle (ex mayor) on the subject.
Whatever the outcome of the present discussions about the proposed school carpark, the placement of the church in this area adjacent to the school needs to be factored in to the satisfaction of interested parties.
We feel this is a community project with considerable legitimacy.
However there are planning, safety and technical issues, discussions and negotiations with council and interested parties still to be made in order to take this project forward. It is time for more of the community to be involved.
For further information, and to register your interest, with a view to an initial meeting in the new year, you are welcome to contact
Kay or Bruce Carter    2363809
0274 366331 

Copies to
Dr Paul Hutchison Member Parliament Hunua.
The Honourable Rodney Hide
Beverly Holden Chairperson Patumahoe School Board of Trustees.
Greg Lowe Team Leader Local and Sports Park South. Auckland Council.
Mr Des Morrison Elected Member Auckland Council.
Mr Len Brown Mayor Auckland City.
Mr Daniel Fulton Fulton of Swimming
Other I interested Parties.
Dear Mr Gordon,
Thank you for your letter of 26th November which has clarified several important matters.
Two of these are .
The proposed extensions are not for Fulton Swim School Patrons
The proposed School Car Park extensions are in your words solely to alleviate the issue of insufficient Staff Car Parking.
May I therefore respectfully point out that by adding the proposed new driveway to the extensions to the existing School; Staff Car Park at least one probably two spaces are lost due to the need for vehicles to access this proposed driveway.
May I respectfully further add that this additional entrance may well create additional hazard on the School grounds and definitely on the Reserve.
In my opinion it is grossly unfair to confiscate land and remove established native trees from a Reserve of which the School is one of the Major beneficiaries for access to parking exclusively for School Staff.
If you apply the same interpretations under the Health and Safety in Employment Amendment Act ( 2002 ) to identify and eliminate potential hazardous situations then this driveway should not be constructed.
Several days ago I walked from the Reserve Public Car Parking area to the School Office slowly.It took less than 90 seconds.This area has over 70 car park spaces marked and has room for perhaps another 20.
As for Staff arriving in the winter before daylight and leaving after dark I simply do not believe it. Remember my wife and I operated the School buses to this School for close to 20 years.
Even if it were true the first 18 vehicles to arrive already have space available at the School.
Again I wish the School well and have no wish to interfere with your organization.
However the confiscation of Reserve land and removal of mature Native trees for a few of the staff of an organization that operates little over 200 days a year and historically are mostly temporary residents is an insult to everyone else.
Once Park and Reserve land is taken it is lost forever.
I and a lot of others did not devote years of effort to see this happen.
Go ahead with your car park extensions if you really deem it necessary but leave our Reserve land alone..
Yesterday I received letter for Mr Andy Baker, Chair Franklin Local Board who is keen to assist with the resolution of this matter.
It is in everyone’s interest that this is resolved and that our wonderful School, Parks and Reserves are preserved and enhanced for the benefit of all residents.
Yours Faithfully,

Keith Hardy.

Ron Gordon has kindly given permission to publish the letter that resolves this issue:
Following our recent correspondence and discussions the Board of Trustees has decided not to progress with the planned car park extension.
We appreciate the strength of concern amongst some residents in regards to the proposed carpark.  The Board of Trustees does not wish the school to create animosity amongst our community.
We can understand from your point of view the historical aspects surrounding the establishment of the Council Reserve to its present day use.

The Board of Trustees has actively encouraged our school community to park in the Council car park, and will continue to do so.  However, we do not have a resolution to Council car parking requirements and the Board of Trustees will be considering other options to resolve this issue with respect to the safety of our staff.

Thank you for raising your concerns with us.

(Signed by:  Beverley Holden, Chairperson Board of Trustees
Ron Gordon, Principal
Patumahoe Primary School)

Posted by Patumahoe Village at 11:24 AM