Naseby Vision 2015 Annual Chairman's Report

Every year has seemed like a busy year for Naseby Vision. There are always at least 5 or 6 projects on the go and problems and opportunities continue to create some fresh challenges for your committee. Thankfully, most of the time our efforts are successful, although there are still a few projects such as improving local cellphone coverage which have been on the radar for the entire 11 years of Naseby Vision’s existence!

Vodafone had a number of false starts with this particular project, there were planning and resource consent issues which dogged the project for years, but just as improved coverage was tantalisingly close earlier this year, it was the weather and the resulting ground conditions which finally delayed the project. I’m not prepared to lay bets on it, but it does seem highly likely we will finally have vastly improved mobile phone coverage by Xmas.

While cell coverage issues will soon be a thing of the past, with the advent of steaming video services such as Lightbox and Netfix and an escalating demand on internet services, an upgrade of our broadband service in Naseby is now urgently required. Naseby Vision has been working with both Chorus and the CODC to upgrade the current 8 Mbps link to Ranfurly and the switch in the Naseby Chorus cabinet to enable a 900 Mbps link to be installed. The upgrade would provide Naseby with a very fast broadband service – 10 times faster than we currently have.

The CODC has prepared a case for our upgrade, together with some other upgrades in the district, and this is now being considered by the government under its Rural Broadband initiative. High speed broadband is an essential part of our basic infrastructure these days – almost as important as roading, water and other services that fall into the essential category.

Your committee has devoted a good deal of time to helping to get the proposed summer luge project off the ground. This has resulted in the establishment of a charitable trust to oversee the funding and establishment of the summer luge.

The new trust is chaired by Eric Swinbourn and he’s joined by fellow NV committee member Nick Simpson together with Jock Scott, John Mulholland, Geoff Balme and Toni Spijkerbosch, who is one of the generous donors of the components of the luge. Naseby Vision will support the new Trust during its inaugural development and this weekend has been providing financial and in kind support for the Otago University commerce students who are undertaking research in Naseby as a lead up to the preparation of a trust business plan.

We’ve been working with the Council on a number of projects including the refurbishment of the Naseby War Memorial. The monument has deteriorated in recent times and it’s our goal to ensure that it withstands the test of time and the elements for a further 100 years. Later in the meeting you will be hearing about our plans for the memorial. Your committee has also made a number of submissions to the council on issues ranging from its new Gaming Machine policy, recycling, the new Naseby evacuation plan, the proposed Lua Street lights and roading improvements, the District Recreation Reserve Plan and the Long Term Community Plan.

Incidentally, Naseby Vision’s membership continues to grow and as of today our membership stands at over 350. We are fortunate in having a membership that possesses a vast range of skills and during the year we hope to utilise this excellent skill base on a range of upcoming projects, not the least of which will be the summer luge.

By Xmas, we also hope to have installed a new steel and timber picnic table at the Swimming Dam. The current tables are in their twilight years and in need of replacement. Naseby Vision has provided the funding for the first table and we are now looking for donations to cover the $2,400 purchase price of a second unit. If you can help, please see one of our committee members at the end of the meeting.

Other projects this year have included the refurbishment of the Xmas Tree lights (with the help of Keith Edwards), the installation of a new community noticeboard at the shop (with help from local builder Phil Flanagan), and the launch of our own Facebook site; the reprint and distribution of the Naseby Historic Trail brochures and discussions with some interested parties on economic development ideas for Naseby which include the installation of hot tubs adjacent to the curling and ice rinks. We’re hoping that ideas to help our economic growth with be part of the discussions during the community planning day.

Over its 11 year lifespan Naseby Vision has achieved many of its goals, a good many of which have been determined by the Community Plan process, however some goals were found to not be feasible or were no longer relevant. A plan has to be an organic document, not something that you do once every 3 years and put away to gather dust.

It’s important that we regularly take a snapshot of what we have, what continues to be important to us and what we need to do to ensure a sustainable long-term future for Naseby as a place to live, work, holiday, enjoy and prosper. I’d therefore encourage you to help mould our future by attending next month’s Community Plan workshop here in the Town Hall on Sunday, 15 November at 10 a.m. It’ll be a well spent 3 or 4 hours and a great chance to have your say about what makes Naseby a special place for you and what you believe we need to do to ensure it has a great future. Please put a note in your diary.

In closing I would like to pay tribute to Hilary Allison, our hardworking secretary and treasurer. I have had the privilege of working closely with her for the past 10 years and I can say without hesitation that her dedication to the role and her enthusiasm for Naseby and for this organisation has never wavered. We’re extremely lucky to have her as part of our team.

I would also like to thank our great committee – deputy chair Stu Hore (who has had some health issues this year and a recent family tragedy, but who continues to work hard for NV), Stew Francis, Andrew Stewart, Nick Simpson, Keith Edwards, Eric and Marilyn Swinbourn and Phil Ballard and his daughter Christy who was co-opted earlier this year. They each play a valuable part in Naseby Vision and don’t hesitate to give up their time to help further our goals. I’d like to ask you to show your appreciation for their efforts over the year…..

John Crawford