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.



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.


Why am I not surprised?

I return from a week medieval camping to discover that the work on the Featherston Town Square has being delayed, till May…

I don’t know what to say. By the time work is scheduled to be complete (revised dates of course) we would have been walking this path for over two years.

How many new people have moved to Featherston in that time? How many people have left? How much have opinions changed? How sick are people of the delays and broken timelines?

Yes the work will start in the New Year. Which one is my question. Will we have another year of delays and revised timelines and plans?

It’s time this was all made public in a Featherston space, not in the Council Chambers in Martinborough. All the meeting minutes need to be made public. Every decision point needs to be explained and made public. All the plans need be made public.

To use a phrase from a child’s movie. I am sad mad.



It’s begun…

Work has begun on the Zen Garden.

Digging of holes, placement of large pipes and filling in of holes. That appears to be it for the day.

How exciting.

I’m interested to know if the new space will be used. Perhaps some suggestions for activities, positive please.

Although I note that they’ve dug holes, just in time for the Christmas parade…

I know, never happy. đŸ™‚

Work to Start…

work to start

Good news everyone. Work is going to start on the Town Square!

I was alerted to this very small announcement, which might be an attempt to “communicate with the people of Featherston” on page 4 of Wairarapa News, November 25, 2015.

Pity that everyone I ask doesn’t actually want the Town Square now, in the form as advertised, especially since bits have been cut out of the plan.

I propose all those people who made submissions and who do not want the “cut-down” version of the Town Square write back to the Mayor and CEO telling them so. Make it clear that you made a submission and make it clear that you are either happy or unhappy with the Town Square as presented, with the changes they’ve made because of budget constraints.

BUT… If you want to see a copy of the working plans you will have to get to Martinborough to see them.

I encourage anyone who wants something simple to happen to the Zen Garden write to the Mayor and the CEO. Email, letter, or show up and have a rant at them. Just make yourself heard.