Puhoi Community Forum Minutes: 28th March 2017


HELD AT PUHOI SPORTS CLUB ON 28 MARCH 2017 commencing at 7.30pm

PRESENT: Dustyn O’Leary (Chair), Paul Manton (Co-Chair), (Treasurer), Judith Williams, S Peter Straka, Sandra Beagley, Sorrel O’Leary, Larry Mitchell, Pat Backley, Gavin Donaldson, Guinny Sorenson, Torbin Sorensen, Peter Kamphuis, Debbie Kamphuis, Christine Mundell, Mike Swain, Jenny Neel, Val Smith, Terri Ryder, Marg Nelson, Kristin Gillies, Heston Prospere-Smith, Jenny Schollum (Treasurer), Wendy Hayton (Secretary, Minutes)

APOLOGIES: Beth Houlbrooke (Rodney Local Board), Tessa Berger (Rodney Local Board), Sheryll Titford, Brian Titford


The minutes of the meeting held on 28 February 2017 had been previously circulated. Mike Swain requested that more detail about the Saleyards Rd rezoning case be included. It was agreed that this information is included at the end of these minutes. With this comment, the minutes were accepted as being a true and accurate record.

Motion 1

THAT the minutes of the meeting held on 28 February 2017 be confirmed as a true and accurate record.

Moved: Marg Nelson

Seconded: Gavin Donaldson


  1. TREASURER’S REPORT for FEBRUARY 2017– previously circulated

Motion 2

THAT the secretarial payment for $30 was approved. It was noted that the Sport’s Club rental fee has increased as from 1 April 2017. The Treasurer’s report for February 2017 was accepted.

Moved: Dustyn O’Leary

Seconded: Judith Williams



River Walkway

Paul Manton gave an update on the walkway. The culverts have now been cleared. With the assistance of Kevin Jones (leaseholder) machinery the entrance way to Stage 1 of the walkway will be clear so that the walkway can be used, and the Council will be able to mow the grass there.

Paul and a number of others will be starting the fencing shortly and are currently gathering the appropriate materials. Paul asked that once they had the right materials the Form would grant them to go ahead and use the funds scheduled for this purpose.

Motion 3

That the Forum authorises the funds required for the fencing previously agreed for the River Park walkway and entranceway to be released to Paul Manton, once he and his team have purchased the appropriate materials. The approximate figure is likely to be between $2000-3000.

Moved: Paul Manton

Seconded: Dustyn O’Leary


Action: Paul Manton

The Arborist from the Council should also be coming to take care of the macrocarpa trees on this site around the end of March, beginning of April.

  1. Little Village Information Day – Update

The Information Day had taken place on 12 March. Marg Nelson reported approximately 60 people attending. She gave a summary of the key points that arose from the day.

It was noted that a survey by Sarah Churchouse was being circulated around the village regarding the Park and its uses. This is not a Forum survey or backed by the Forum.

Paul Manton clarified the point that it is the Forum’s role to air community views, but not to be involved in or form an opinion on local projects. It is possible that once the Council formally requests submissions on the Little Village as part of the consent process, the Forum might submit a majority view if appropriate. Paul stated that the 2008 Park Management Plan is still in place for the area at this stage.

Judith Williams reported that Gillian Seymour had temporarily offered a small section of her land (part of ‘The Oaks’) by Puhoi River Motors to Larry Mitchell and his team for his blacksmith’s shop. This shop is on skids and can easily be removed. This location is at the start of the public walkway and close to public parking. This would facilitate the goal of having the Blacksmith’s shop open for the 29 June Puhoi settlement commemorations.

Larry acknowledged that there was a great deal of process to go through prior to any possibility of the Little Village being granted any place for development. Gillian’s offer could be very helpful at this time. Even with this offer, there will be Council stipulations to meet. Larry is to bring an update on this to the next meeting.

Action: Larry Mitchell

Clarification was made that the Puhoi Historical Society supports the concept of the Little Village, it is not involved in any way with the project team management.


Paul Manton asked for ideas for future projects which might be appropriate to put forward in the review of the River Park management plan which will be occurring in the next few months, in conjunction with the Council.

  1. Scouts/Playgroup building. Judith Williams suggested there will be a need in the not too distant future for buildings to house the growing community, in particular the Scouts and the playgroup (which might free up more space for the PHS museum in its current location). She suggested the shed in the Park which used to house the A&P equipment might be extended and a track established. Dustyn asked Judith to email her with more information around this idea for further discussion.

  1. More walking tracks – Greenways is planning some linking with Warkworth and other places. It is anticipated that the River Park track go right up to meet the current track at the top of the ridge and form a true loop.

  1. Wetland – Gavin Donaldson reminded that Forum that it had been agreed that Kevin (leaseholder) would fence off, not mow and ultimately plant out the wetland area on the Park land. No progress has so far been made. He proposed fencing off this area as a start.

  1. Puhoi Little Village – Larry Mitchell asked that the list include the Puhoi Little Village development on part of the Park land.

  1. Horses/Riding – more jumps (as at present) and a further area for riding se drained with sand and flattened off. Such an area could possibly also be used as a sports area.

  1. Music in the Park area.

  1. Mountain bike/informal BMX tracks area to help get the kids of the roads.

  1. Community gardens/orchard.

Online Survey

It was agreed that Mike Swain would put up a survey on the Puhoi website on behalf of the Forum about possible future projects. Dustyn and Mike to liaise on this.

Action: Dustyn O’Leary

Mike Swain

Paul Manton cautioned that those projects which did not require too much Council input are likely to be the most successful.


  1. Community Response Group (CRG) (was Civil Defence)

Heston Prosper Smith reported that he had had a meeting with the Auckland Council which had clarified most of the issues concerning the change from community Civil Defence to Community Response Groups. The Council might be able to fund a small amount of training but there is a need for more funds for leaflets, changes to the manual and other equipment. Grants can only be obtained from organisations which are Incorporated Societies with charity status. It was agreed that the CRG should come under the umbrella of the Puhoi Community Forum, which has this status and that the Council should be informed of this. Heston is to draft a letter to the Council for the Forum Chairs to sign on behalf of the Forum.

Action: Heston Prosper Smith

Motion 4

That the Puhoi Community Forum, as an Incorporated Society with charity status, officially become the umbrella organisation under which the CRG to can operate.

Moved: Peter Straka

Seconded: Judith Williams


  1. Neighbourhood Support Group

Judith Williams provided a report to be circulated in the Minutes, as follows.

Judith has continued sending out requests for conveners for Puhoi’s approximately 21 streets and roads, with only a moderate response, but it is clear from some replies that Civil Defence and Neighbourhood Support are becoming confused in some people’s minds.

Three people from the rural and village areas of the Puhoi River catchment have kindly offered their premises as a refuge in time of flood.

Rodney Neighbourhood Support leader Margaret Faed is providing a map of the catchment as those already available on the internet are hard to read and interpret.

The people asked to act as future conveners will look after roughly 10 to 20 households, mainly by collecting the contact details of their residents.


  1. School Buses

Terri Ryder had pursued this issue and her proposals with the Ministry of Education and AT with little success. It appears re-zoning might be creating difficulties. Puhoi children are now out of zone for Warkworth.

It was suggested that she contact local MP Mark Mitchell on behalf of the Forum.

Dustyn reported that she had been talking to Russell Green (Puhoi River Motors), Gillian Seymour (Puhoi Pub) and Nick (village shop) to try to move forward with developing bus turnaround options. AT has been the sticking point with this also.

  1. Village Market Update

The last market experienced poor weather. There has been a suggestion that the present stalls in the Sports Hall which are downstairs move upstairs. There appear to be a number of logistical problems with this.

Judith reminded members that the next market on 30th April is Ethnic Day (there will be a tug of war between the Danes and the Brits among other events).

  1. 84 Krippner Road – potential sale and land use

It appears as though an unconditional offer for the property has been made, and the future owner talked to neighbours about a “noisy factory manufacturing joinery” being sited on the premises. This land is not zoned for this being a Rural and County’ settlement area. Should the new owner wish to pursue the change of land use, the process via Council is prolonged and complex. Discussion took place concerning the impact of noise in the local area. Dustyn reported she has brought the whole issue up with Local Board members Tessa Berger and Beth Houlbrooke and awaits their input.

  1. ANZAC Day arrangements

Jenny Schollum reported that the Puhoi Historical Society will be celebrating ANZAC Day as per last year. Volunteer help is needed to help set up the village hall for refreshments afterwards, and with traffic control.

  1. Inorganic Rubbish Collection date

This is in August and published on the Puhoi web site.

Saleyards Road Information (an addition to the information in the 28.2.17 minutes). In the name of the Puhoi Community Forum we made an attempt to appeal against the rezoning decision which the Council made on the land between Krippner and  Saleyards Rds. The council made the rules for

being able to make an appeal through the Environment Court very hard to meet – basically we were only allowed to appeal on decisions that the council had made which they themselves deemed ‘out of scope’ (not asked for by anyone). The basis of our appeal was that the Council should have deemed the 97 rezoning ‘Out of Scope’ because the submission by the property developer only asked for a fraction of the rezoned land he was actually given, and other changes allowed him to double the density of housing he was asking to be zoned for. 

Following the interjection of Housing New Zealand (for some odd reason), the Council decided to put our case (and a number of others) through a Jurisdictional Hearing first, to test whether we even had a right to actually appeal. Following submissions by the property developer, Housing New Zealand, ourselves and the Council, the Judge this week decided that we couldn’t appeal, irrespective of whether the council made an error in not deeming the rezoning out of scope. So this was the Environment Court Judge’s decision that the Council was within its own (in our opinion, ridiculous) rules in denying us the opportunity to appeal.

The upshot is that we never even had a chance to put our case, or enter mediation; in which we would have been able to at least mitigate the effect of the decision by reducing the density or zoning level. Our only real recourse now would be to take the case to the High Court but that’s likely to be expensive – unfortunately our opponents have far deeper pockets than us!

If anyone wants a copy of our submissions or the court judgement I can supply them.


The next meeting will be held on Tuesday 18 April at 7.30pm. Changed from Tuesday 25 April (ANZAC Day).