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Mahurangi Action committee nominations open

by 1 Oct 2016Committee, Meetings and celebrations0 comments

Pooh and AGM passengers, and visiting float plane

Annual General Meetings also Painless: Attending a Mahurangi Action meeting at Scotts Landing via Te Araroa and the Mahurangi Coastal Trail, and converted oyster barge—there could be worse ways to spend a November Saturday. Here, Tessa Berger, foreground, is about to be elected president after a year as vice-president, and Michael Gordon, treasurer, blue shirt, is doubtless dreaming of the day he can had over the organisation’s accounts to someone who has better qualifications than his—chief engineer of Union Company trans-Tasman roll-on-roll-off ships. Meanwhile, despite appearances, the floatplane passengers had an altogether different agenda, prospecting as they were for properties, with the assistance of Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development. image Mahurangi Magazine

It’s is a committee for people who detest them. In contrast to most incorporated societies, which typically meet monthly, Mahurangi Action meets continually, via the Mahurangi Magazine and email.

Although committees are an integral part of representative democracy, it is a rare committee meeting indeed that brings out the greatest creativity of a given group of representatives. And to attempt to draft submissions by committee is to give that evolutionarily masterpiece, the camel, a bad name.

Along with the new functionality of the Mahurangi Magazine, is the ability to improve the transparency of Mahurangi Action governance. Now, for example, every year when the date clicks over to 1 October, any pages and articles relating to the organisation will display a committee nomination form, in preparation for the annual general meeting. The meeting, which is held at Scott Homestead in early November, this year on Saturday 5th, when Mahurangi Action—established 1974 as Friends of the Mahurangi—turns 42.

Tessa Berger, Mahurangi Action’s president, has just turned 22 within days of another committee member, Caitlin Owston-Doyle, turning 21. The last time the organisation had even one member as young was when it was formed, and the current secretary, the writer, was 27. It is healthy to have a spread of ages represented on the committee, and older people should definitely not be discouraged from accepting nomination. But it is also imperative to avoid history repeating, whereby, three decades later, that solitary once-was-twenty-something still remained, more or less, the youngest member.

Probably the greatest immediate need, in respect to new blood, is to attract a treasurer to take over from marine engineer Michael Gordon. Michael manfully stepped into the breech when the organisation was re-incorporated, after losing that status—the cascading consequence of a long-serving auditor hanging up his auditing shingle. This was above and beyond the call of duty, as Michael had only just succeeded in relinquishing his long-held masterful role as shoreside regatta director. Attracting a person with accounting experience, or training, is enormously desirable. Mahurangi Action is taking on larger and larger projects, and there is also the need to gain charitable status, in order to offer supporters tax exemption for donations. Then there is the need to move to an online accounting system—Xero, of course, being the hands-down leading candidate—and it is better that the new treasurer has oversite of that project.

The chances of attracting a new treasurer in the next five weeks are, of course, fairly slim. But if not by Saturday 5 November, then definitely by 4 November 2017, the need will be deemed urgent. Because, while that milestone is years off yet, Michael has zero intention of serving as Mahurangi Action’s treasurer into his eighties.

Otherwise, those interested, but distinctly disinterested in the treasurer’s job, may rest assured that, if nominated, election is probably assured. It is up to the meeting to decide the maximum number of committee members, and currently it sits at the bare minimum required—six.

Meantime, Mahurangi Action’s milestones to date, which appear below the following nomination form, might possibly provide additional encouragement.

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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