Chairmans Report – December 2018

Focus Paihia Community Charitable Trust

3 December 2018

Another busy year gone in a flash, some of the key highlights are as follows

Waitangi Mountain Bike Park

Fundraising for the completion of the Hub: this is now complete and all funds are in place for the park to be completed by the end of summer 2019. There will still be some tracks to be built but these are subject to tree rotations and timing of trees being felled rather than awaiting funds. The final round of funding has come from the PGF, as announced late last week the PGF has provided a grant of $490,000 for the completion of the Hub and final tracks along with $300,000 from Lotteries. There will be a more in depth look at costs and funding in the Treasurers report up next. I would like just like to acknowledge the support of all major funders to date 

Far North District Council                                            $70,000.00

Focus Paihia                                                               $200,000.00

Bay of Islands Community Board                               $7,000.00

Foundation North                                                       $199,995.20

Pelorous Trust                                                                 $5,000.00

Northland Regional Council                                    $400,000.00

The Paihia Community in cash,                              $113,973.00                                  

The Paihia Community in kind                                $258,579.00

Lotteries                                                                        $300,000.00

Provincial Growth Fund                                            $490,000.00

Focus Paihia Loan                                                    $121,642.24

Cash Raised                                                             $2,166,119.44

It is a phenomenal effort to raise this amount of money and I would like to acknowledge Roger Dold and Chris Williams for their efforts in achieving this, and of course Tiff and her outstanding volunteer team for spending it so well. 

Free BBQ

A new free to use BBQ has been installed on the waterfront.  This was a joint project with Lions and FP, lead by Greg Jones, thanks Greg.  This has proved to be a huge hit and there is already talk of further BBQ’s to be added. I would like to acknowledge Te Aratika Drilling Ltd for thrusting the cable under the road for us at no charge, a very community focused company, thank you Johnny and his team.

Drinking station in Horotutu

We have a new and improved drinking station in Horotutu/Our park, co-lead by Jane Banfield, Karen and Roger Young.  There is a plan to install further drinking stations along the waterfront.  This project, lead by Brita Marti, is a work in progress with FNDC, as we need to tap into their water lines.  We will keep you informed.

Revamp seaside of I-Site

The revamp of the space on the seaward side of the I-Site and around the propeller is now well established and looking good!  This included a tidy up of the gardens, new plantings and a new seating area.  Big thanks to Angela Marincovitz for leading the project, Far North Holdings for their sponsorship and all the people that chipped in to help.

Bus shelter  

The Bus shelter project in Waitangi was completed mid year, lead by Stella Schmid.  A fantastic project supported by many locals in Waitangi.  I would like to acknowledge Chris Britain for all the support he provided Stella to get this shelter built in time for the wet winter months.  Thanks to all involved, especially, I’m sure from a bunch of dry kids in Waitangi.

Community Centre

It was great to be able to support Val Mack and her team in getting the new community centre up and running.  They provide a great service to the community, well done to all involved and I would also like to acknowledge their landlords Qiuchee and Nina in their ongoing support of this great initiative.

Arts and Sports Grant

This year for the first time Focus Paihia provided a contestable fund for different groups in the area, this was well received and the following groups received support from the Trust:

  • Bella A Capella (who came 5th in the world in America, congrats)
  • Bledisloe Domain rejuvenation project
  • Bay of Islands Arts Group
  • Bay of Islands Yacht Club


Maintenance weekend, as always thanks to all involved in sprucing up the town before summer gets underway, I would like to especially acknowledge Heinz Marti and Bruce Gordon who led this and ensured everything got a tidy up, great work guys and all involved.

Exercise Station

The exercise station that was discussed at the last AGM is still moving forward. Unfortunately with almost every step forward there is one back.  Funding is in place but we are still trying to move the wheels of bureaucracy. However, the last month or so has only seen forward steps.  Watch this space – soon we hope.

Welcome sign in Te Haumi

In the next couple of days a new sign will replace the old tired one welcoming visitors to our town on Te Haumi flats, this is a joint project with Lions, Rotary and Focus Paihia led by Roger Toplis, thanks Roger, can’t wait to see it up.

I would like to acknowledge the resignation of Craig Salmon, our Environmental Trustee in September.

Craig joined the Board four years ago at the request of you, the Paihia Community.  We asked at one of the “check in” meetings what we could do differently and many said they felt an environmental rep would be a great asset… how right you all were.

Craig has brought an invaluable knowledge and balanced perspective to the Board table; I have not met many who have the ability to navigate that sometimes difficult path to see of “moving forward” while still respecting the environment. His knowledge of environmental issues is without reproach … but above all we will miss his wisdom.

Craig continues to chair Bay Bush Action (lucky them) and has recently taken on full time contracting work as well as his beekeeping, so feels he has to let go of his position on the Focus Paihia Board to ensure he is not stretched too thin, and in those future endeavours we wish Craig all the very best.

I think I can safely say on behalf of the Paihia and Bay of Islands Communities thank you Craig, for all that you have done and for all that you continue to do.  

Op Shop

As always the Op Shop has continued to be a star performer thanks to the outstanding management team of Kath Williams, Gill Secombe and Sandy Cook-Jensen, along with their tireless team of volunteers. The Op Shop has always been and continues to remain the engine room of Focus Paihia, the Trustees and I’m sure all of us living in this great town cannot say thank you enough to these wonderful people for all they do. So much of it is in the background and unseen but so vitally important to all that we are able to achieve.  So thank you all. I would like to point out not only does the Op Shop support our town by recycling items but much is passed onto other worthy charities when we have excess stock that we can’t store, it really is such a great thing to be able to do.

A little over a year ago the Op Shop moved to it’s new shop which is larger than the first site. Recently part of the shop that was provided very generously FOC from the landlords Qiuchee and Nina (thanks guys) was needed for a paying tenant, so the shop is now slightly smaller and with the growth in furniture sales we now need a larger premise. The Op Shop will  now be moving, in the next few months following a renovation, into the old TMO bar almost tripling the available space. Jack Poutsma, the Trusts accountant, is going to present shortly how that will all work and we will be looking for feedback from those present as to their thoughts on the proposed process.

Before moving on though I would just like to say thanks again to all those involved….. you all do such a vital and wonderful job.

Focus on Waste

Three well-attended meetings have been held over the winter months to support households and businesses in reducing waste in our community.  These have been ably led by Craig Salmon and Jane Banfield. There is a definite feeling around town of growing momentum to protect our environment and work towards becoming a ‘zero waste-to-landfill’ community. As the sign at the refreshed and enhanced water fountain area (another Focus Paihia project this year) by the i-Site says, “ Looking after our oceans – it’s just the way we do things around here”.  Several smaller projects have developed as a result of the community meetings. One project, still in the development stage, is to bring subsidised reusable coffee cups to town.  A second project developed from the waste audit (pictured) of town recycling bins carried out at the first meeting, thanks to Anouk van Donzel from Eco-solutions.  This has led to a project to spread 10 more recycling bins through town with clear informative labelling about what should, and just as importantly, shouldn’t be in those bins. Other ideas are in the pipeline including how to develop composting facilities to support businesses shifting to compostable packaging and the installation of 4 further water fountains spread along our waterfront. Watch this space!

Town Custodians

The Town Custodian Program is underway again thanks to the investment of FNDC. Once again Vern and his crew are keeping our town in pristine shape on those very busy summer holiday and cruise ship days. This service is vital to our town and indeed the entire district ensuring we are showcased in the best possible light. Thank you to all involved but especially Vern and his private secretary Nola for all they do.  You guys make such an important difference.

New project for 2019 – Waterfront touch stone

Work is underway on a stunning new project that will be unveiled on the waterfront, seaward side of the I-Site, during the first week of Matariki.  Tony Makiha (Mystix Studios), a local carver is donating his time and immense skills to this project.  The stone, from Waima-Tuhirangi in Hokianga, will commemorate events in Maori history in the 1800’s.  To be a symbol of peace.  Project driver, Tania McInnes.  More details will follow.

Focus Paihia Coordinator 

Tiff Holland has moved to the WMBP and now focuses that tireless energy of hers in that direction, Thank you Tiff for all you have done for Paihia and the Trust. It was a real pleasure to work with you and the great thing is we still get to have Tiff around while looking after the park. Welcome aboard to Sarah Townsend who has slotted seamlessly into the role, thank you Sarah for a great first few months.

I would like to acknowledge the other fantatsic groups we have in the Bay of Islands that help make our town what it is, a wonderful place live work and visit.

  • Business Paihia
  • Haven of History
  • Lions
  • Rotary
  • Friends of Williams House

It is great to be able to work with these groups in such a collaborative manner.

I would also like to acknowledge and thank the Trustees of Focus Paihia, 

  • Geoff Williams, Secretary and founding member
  • Ngati Kawa Taituha, Maori Rep
  • Roger Dold, Business Rep
  • Marty Robinson – Historical rep
  • Chris Williams – Treasurer
  • Stella Schmid – Environmental – welcome Stella

It is a very busy Trust these days and these people make their time available when ever requested, not just once a month at Board meetings but constantly throughout the month in order to keep the wheels of the Trust turning. Thank you one and all for all that you do.

The very last thank you, but certainly not the least goes to everyone here and those who couldn’t attend, the people of Paihia. You are an outstanding bunch of people who give so tirelessly of your time and energy, I attended a Community Board meeting a couple of weeks ago to talk about Paihia and Focus Paihia. It is fair to say that all 3 Far North Community Boards had members there and they all complimented Paihia on the way our town pulls together and gets things done. It was with great pride that I was able to talk about the community spirit that we enjoy in this area, by far the best thing to come from community projects is the togetherness that it brings…… the by-product is cool, fun spaces.

Worth noting by the way is 2019 is the 10th anniversary of Focus Paihia, best we plan a wee celebration so get your thinking caps on!

Have a safe, happy and prosperous Christmas and New Year.

Grant Harnish


Focus Paihia

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