There was standing room only at the first annual general meeting of the reconvened business association in Warkworth, now known as One Warkworth, held at The Bridge House on September 21.
Interim chair Chris Murphy was elected unopposed as the head of the association for the next 12 months.
In his report, he acknowledged that securing sufficient resources to run the association was a priority, which had also been identified by the previous committee.
“Warkworth is predicted to grow over the next 20 years, with Council believing that not too much will change in the immediate five years,” he said. “But, at least 1700 dwellings will be developed in that time. Warkworth needs to be ‘the master of its own destiny’ as growth occurs.”
He said when the interim committee took over in May after the failed Business Improvement District (BID) ballot, it launched a serious membership and sponsorship drive. This had resulted in the association now having around 130 members, as well as 20 sponsors who had each contributed $3000. One part-time employee and one contractor had been engaged, a new website was about to be launched and a business plan developed.
The previous committee was thanked for the work they had done on behalf of the Warkworth business community.
Committee member Mark Macky told the meeting that the Business Plan had four key objectives for the next year:
- Unite the Warkworth business community
- One strong voice for business and the wider community
- Help member businesses to grow
- Build a strong membership and funding base
The priority issues were:
- Warkworth Structure Plan
- Roads and car parking
- Buy Local campaign
- Revitalise the CBD
- Fibre connectivity
Mr Macky said a sub-committee would be set-up under each issue and he encouraged members to get involved.
“If you have a particular interest in one of these areas, then please put your hand up,” he said. “We are going to need buy-in from all members.”
Town planner Burnette Macnicol gave a broad-brush presentation on what a Structure Plan might address and the need to get started on it as soon as possible. Efforts were already being made to secure some seed funding from Auckland Council.
A committee of 11 was elected on the night. They were: Chris Murphy, Mark Macky, Lance O’Callaghan, Liz Bays, Dave Morrison, Jannette Thompson, Burnette Macnicol, Hugh Harvey, Jan Hutcheson, John Kyle and Jacqueline Ironside.
The committee is also keen to recruit a member from the town’s retail sector.