Western Park Levin New Zealand 200 x 130 Amity Field Open Public Space

The Campaign to Keep the 200 metres x 130 metres Back Feild as Open Grass Space Available for the General Public with 172metres x 111 metres between tree trunks.

Western Park Levin Is Under Threat Of Exclusive Use.

Above Western Park's back field in long grass before hay mowing in December 2008

Below The objective

9 July 2009

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Update 9/7/09:- From speaking to bowling club members, there seems to be no interest in clubs amalgamating at Western Park as suspected below. However, will the Council now take this as a green light signal to proceed with planning a Council housing scheme? That would be just not on for Levin's best future. Nevertheless, from the secret ways that Council seems to use at times, one could be forgiven for suspecting that a Council housing scheme is being looked at.

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Western Park's 172 metres x 111 metres  of only grass between tree  trunks, is essential to keep for Levin's North Western Community as well as the wider Levin Community.    

Levin has four sections divided by Queen and Oxford Streets. The North Eastern sector has Kennedy Drive, Mairie Street  and Vincent Drive reserves, the South Eastern has Playford, Solway Street, Morgan Crescent, Lincoln Place and Jubilee parks, the South Western has Weraroa Reserve and Donnelly Park and the North Western has Western Park and Argyle Avenue Reserve. The already reduced Western Park is vitally important to the adjacent residents. 

Sadly, more plans are being hatched to now close off most of Western Park to the public. Bowling clubs have met at the invitation of the Horowhenua District Mayor, His Worship Brendon Duffy, to see his plans for moving the Levin Central Bowling Club there. Other clubs aren't interested.This scheme must be cancelled immediately.

Scheme plans are public, to turn the back field into a lawn bowling and croquet centre, perhaps to free up the Central Bowling Club's sought after land, for retail development. This makes more sense of the no mow policy, as it could also be to discourage use. These new plans might be riding on a perceived under-used park, where long grass impedes running. This would be grossly unfair. The official Horowhenua District Council reason for the no mow policy is economic savings. It may be to discourage use too. However, lawn bowling at The Levin Central Club is in good heart according to its Secretary. Could this latest investigation mirror aspects of the popular 2002 Australian lawn bowls saga film, Craker Jack?  Click  http://www.allmovie.com/work/278038

These moves must be halted by those who know that Western Park is a youth park. It always has been and it always will be. Lawn bowls and croquet are predominantly mature persons' sports. Western park was originally set asside for a school site by the Government, so it's rooted in youth development. It deserves to be dedicated to world peace, especially the back field as the open grass area, 200 metre x 130 metre Amity Field.

This is a project for West Side Youth to show what they're made of. As law abiding peace activists, they can initially support this project to expose severe shortcomings in correct procedure over Western Park's Recreation Reserve status under the Reserves Act  1977. In July 2000 the Council agreed that it be registered as a reserve with the titles held by the Crown, but it wasn't. Worse still, the writer was assured by the parks manager that it was registered with documents to prove it. When no Central Government record of this was found by the writer, in January 2009, the Council then discovered that it wasn't registered. However, when challenged that it was certainly an urgent matter to attend to, Council's response was that no target date could be given. Reserve Status registration for Western Park is vaguely said to be  "recorded as a task project for completion this year" by the Council. That's bad. This neglegence might make it easier for Council to plan new uses, but democracy demands full reserve status as a truly public park. It's already been approved by Mayor and Council. Action was due straight after that meeting, not eight years later.  Council officers are controlled by such decisions. That was back in July 2000, for goodness sake!

We now know that there's no desire to register it because it would have hampered previously secret plans to site bowling and croquet centre buildings there. It's now been exposed. When the Crown holds titles of registered parks, no building or development can proceed without Crown approval. That means a thorough public submission process with a hearings committee. The five titles for Western Park are still in Council hands. They shouldn't be. They decided to promptly give them to the Cown in July 2000.

Latest plans were said to be at the exploratory investigation stage but, what is the Horowhenua District Council planning to do here?

These exploratory investigations may well have now developed into something more. Could these exploratory discussions be to prove that other sporting use was not enthusiastically taken up by clubs so that another Council owned retirement village, like Cambridge Park Village, might proceed? Future options in 10.0 of the July 2000 management plan mentions bowling and croquet. A dog walk area is in 9.0  Public Comment

Just think, the HDC have been going to sports clubs to expose a plan that would effect close-by residents, yet in a meeting with a senior Council Officer, the writer, Richard Tingey was told that these plans are secret. They certainly aren't to the club officials being approached though. That's just not how a decent council behaves towards its ratepayers. They should be approached first. If they say no, the scheme halts. Moreover, the plan should be notified at the earliest to all Levin ratepayers before the initial exploratory scoping, especially when there was no 2005 Management Plan. We still work off the July 2000 one. Public parks belong to the people. That's why titles of registered reserves go to the Crown for safe keeping. 

Here is the initial proof of troubling moves , via an email from Councillor David Allan to local resident Richard Tingey, who lives about 200 metres away from the park.

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Western Park‏
From: David Allan (davidallan1@gmail.com)
Sent:Tuesday, 9 June 2009 9:03:21 p.m.
To: Richard Tingey (cavewood88@hotmail.com)
Hi Richard,
 
I undertook to make enquiries about future plans for the above.  I have done so  (with the CE) and can confirm that 1. there are absolutely no plans to sell any part of it; 2. Council is exploring its potential to consolidate Levin Bowling clubs there on the one site.  I understand you have floated the idea of a mini-golf but that officers have reservations...?

--
Regards,

David
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 Below Front field of Western Park, Levin. The 200 x 130 metre back field, to be hopefully known as Amity Field, is behind the Petanque Horowhenua courts and club rooms. It's a beautiful area surrounded by mature trees, with a small creek and market gardens on the north boundary.

 

Here are some facts.

♦The July 2000 Western Park Management Plan requires that the area be registered as a recreation reserve under the Reserves Act 1977. It's not been. Nor is there any urgency to do so eight years later. The land titles are still held by the Council whereas, they should be with the Crown to protect the public interest. It's why we have reserves. Councils are thereby not able to secretly deal over them as with land they hold the titles of. Cambridge Street Park wasn't a registered reserve and became the housing area it is, free of early public consultation.

♦Consultation on parks is far more than announcing a finalised, Council approved building plan for comment. It's about total open-ness and following a management plan that's statutorily held by the Minister of Conservation to ensure it's terms are met. Western Park has a Council approved management plan that's claimed to be with the Minister but, when it's not registered as a recreation reserve, is a little hollow, to say the least. 

 

 

 

 

♦An area was fenced off for the Petanque Courts, after this July 2000 Management Plan. It went ahead free of public consultation because reserve status wasn't and still isn't, registered. Council hold the titles and they shouldn't. It's treated as a Council owned property for Council to dramatically alter as they wish. The Petanque centre has severely restricted public use of the park as an open area from Tiro Tiro Road. The remaining 200 x 130 metre area must now be preserved as an open grassed area as Amity Field. The Petanque Court area was an unfortunate carve-up as a leased-out fenced-off exclusive use area. It must be the last. It's now time to let our voices be heard:-

"The Amity Field, 200 metres x 130 metres, open grassed space, is for West Side Youth".

♦Councillors and Council officers openly state that they prefer a non reserved status because they have more flexibility, without recreation reserve status restraints on their schemes! Reserve means reserved for the public. There is currently a retired from mowing order on the 200 metres x 130 metres back field to save mowing costs. Please see http://www.perm.webs.com/  

♦It now only gets the hay mower and baler. What an insult to a public park. It's all the more insulting when Council have a luxurious new administration building. Where are their priorities?  

Click  http://www.freewebs.com/levn/hdchqbuilding.htm

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Using the benefit of hindsight, we can only assume that the plans for a lawn bowling and croquet centre on Western Park would have developed under the secrecy regime that allowed the Petanque Courts to develop and severely disrupt public use of Western Park. This process must halt forthwith. We need total open-ness to ensure the park's best future for West Side Youth.

The whole of Western Park must  be registered immediately as a recreation reserve, as already demanded by a previous Mayor and Councillors, and a long term Council commitment made to keep the 200 x 130 metre back field as an open grass area. This is best called Amity Field as a place of friendship and international peace.

The Crown securely hold the titles of registered recreation reserves on behalf of the citizens of an area. Council undemocratically holds those of Western Park. Levin is a democracy. It's not a dirty word. It means government by the people of Levin. Councillors are there to represent the active public voice, not to be that voice as they see fit. Western Park is a public park in theory only, because recreation reserve status has yet to be registered on it.

It's sad that it's not being done, to more easily enable secret Council plans to proceed for shifting fenced-off exclusive activities to the park, as happened with the Petanque Courts' creation.

Public consultation after the plans are finalised is not democracy. The public must be involved now, at ground level, to allow informed discussion and opposition to the exclusive use investigations and schemes. It's no use waiting for plans to finalise before taking action. It would be too late. All plans to disrupt the 200 metre x 130 metre open grassed area must be halted in the name of justice for youth aspirations.

It's now time for public action over what's left as open public space in Western Park. The back 200 metre x 130 metre area must now be declared Amity Field as a permanent open grassed area for general public use, most of the time, as at present.

The 200/130 Amity Field public space declaration ceremony would be the first step. It would be unofficial, though seriously motivated for future confirmation by Council. There needs to be a group of about twenty people to meet at the park on a Sunday afternoon, for twenty minutes, for a  commitment and  dedication to the ideals of this website and http://www.perm.webs.com/. The time and date will be notified on this website when decided upon.

Richard Tingey

Levin

cavewood88@hotmail.com

May Peace Prevail On Earth

http://www.worldpeace.org/

http://www.goipeace.or.jp/