Tuesday 9 March ~ 6.30 pm Rotary Hall, Aotaki St. Otaki
The Annual General Meeting of the Friends of the Otaki Rotunda will be held at 6.30pm on Tuesday 9 March in the Rotary Hall, Aotaki Street, Otaki. The meeting will be followed by refreshments and a presentation of old movies about the Otaki Children’s Health Camp.
Confirmation of minutes of 2020 AGM Resolution sought: That the minutes (attached) be confirmed
Acceptance of annual financial report - this will be circulated at the meeting. Resolution sought: That the financial report be accepted
Annual report from the Chair. Resolution sought: That the chair’s report be accepted
Election of Trustees
The following trustees have agreed to accept re-nomination and their current position on the board:
Di Buchan - Chair
Jock Phillips – Deputy Chair
Anthony Dreaver – Minute Secretary
Lynne Corkin - Treasurer
Warren Irving – Rotary representative
Chris Papps – Community Board representative
One vacancy to be filled: nominations for this position?
Resolution sought: That the nominations be accepted
5. Trust Supporters
Fleur Hobson - Suzie Mills Law, Honorary Solicitor
Len Nicholls - membership secretary
Anna Hollings - website manager
Philippa Lawn – Facebook manager
Janet Lang – Garden group manager
Vacancy – media/publicity manager: nominations for this position?
Resolution sought: That the Trust supporters be thanked for their contribution over the past year
6. General business/ questions/ discussion
7. Close meeting
Refreshments will be served
Historical films about the Ōtaki Health Children's Camp will be presented courtesy of Ngā Taonga Sound and Vision.
Compiled and presented by FOR Trustee and author Jock Phillips
Chair’s Annual Report March 2021
Dear Friends of the Rotunda,
This time last year we were in lockdown and our AGM had to be done by email and post. How good it is to be able to gather face-to-face for this year‘s annual meeting and enjoy a cuppa together!
Much has happened and been achieved by the Board and its supporters during the past year. We still don’t have any mandate to begin work on restoring the rotunda but we have spent the year building a solid foundation on which to begin that work and we have continued to lobby the Department of Conservation who are now the owners rather than just the managers of the health camp site, to at least carry out basic maintenance of the site while the wheels of government slowly churn. It has been difficult for the Department to do more than very basic repairs because they acquired this property without a budget allocation to accompany that. However, we are hopeful this situation will be rectified in the coming budget round.
Trustees and Supporters
Since the beginning of the financial year on 1 April, the Trust Board has met monthly. We moved from zoom meetings during the lock down, to meeting at the Otaki museum and now we meet at the camp itself. Most meetings have been attended by Doc and Heritage NZ representatives with whom we continue to have a constructive, supportive relationship.
The seven trustees have worked together well and all bar one have agreed to stand again for another year. The exception is Trevor Hunter who is stepping down after 2 years. He is now contracted by DoC to care for the camp site so he will continue to work closely with the Board and I have no doubt his input will continue to be greatly valued. I would like to take this opportunity to formally thank Trevor for his support in establishing the Trust and for all the work he has done maintaining the buildings, attending to repairs necessitated by the ongoing vandalism and for helping to keep the grounds in a reasonable state.
Last year I noted how lucky we have been with the people who have come forward to help us in our mission. This included Anna Hollings who designed our website, logo and letterhead set up our IT and on-line payment system. Fleur Hobson from Susie Mills Law 2019 Ltd volunteered to be our honorary solicitor and although we have not needed to call on her much over the past year, I am sure that will change soon as we seek for formalise an arrangement with DoC to facilitate the rotunda restoration project. Len Nicholls has been another volunteer angel taking over the management of the membership database which is now running with awesome efficiency. This year two other volunteers have stepped up to help – Philippa Lawn, who has set up and now runs our Facebook page and Janet Lang who, shocked at the state of the garden areas when she came on a tour, volunteered to set up a gardening group to smarten the place up and hopefully, by making the place look more cared for, reduce the level of vandalism. This creates another avenue for people to get involved and the gardening group now has 5 members.
We are still not much further ahead with getting decisions made on the restoration and reuse of the rotunda but nonetheless we have been making steady progress towards that goal. At the last AGM I reported that Heritage NZ had undertaken an assessment of the heritage values of the OCHC site which concluded that the site had heritage values of architectural, historic and social importance. As a result of that report, in April last year the heritage classification of Category 1 (i.e. of national importance) which previously applied only to the rotunda building was extended to cover the entire site. The report also recommended that a heritage conservation professional be commissioned to update the existing conservation plan for the rotunda. This report, commissioned by DoC and undertaken by Conservation Architect Russel Murray, has been completed and as a result we now know what work needs to be done and roughly how much it will cost - $1,380.000.
We made a submission to the KCDC Long Term Plan seeking the Council’s acknowledgement of the historic importance of the site, asking the Council to convey concern to the relevant agencies about the declining state of the buildings and asking the Council to support the Trust’s efforts to protect the site.
Relationship with the Department of Conservation
The Trust continues to work closely with the Department of Conservation regional representatives and property manager while we wait to decisions on the repair and future use of the site..
Over the past year the Board has written to the Department three times expressing our concern at the level of maintenance and the need for more security measures. The Heritage NZ report recommended that repairs and maintenance be regularly undertaken in accordance with conservation advice. In response to our letters, much needed repairs were carried out and leaks repaired. Our request for a sprinkler system in the rotunda is being investigated. We are keen to get more security lighting and surveillance cameras installed and could even be in a position to raise funds to cover these costs but this will require the Trust to have some form of tenure agreement with DoC and as yet we do not have that.
Despite having no budget allocated for the health camp DoC continues to have the grounds mowed on a regular basis and the trees and other vegetation trimmed. We look forward to continuing our sound working relationship with the Department over the coming year.
As signalled in my report to the AGM last year, while we await some movement on the decisions relating to the future use of the site, we have focussed on growing our membership base and raising public awareness of the value, not only of the rotunda, but also of the whole health camp facility. We have done this through presentations to groups, press releases, our Facebook site and by running regular tours of the site. At the time of our AGM in April last year we had 62 paid up members as well as a group of people who have an interest in the trust’s activities (such as local media, KCDC, Heritage NZ and DoC) who receive our newsletters.
Since then our membership has grown to over 150. The main driver of this significant increase has been the tours.
Over the year fellow trustee, Anthony Dreaver and I have taken 13 tours through the camp facility. These start with a historical overview followed by a conducted tour through the whole facility ending with the Rotunda. Over 150 people have taken the tour to date. This includes 2 specifically for members, 4 for the general public during Wellington Heritage Week, Kapiti Heritage Week, and Waitangi Day. We have run one for the KCDC staff followed by one for the Mayor and Councillors. Specific groups that have done the tour include Last of the Summer Wine, Kapiti Historical Society and the Otaki Women’s Network. The Otaki Amicus Club are organising at least one tour later this month (March). We also ran a special children’s tour for the winners of the Main Street Exhibition student’s quiz run by the Otaki museum.
Prior to the first tour, we needed to have a clean-up day where the facility was vacuumed, windows cleaned, historic photos reproduced and mounted, brochures produced and cleaning products installed in bathrooms and at reception.
These tours do take some time to organise and run but there is no doubt they are helping to increase the public’s awareness of the significance of the heath camp site and particularly the rotunda and the importance of restoring it. Almost always there is a gasp of surprise and amazement when people walk into the rotunda and experience the size, and wonderful qualities of this building. The quality of the experience has been compromised to some extent by the boarding up of windows in response to the vandalism but even with that, the tour participants leave with an increased understanding of its worth and possibilities. I believe the tours are key to building public support for the restoration and this support will be hugely influential in the success of our future fund-raising efforts.
In addition to the funds raised through our membership fees we are extremely grateful for the funding support we have received over the year from KCDC’s Heritage Fund, the Otaki Community Board and Historic Places Wellington. These funds have covered the cost of designing and printing the brochures, printing the large historic photo boards and maps that support the tours and publicity for the tours.
Thanks to the team
In closing, I would like to extend my thanks to the trustees - Jock Phillips (Deputy Chair), Lynne Corkin (Treasurer), Anthony Dreaver (Minute Secretary), Trevor Hunter, Warren Irving and Chris Papps - for their work and enthusiasm. And thanks to all our support team – administrators, designers and gardeners. And on behalf of the Board, thanks to you, our members. I do hope that we can count on your on-going support as we work towards a brighter future for the Otaki Rotunda as a beautifully restored community facility.
Friends of the Otaki Rotunda Trust
Minutes of the 2020 AGM
Due to the Covid-19 Virus, the formal AGM was unable to be held and as an alternative the Chair’s annual report and the Treasurer’s annual financial statement were circulated to members via the internet and a list of resolutions for them to vote on was enclosed to be returned via MailChimp.
Twenty-six members participated in the on-line voting. The following is a record of the results of that process.
That the minutes of the inaugural meeting (attached) be confirmed. Agreed by all who had attended the inaugural meeting.
That the financial report (attached) be accepted. Agreed unanimously.
That the Chair’s Annual Report (attached) be accepted. Agreed unanimously.
Election of Trustees:
The following trustees had agreed to be nominated to their current positions on the board:
Di Buchan - Chair
Jock Phillips – Deputy Chair
Anthony Dreaver – Minute Secretary
That these nominations be accepted. Agreed unanimously.
5. Neale Ames was not standing for re-election which leaves the position of Treasurer vacant.
6. That Lynne Corkin be elected to the Board and to the position of Treasurer to replace Neale Ames.