It was great having our recently inducted member,  Andrea Skews, speak to us on our Zoom meeting as new Chair of the Karori Association. Andrea has had a long involvement in residential real estate sales consultancy work and is currently working for The Professionals in Wellington.

Prior to Andrea’s address, Club Secretary Barry Taylor gave us his opening thoughts on the current Covid19 pandemic. He said he was looking for lessons to be learned from the past, statements made at the time of a world economic crisis, by one of history’s great leaders, American President, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who in 1937 said: “The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much, it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little”.

Andrea gave us a comprehensive overview of the role of the Karori Association, its current focus of community work and future projects. The Association which had its roots in Karori many years ago as a ratepayers group went into abeyance for a while but was resurrected in 2014 with Lesleigh Salinger as chair.  Andrea came on board as new chair last year and there is a committee of six members currently each with valuable skills to take the executive committee forward. She said they were an umbrella group to help give a voice to the community on a wide range of issues and projects for the betterment of Karori.

Since joining the Association, Andrea said they have been active on submissions to Council on plans for the Karori Town Centre, the development of the former Training College land by Ryman Healthcare, and the New Events Centre, noting that the Footnote Dance Coy will be the anchor tenant of the building, under the ownership of the Wellington City Council. Andrea traversed a range of other important issues , the planned removal of car parks in Beauchamp St for extended bus stops; stream and waterways management in Karori and a key concern of pollution of the Karori stream by wastewater going into the storm water system. The KRA is doing battle with the Council on this matter.

Andrea also addressed tree planting in Karori, in particular plans for Ben Burn Park, consultation with neighbours around new initiatives for the Park and working with the Council. The Karori Association is busy with its submissions to the Annual Plan to get the Council to control its expenditure and to focus on core infrastructural needs. The KA is also part of an umbrella group with 30 other residents groups in Wellington working together in response to issues with the Council. Other matters brought up included community patrols in Karori, memorials, beautification on the Karori main road and future development of the Karori Mall.

Andrea was thanked for this full enlightenment and for the opportunity for Rotary to work with the KA on future projects.

President Phil ended the meeting with a brief update on the plans for an electronic noticeboard in the heart of Karori, with future funding potential for Rotary projects from the operation of the Pickle Jar business in Parkvale Road, and seeking nominations for this year’s Karori Youth Awards.

Members were canvassed at the meeting on their support for returning to Marsden for meetings in June and for arrangements to be put in place to host this year’s General Election Candidates Meeting in Karori, in partnership with the Karori Association.