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[Charities number: CC49713]
Frequently Asked Questions
[Well, not necessarily frequently asked, but these questions have been asked on several occasions.]
How does your work fit in with that of Tasman District Council and Motueka Community Board?
Both of these organisations have primary responsibility to look after and develop our infrastructure and core community services. They also rely heavily in what they do on funding through rates, and so tend to concentrate on rates spend. Because they are elected every three years, it is harder for them to develop longer-term visions for the town. Vision Motueka works with the council and community board where appropriate, and sometimes offers input into council planning. But many of the projects we work on do not necessarily depend on input or approval from our political leaders.
Mission statements are usually bland and almost meaningless. Please explain yours.
The core words in our mission statement are around making a "vibrant, progressive, sustainable, healthy and resilient town". Each of these five words have been included with precise intent.
* "Vibrant": Our members want a town where residents and visitors feel alive and stimulated.
* "Progressive": We want the town to continue to improve, rather than just stay the way we are (or the way we were).
* "Sustainable": We aim for a town environment and economy which can be sustained well into the future, no matter what happens in the world at large.
* "Healthy": Our town will thrive if our people are healthy, and care for, respect and connect with each other.
* "Resilient": As our world faces bigger challenges, our town must be strong enough to survive and thrive through the development of our own community assets, reducing dependence on the outside world.
Is Vision Motueka just a talk-fest of dreamers? Is it mainly talk or mainly action?
We like to think that, given the calibre of people who help and support us (many have leadership positions in our town's business sector and social support groups), we are far removed from notions of wishy-washy dreaming. But in order to plan enduring strategies beyond just this year or this election cycle, it is vital that ideas and visions are developed into workable projects. Some of those involved in Vision Motueka are more in the thinking/talking space while most are more interested in getting on with project ideas. Together, these make a potentially great team. Our projects usually grow out of periods of thinking, talking and planning, and often collaborating with other community groups. And we hope that most of our thinking and talking eventually turns into useful action.
Are you simply duplicating work done by other existing groups in town?
We are aware and very careful to ensure that we will not "compete" with other groups in any projects, but rather will aim to help them and work with them if together we see benefit in joining forces. If existing community groups are already involved in projects that match our mission, we will either leave them to it or offer to assist or support them. Several groups - including the community board, Our Town Motueka, Keep Motueka Beautiful and the Community & Whanau Collective - already have clear areas of mission and action, and we offer our support.
Aren't you really another service organisation like Rotary and Lions?
Close, but not quite. The people in those and other service organisations in our town are social but also very active on fundraising, particularly for other organisations and projects. We tend to work mainly on our own projects or those in which we are working collaboratively with other groups. But there are a few big differences that set us aside from those service clubs: (1) We don't have membership fees, and anyone can become a member just by saying they want to be. Anyone can come to any of our public meetings. (2) Our meetings are mainly project-based; we don't have any other regular, formal social activities such as meals or rituals. (3) The only fundraising we do is for our specific projects and to maintain our administrative capability (pay our bills).
Who can join Vision Motueka?
There is no paid membership (that may change one day). Anyone who shares our vision and goals or has an interest in the future of Motueka, is welcome to attend and take part in any of our public meetings, help with their chosen projects, and/or become part of the email list so they can receive updates on what we are doing. (People on that email list are automatically "members".) The only way in which membership is "official" is that only members can vote for trustees at our Annual General Meeting.
What is the group's legal nature, structure and leadership?
As of December 2012 Vision Motueka is a charitable trust registered with the Companies Office. It is also now a Registered Charity [Charities number: CC49713]. It has a trust deed, a Board, office holders and a bank account. It is also registered with the Department of Internal Affairs as a Charity. It has an explicit mission, objectives and operating charter, which are written in this website. As a group at large, Vision Motueka is simply a collection of like-minded people who support the goals of the working group. But in order to get things done, we do have a Board of Trustees, plus some project "committees" where needed.
Aren't you just flogging a dead horse?
Clearly, we don't think so! Vision Motueka believes that our town has the resources (environmental, business and human) and the potential to become a much more vibrant town, to move on from the pessimistic and negative narrative that sometimes dominates our thinking, and to thrive. The answer lies not in getting council to do more, but to more fully utilise the energy and skills of the community and its people by supporting and coordinating each others' efforts. And we believe it's working!!
I like Motueka pretty much the way it is, a quiet and pleasant place. Do we need to stir things up?
We all love Motueka, otherwise we wouldn't be living here. And we could just leave it to roll on the way it is, and retire peacefully. However, we believe that in order for the town to be sustained into the future, we need to proactively build a better, more attractive and more resilient town, especially as the world faces increasingly tough times which won't go away. Furthermore, Motueka is not just for us, the present adults; it is for our children and their children, who we want to remain part of our community. If we sit still, they will eventually leave and the town will wither.
Financially times are tough. Your group needs money to make improvements. The council may not be able to help much. How will you make progress?
Certainly some of the projects the town needs will require funding, and the job of our community - through our elected representatives - is to ensure council sets priorities for the money it does have to match our wishes. But Vision Motueka also believes that many of the projects and changes we can set in motion require not money (or not a huge amount) but rather the people of our community getting involved and inspired. We already have a vast range of skills and dedicated people in town as well as very active volunteers, and if we can harness these in a strategic and visionary way we can achieve a great deal without the need for large sums of money. Furthermore, there are many funding streams other than Council to help with well planned projects.
Are you open to project ideas from "outside" people and community groups?
Certainly yes - but under conditions. Basically any project idea that we don't originate ourselves must (a) satisfy our purposes and charter of operation; (b) come with a promise from the proposing person or group to commit some of their resources and manpower to collaborate with us; (c) be agreed upon by our Board; and (d) find people within Vision Motueka who are available with time to work on the proposed project. We have a document of guidelines explaining our process for partnering with other groups or people on new projects suggested from outside our seed group - read it here »