Naseby Vision 2011 AGM Chairman’s ReportA good deal of our focus over the past 12 months has been on activities relating to Naseby’s 150th jubilee in 2013. We’ve assisted with the establishment of a 150th committee which is ably led by Stew Francis, who is supported by a number of our committee and other members of Naseby Vision and from communities across the Maniototo.
We have 3 projects underway which are aligned to the celebrations. The first of these will be the publication of a substantial history of Naseby which is being written by today’s guest speaker, Keith Scott and ably assisted by a local editorial reference group. We’ve been fortunate so far to have received seed funding for the book from Dr George Mason. George lives in New Plymouth but has strong family connections with Naseby and you may recall that he funded the labels on the Recreation Ground trees.
We’ve also been fortunate to have also received $4000 from the Otago Community Trust for the project. Hilary is a dab hand at writing funding applications and we have a number of other applications in the pipeline to ensure that the book is fully funded, by its release in late 2012. It’s our desire that proceeds from the sale of the book will go to support the Museum, as an on-going funding source.
Our two other 150th projects are the Historic Trails project and the completion of the headstone restoration programme at the Naseby Cemetery. 10 headstones were restored last year and the monumental mason is currently working on the second 10. We’re hoping to raise funding to repair the remaining damaged headstones in the next few months, so that the work will be completed in time for the 150th. Funding for this work has come from the Historic Cemeteries Conservation Trust of New Zealand and from a small number of the descendants of people who are buried in the cemetery.
Another part of the restoration work involving the Chinese section of the cemetery is currently on hold, awaiting a survey with ground penetrating radar.
Despite the progress that’s been made at the cemetery, we were disturbed to learn from the monumental mason last week, that a marble cross which was part of one of the headstones that was being repaired had been stolen. This is the second theft from the cemetery in recent months. You may recall that two of the recently planted Ginko Bilbao trees that were kindly donated by George Mason were stolen earlier this year. These were recently replaced thanks to a donation by one of our members, Annie Villiers and her son Feng.
The Historic Trails project will link in with a similar Maniototo-wide trails project that is being managed by Project Maniototo. We have successfully applied for a 16 week work grant from DSW and Otago Community Trust for a Project Green Worker to research and establish the local trail which will cover the sites of significant buildings and events, both within Naseby and in neighbouring areas, such as the various mined gullies surrounding the town and out as far as Kyeburn diggings. DSW’s work brokers will soon begin the search for an appropriate person.
Over the past few months we’ve been working on a plan to develop a closer relationship with Naseby’s business community with a view to helping stimulate growth and finding ways of eliminating the barriers to doing business in Naseby. We have arranged a meeting of local business people next Wednesday and I’m pleased to say that the response to date has been great and we expect most of our businesses will be represented.
The other business-oriented project is the establishment of an alternative cycle route from the rail trail into Naseby. We have been working closely with the CODC, the Community Board and the Rail Trail Trust and we hope our plan to establish a loop from the trail at Brinsdon Road which will eventually take riders back to Ranfurly by Back Road will receive final approval at the CODC’s meeting next Tuesday.
The suggestion for an alternative route came out of the Naseby Community Plan process last year. It’s designed to encourage riders to visit Naseby by a safe alternative route and to stay an extra day exploring our great town and hopefully leaving a few dollars behind as well!
After years of lobbying, cell phone coverage for Naseby is now finally on the horizon. Vodafone, as part of the Government’s Rural Broadband Initiative, is currently looking at a range of sites in the area which will ensure Naseby and other parts of the Maniototo which are currently poorly served, will have excellent coverage of signals from all of the mobile phone providers – Telecom, 2 Degrees, Telstra Clear and Vodafone.
Our committee is always looking for innovative ways of improving services within our community and one of the more “outside of the square” projects that we have been considering is the possibility of Naseby having community-owned wind turbines. We’ve been talking to members of the Blueskin Bay Committee that is looking to establish a small wind farm in the Waitati area. We’re doing some preliminary research, however we are a long way away from having anything tangible to discuss at this stage.
Finally, I’d like to thank our committee for their dedication to Naseby Vision and in particular to all things Naseby. I’m honoured to be able to work with such a great team of people. My special thanks goes to Hilary who devotes many hours to Naseby Vision – an organisation could not wish for a better secretary!
In closing I’d like to pay a special tribute to John Steele, who has resigned this month from the committee. John is a great guy who has done an enormous amount for the community over a number of decades. He has been a great contributor to Naseby Vision and its projects since the inception of the organisation. John is standing down to focus on some health issues and on behalf of the Naseby Vision team I would like to convey our sincere thanks and our very best wishes to John for a speedy recovery.