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Destination Thames

With the plethora of new organisations around our town that all appear to have noble objectives, the advent of Destination Thames as Sub-committee of the Thames  Community Board will no doubt be causing some head scratching.

It had its first meeting on 27 July, and Strat was quickly shunted to the side and replaced by John Sinclair (heritage architect) as Chair. You may remember that the idea and membership was very much Strat's baby from the outset, and his nominations, rubber-stamped by the Board, were as follows: John Sinclair, Strat Peters, Mark Bridgeman, Rex Simpson, Murray Dunwoodie, Mark Skelding, Geoff Furkett, Bruce Oliver and Errol Kingsbury.

The objectives  are set out in a paper that goes before the TCB on Monday and are as follows:

The Destination Thames Committee is a sub-committee of the Thames Community Board in accordance with the Local Government Act 2002. Its purpose has been determined as follows:

1. To propose a development strategy that will enable Thames to protect its unique historical,geographic and social qualities while accommodating and benefiting from future growth and development.
2. To consider issues relating to developing Thames as a “destination” rather than a “gateway”
3. To consider ways to better capture the huge and diverse potential of Thames - heritage, community, location, strategic assets and cultural considerations must be identified and utilised in a strategy to re-inspire confidence and improve economic performance and prosperity.
4. To consider our proud heritage and matters in relation to improving tourism.
5. To consider ways that will improve the overall prosperity of Thames by becoming the unique environmental, cultural and arts events/centre of N.Z.
6. To consider our “Identity” and individual character as a town.
7. To consider ways to facilitate the development of a coherent and co-ordinated approach amongst stakeholders, strengthen ties amongst the various community groups of interest and attract interest and investment from outside the district to Thames.

The members set out their personal objectives at the meeting on 25 July as follows:

(Sorry, this will have to wait - for some reason, staff have embedded this part of the file as 'read only' which prevents me from copying it here - why this should be made 'read only' while everything else is accessible is beyond me, but par for the course.)

Believe me, there is nothing terribly exciting about their statements.

The meeting then went on to outline what to do next, with John Sinclair introducing a new word which should cause some excitement amongst Scrabble players - it is 'charette', which is an alternative to 'workshop'. This would 'get things done by developing guiding documents, like an urban structure plan' - so that's all good. I presume that as with 'workshops', the proceedings of a 'charette' are secret, but that may need following up through the Concise Oxford.

Errol Kingsbury suggested that perhaps they should be considering Maori/ Female membership - imagine that - wow!  And Mark Skelding wants the word 'destination' reviewed - it apparently does not reflect his vision for the group. Actually, it is all very confusing between 'heritage', 'destination' and 'development', and I remain confused, and wondering whether there is universal 'buy-in' amongst this disparate group regarding the vision set out above.

So there you are, a positive beginning for another new group, and remember, they are not being paid, and we are getting all this for nothing, or virtually nothing (actually - $20,000!). That should please those who would quibble at the advent of yet another community group to tell us how to get Thames 'up, up and away'. I guess that when they have decided what it is all about, they will tell the TCB, and  the TCB will then tell us. I can't wait.

Transition Thames, Totally Thames, the After five Group, and now Destination Thames. Now all we need are some people to actually do the work - any takers out there?




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Reader Comments (1)

This is a natty way of having a beer at the ratepayers expense as its lofty ideals appear to have been achieved I would suggest, in haze of alcohol. There is no Business Association because they all started squabbling and disolved into a series of "Hissy fits" so dont hold your breath about the longevity of this bunch. The $20,000 is to pay for the pies , sausge rolls and a nice "Savvy" plus of course a nice little "all expenses paid trip" somewhere to see how others have enticed visitors to their patch. If we are not having enough visitors, is it anything to do with Thames being nearly as expensive to visit as Monte Carlo?

September 4, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterpeter feran

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