Back in the media spotlight

Four months on from my last post and the Zen Garden is back in the media. Still no progress. At least it got a weed spray and a tidy up.

https://times-age.co.nz/little-progress-eyesore/

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A long time…

It’s being a long time since I’ve posted about the Zen Garden. It’s now formally called the Featherston Town Square, but others call it the Squircle or other such names. It’s been over a year since it was opened and its not used much. Over the summer “First Fridays” are running again. Which is awesome fun.

I’m going to try and keep track of events and further developments in the Zen Garden. The lot next door remains empty with the primrose of development. The Featherston Camp Sculpture will soon appear on the edge of the Garden. The Mini Trains have added to their shed and are soon to build a mini putt course.

Like I said, things are afoot.

Summer Activity

The Town Square or squircle has seen some activity over the Summer. These lovely people https://featherstonfirst.com/ have been running fun events. They were missed on the first friday in March. Autumn you see.

The South Wairarapa District Council have proposed usage guidelines on page 111 of this document; http://www.swdc.govt.nz/sites/default/files/FCBAGPack31Jan17.pdf. I strongly encourage anyone interested in running an event at the Town Square to take a look and let the Community Board and the Council know what you think.

These guidelines will not stop the public using the Town Square in an ah-hoc manner.

There is some discussions on Facebook about starting up a craft market there. Which as a crafts person I’d love to see. Somewhere I can sell my books would be great.

What else can the Town Square be used for?

  • A outside movie theatre?
  • Fun events?
  • Community gatherings?
  • a starting point for treasure hunts?

Have a think and share.

Grand Opening with side of Shhhh!

The dramas with the Town Circle Opening continue!

The Wairarapa Times Ages has just gotta keep up! Things move fast in Featherston, although not as fast as the Council doing a partial about face on the reason the opening is at 7:30 am.

For three days the reason for the 7:30 am start has being to reduce electioneering. Now, after what must be hundreds of calls and thousands of FB posts the Wairarapa Times Age reports in its article “Grumbles over early morning blessing” that it’s for the blessing. Which I’ve been told should be done at dawn, but is been done an hour later. So, yea, not sure what to think.

Come on, make up your mind! Pick a story and stick to it!

A Community Led event has been organised by a few proactive and lovely people. Good on them I say.

I also got wind of a horse show on later that same day that a certain person usually enters, and having shown Arab horses with my mother, I know an early start is the best start.

I’m still showing up in my PJs with coffee and a packet of TimTams.

See you there.

Zen Garden Opening

It’s official, the Featherston Zen Garden aka the Town Circle will be officially opened by Her Worship the Mayor on Saturday 1 October at 7:30 am.

Indeed, you are not going blind, I’ve not typed it wrong, 7:30 am start. For a blessing and a speech!

Apparently it’s to stop electioneering, but really I think it’s to limit the heckers on what must be the worst run project I’ve ever seen. A consultation process run so badly that so many people didn’t even bother to respond as the document was “written as a done deal”. No follow up consultation when things had to change due to budget constraints. AND it went over budget anyway!

If I’d run a project like this when I was working I would have been fired!

So the opening will be a nice little opportunity for Her Worship the Mayor in her electioneering campaign as she contests the Regional Council seat. Pity it won’t make a lick of difference.

I suggest that if you think the space could have been used in a better way you come along and heckle. Then we can go for coffee.

Grump.

a long break

I’ve been away from this topic for a long while. I have continued to take photos of the Town Square progress; which I will endeavour to upload. I think once the work started I became completely disillusioned with what was happening. For me it’s a vanity project. We don’t need it, we can do without it. The space can be better used for commercial space, which we need. The Council processes around that have being very “he said vs she said”. Claims that offers of development didn’t reach desks, and then talking to people in the Community who did make offers of development; I can’t tell if its incompetence or something more sinister.

So I stopped writing because I was too disappointed about it.

I live in a great little town. But as always in little towns some people consider themselves big fish. For me having lived elsewhere big fish in little towns are often just small fish elsewhere. There seems to be a certain amount of silo building around, not just inside the Council but in the town itself. Too many projects and not enough people to do them justice. Too many people throwing their big fish weight around and not enough asking of questions and  listening to the Community. Of course most of this unpleasantness could have been avoided if all the documents relating to the Featherston Zen Garden had being clear and transparent.

Lets hope the incoming Council, whomever it’s made up of is willing to go the distance to ensure we have that transparency and the public consultation we all so desperately want. Not just to be heard, but to feel that we have being heard.