Presented to the Annual General Meeting by Martin Taylor, 12 August 2018
I’m pleased to report we’ve had a very active and successful year. Your small but perfectly-formed committee, assisted by a terrific group of volunteers, has managed to tick off several of the goals we set ourselves.
Those goals included much-improved communications, building relationships with people and groups important to Stonefields, and putting on activities that bring the community together, both for fun and to ensure we’re informed and engaged in what’s happening in our neighbourhood and city.
On the upgraded communications front, we’ve posted 300 items of local news in the past year — there’s a lot happening in Stonefields! We’ve used our Facebook page, monthly email newsletters, website and several printed flyers. Usage of these channels has grown, too, with our Facebook page followers almost doubling to more than 800. And association membership is up 22% as a result of more active communications, more events and membership drives.
We’ve also bumped up live activity. This AGM is the eighth event we have organised in the past year. It includes four public meetings, Halloween and Christmas lights competitions, and two big family day events.
We’ve now got a well-oiled machine that launches into project management, volunteer coordination, fundraising, prizes and sponsorship, publicity, health & safety, event-day staffing, finance, and the host of things that go into making events happen. It’s a big commitment in time and energy from our twenty or so volunteers and I’d like to acknowledge that with a very big thanks today.
We’re especially pleased with the family picnic day we held in conjunction with the opening of the Heritage Trail which attracted about 300 residents on a rather cold day in November; and the Stonefields Family Market Day that we organised with the Stonefields Market businesses in late May. It drew close to 2000 people for a great day of family fun and freebies. More promotions and community events are planned, including another Family Market Day next February.
I’d like to mention two other projects we’ve been working on. First, the SRA has been an active member of the group working on a community hall for Stonefields. Good progress has been made and a special thanks to our secretary Barry Goodey for leading our side in this excellent initiative, working with David Ealson. Secondly, we established the Pest Free Stonefields initiative as a first step in our plans to improve the environment in and near Stonefields. More on that from coordinator Stephanie Reid shortly.
As well as the larger projects, there is a lot of good work that often goes unnoticed as residents raise issues with us of street lighting, traffic, buses and bus stops, misbehaving dogs (or dog owners), security, covenants and numerous other issues that pop up from time to time. We investigate each one and the committee works with the right people and organisations to get them resolved.
The new committee has developed excellent relationships that have been essential to making sure we can get things done and that we know the right people and organisations to help us when issues arise. These include the Ōrākei Local Board, Auckland Council and Ōrakei councillor Desley Simpson, Todd Property, Auckland Transport, Stonefields School, and our local Stonefields Market businesses.
A special shout-out here to Todd Property and Barfoot & Thompson who have shown great willingness to support the community as significant sponsors and supporters of our events and activities.
I’d also like to acknowledge the continuing support of the Ōrākei Local Board, both financial and in the time and willingness of chairman Kit Parkinson and board members to engage with us on issues, large and small, that affect Stonefields residents; and a special acknowledgement of the countless hours that Colin Davis has put into Stonefields since its inception, and continues to do so.
So, looking to the year ahead, we’re planning more events for residents. One, already noted, will be an even better Family Market Day, scheduled for 10 February. We’re also in the process of securing funding for an ambitious summer evening live music event staged in our magical Wetlands, using the natural amphitheatre under the maunga as a backdrop. We’re planning to add a little extra cheer to Christmas this year. And there will be more initiatives from our environment group, hopefully including something for the gardeners.
And my thanks, as always, to our committee and volunteers. If you want to join us, get in touch! The more of us there are, the more we can get done.