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The Nelson Photo News



Forum And Aginum

The word "mismanagement" was freely tossed around recently by some members of the Nelson City Council, during discussion on the operations of a voluntary organisation concerned with promoting Nelson. Now we, on behalf of the children of Nelson and visitors to Nelson, of many volunteers, business concerns, service clubs and members of the Nelson Society of Modellers, return the compliment.

We Accuse The Nelson City Council Of Rank Injustice.

Why? We'll begin at the July meeting of the Council. Here, the Council confirmed recommendations put to it by its culture, sport and recreation committee chaired by the deputy-Mayor, Cr Eyre. The Council had been asked by Mr J. W. Sands (not a resident of Nelson or the district), for permission to operate candes on the model yacht pond at Tahunanui from December 26 until the end of the school holidays. The committee recommended that Mr Sands should have the Exclusive right to use the pond commercially or for hire from December 16 to January 15. The committee declined His request for notice boards preventing private craft from using the pond during this period, "Such Control As Is Necessary," it said, "To Be Effected By Supervision."

In other words, between December 16 and January 15, No Person other than Mr Sands can use the model yacht pond. No child can sail his Christmas yacht in the pond, or put his own canoe in the pond, or paddle in the pond. And the greatest injustice of all, the modellers' society, which has put all its money into improving this pond and other amenities close by, is barred from operating its small paddle steamer "Navy Lark" for the most lucrative period of the holiday season. The society does its work for Nelson. Mr Sands, apart from the 10% he must give the Council, will take his profits from the pond out of Nelson when he leaves after the holiday season.


The big photograph on the opposite page was taken when members of the society and business concerns in Nelson worked like beavers to reclaim in 1S59 what was then a slush pond. So bad was it that the then Council had decided to fill it in when the society dissuaded it. With the help of many volunteers, it created a model of a model yacht pond (left). Each year the society has looked to its various activities (not the least of which was the "Navy Lark") to raise finance for improvements to the pond and the area. Now, one source of revenue is to be denied the organisation.

The Council has the right, under the terms of the lease, to do as it has done. But we ask - is what it has done Right? Did Cr Eyre and her committee think of the thousands of little ones too tiny to paddle their own canoes (at four times the price of a ride on the "Navy Lark") who will not now be able to ride in this novel little boat? And we would like to know if this is not the thin end of the wedge? We note that Mr Sands has applied for the lease of the pond after the present lease expires on September 30 next year. And the Council has "noted" his application. The club, we understand, has the right of renewal, but we greatly fear the Council is looking to the development of this area and that the modellers might be asked to seek a new home.

Do we seem steamed up about this? You bet your life we are! We do not object to Mr Sands operating his canoes throughout "this period. He thought up the idea and good luck to him. But we do object to his having been granted the Exclusive rights to the pond at the expense of the people who put it there. That's our objection. We object also to the apparent underhanded method used by the Council in varying the terms of the lease. The Council has the right to do with the pond what it likes during the period under discussion, but Only After Consultation With The Society. And there was no such consultation, we understand.

And so, unless the Council is prepared to relent, the "Navy Lark" above is out, and only the canoes (below) can use the pond over the season. How do you feel about this? An injustice, you say? Then don't tell us. Tell the Mayor and deputy-Mayor.