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Sunday 25 November 2012 annual general breakfast

by 2 Nov 2012Meetings and celebrations0 comments

Bloomberg Businessweek cover, It's Global Warming, Stupid

Had to Happen: Not only was hurricane Sandy precisely the extreme weather event that climate scientists have consistently been warning of, but the cynical 1990s campaign catchcry has finally been appropriated for a noble purpose. image Bloomberg Businessweek

Mahurangi Action Incorporated Annual General Meeting
Venue Old Masonic Hall Baxter Street Warkworth
Format Coffee and croissants Gold-coin koha
Date Sunday 25 November 2012
Time 9.30 for 10–11am

Ahead of last year’s regatta, Mahurangi Action was incorporated, to continue the organisation formed in 1974 as Friends of the Mahurangi.

The specific spur was the need for the Mahurangi Regatta consent application to be lodged by an incorporated society.

Friends of the Mahurangi’s incorporation had lapsed some years earlier, after the organisation failed to attract a treasurer to submit the requisite annual financial statements. Like many incorporated societies, Friends of the Mahurangi had struggled with its annual financial statements since changes in the law made the process of auditing accounts much more onerous. In fact the accounting practice that had performed the task, gratis, almost from the group’s inception, swore off auditing work altogether.

Fortunately for incorporated societies, the option is now provided for annual financial statements to be other-than audited. Mahurangi Action’s rule, in this respect, is lifted directly from the Companies Office sample set of rules:

No review or audit of the annual financial statements is required unless a review or audit is requested by 5% of the Members at any properly convened Society Meeting.

The society’s rules, in fact, are adopted word-for-word from the Companies Office sample, with the exception that Chair/President is replaced with President throughout. Where Mahurangi Action’s rules are unique, of course, are its purposes:

To take actions to enhance, protect and restore the environment of the Mahurangi for the benefit and enjoyment of the general community…

In regard to taking actions, aside from its successful application to the Rodney Local Board for assistance with the Mahurangi Regatta, Mahurangi Action has just lodged applications with the Sustainable Farming Fund and the Rodney Environmental Education Fund for $341‍ ‍400 and $4700 projects respectively. However, Mahurangi Action’s treasurer needn’t lose sleep over responsibility for hundreds of thousands of public monies. Should the scheme receive approval, Tāne’s Tree Trust will be the party contracted to the Ministry for Primary Industries. The trust has vast experience managing such projects, and paid staff, leaving those involved with the work on the ground to get on with, in this case, the Mahurangi Farm-Forestry Trail.

Michael Oppenheimer

Forewarned Failed to Forearm: Princeton University’s Professor Michael Oppenheimer at the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming briefing in 2010. His topic: Extreme Weather in a Warming World. Earlier this year he warned that New York ‘is now highly vulnerable to extreme hurricane-surge flooding.’ Despite Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s climate-action credentials, New York was still woefully unprepared for the 4.2-metre storm surge that drowned so much of its subway system. image Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming

In addition to the treasurer and president already mentioned, a secretary and at least three other committee members are stipulated. The fifteen who signed the application for incorporation currently forms the steering committee, with the writer acting as secretary, and that absolute treasure Michael Gordon, on top of his two decades as regatta shoreside director, is acting treasurer. On Sunday 25 November, Huawai Bay resident and tangata whenua Temepara Morehu will open the meeting with a mihi, and he might even be persuaded to chair it…

Not in the rules, are the membership fees. A meeting of the steering committee in April discussed the pros and cons of a nominal versus substantive membership fee. For its nearly four decades, the group’s subscription has been decidedly nominal. It was decided that, subject to ratification by the annual general meeting, to stick with nominal—$10 an individual; $20 a family. Aside from the question of affordability, numbers count when it comes to efforts to represent the community. On the back of the launch of Jade River : A History of the Mahurangi, the membership swelled to 350—a useful target for the new committee.

The choice of venue, the Old Masonic Hall, is deliberately chosen both to support the venue but more importantly because it is about as close to being neutral in terms of being neither Mahurangi East nor Mahurangi West as is possible, short of holding it aboard the Jane Gifford—perhaps a plan for 2014 by which time Mahurangi Action will be celebrating 40 years of advocacy for the harbour and its hydrological catchment.

Although late November is an inexcusably busy time of the year to hold an annual general meeting, it is hoped that friends of the Mahurangi will make allowances, provided the acting secretary makes amends. The format, coffee and croissants from 9.30 of a Sunday morning, is one that has worked well in the past.

Whether this will be sufficient inducement on the 25th

Mahurangi Action milestones mark some significant achievements

Founded, as Friends of the Mahurangi
Tribunal recommends Warkworth wastewater be excluded from the Mahurangi River
Revived the Mahurangi Regatta
Supported Mahurangi West-led campaign that saw off plans to build a road to Te Muri and park up to 4000 cars behind its beach
Conducted poll on aspirations for Mahurangi in 25 years
Publication of Dr Ronald Locker’s 416-page Jade River : A History of the Mahurangi
Successful High Court defence of the public’s entitlement to access Jamieson Bay
Scotts Landing – Scott Homestead boardwalk
Mahurangi Regatta Ball, celebrating the 150th anniversary of Warkworth’s founding
Revival of the Mahurangi Regatta Prize-Giving Dance
Leading role in supporting Auckland Regional Council’s Mahurangi Action Plan
Mahurangi Magazine goes online
Establishment of first scientifically designed trials demonstrating that forestry-style nursery methods could slash the cost of raising indigenous plants
Leading role in developing Mahurangi Action Plan: A strategic plan for the catchment 2010–2030
With property holder, establishment of the Mahurangi Farm-Forestry Trail
Warkworth Sediment Improvements Pilot Phase I
Preservation of car-free Te Muri, forever
Culmination of 42-year bid to see council commitment to exclude Warkworth wastewater from the Mahurangi river and harbour
First Mahurangi Regatta held with new, long-term principal sponsor, Teak Construction
Submitted only proposal—for two local boards to replace the current Rodney Local Board—deemed a reasonably practicable option to Auckland’s governance arrangements
Inaugurated, with One Warkworth and supported by Mahurangi Matters, the Warkworth Town Hall Talks
Initiated, with philanthropist member, Mahurangi-based green-lipped mussel reef restoration research project
Initiated, with the Mahurangi River Restoration Trust, ‘Up the Mahu!’
Provided snug harbour for chart—Coastal Heritage Art—competition for schools


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Membership fees: $10 for individual; $20 for family; and, bless them, many also make a donation.


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