Sav­ing the Palace

The Northland Age - - Opinion -

Be­fore the meet­ing at (Taipa,) I re­marked to John Carter, “I need some­thing to do.”

He replied, “Go get your ham­mer”.

Nuu, with her co­pi­ous notes, sat at the head ta­ble while I went to the back, ul­ti­mately sit­ting next to Mar­ion Walsh as she took min­utes for Win­ston Peters. Nuu and I had de­cided not to speak, but to lis­ten.

As the meet­ing went on, I was sur­prised by how ac­cu­rately in­formed the speak­ers were. I still have the min­utes, cost es­ti­mates, and even a por­tal frame di­a­gram that we did when we met at The Palace four years ago to de­ter­mine a path for hav­ing her con­veyed to The Oruru and In­land Val­leys As­so­ci­a­tion Inc.

I have re­viewed the OPUS Re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion draw­ings. I have read the en­gi­neers’ re­ports, the 03/07/18 Oruru meet­ing min­utes, and the 23/10/18 busi­ness plan.

Mon­day, Nuu and I vis­ited The Palace. Given that the floor is solid and the framing is na­tive tim­ber, the fo­cus should be on the struc­tural anal­y­sis by Fraser Thomas. If those struc­tural plans are im­ple­mented, mak­ing The Palace struc­turally sound, will the coun­cil di­vest her to the Oruru As­so­ci­a­tion?

The last re-roof­ing was done by vol­un­teers. I re­mem­ber when we met at The Palace to dis­cuss pur­chas­ing the iron. I was stand­ing next to Cr Fiona King (Cr Felic­ity Foy’s mother), and we dis­cussed coun­cil good­will. This is again about coun­cil good­will or “grumpi­ness”.

As far as a work­ing bee, three builders of­fered to help as they ex­ited the meet­ing.

The pass­ing of time with a lim­ited duty of care has left The Palace look­ing a bit hag­gard. She needs a face lift and a struc­tural up­grade, but she is far

more sub­stan­tial than “nails hold­ing hands”.

The com­mu­nity con­sul­ta­tion at Taipa was well sub­scribed, and although the com­ments were usu­ally pas­sion­ate, they were also gen­er­ally gra­cious and for the most part spot on.

Like oth­ers, we have fond at­tach­ments to The Palace. In the 90s, for a big night out, our fam­ily would pack up and go to the movies. Be­fore health and safety reared its con­cerns, Richard would sit on the bal­cony rail­ing and cri­tique the night’s en­ter­tain­ment.

If the de­ci­sion is to do the Fraser struc­tural work, the per­mit will need to be signed by a site 2 LBP. On 11/04/14 I can­celled my AOP 2 and car­pen­try li­cence (BP100594). On 15 /04/14 a let­ter was is­sued re­ceipt­ing my vol­un­tary can­cel­la­tion and of­fer­ing me the op­por­tu­nity to reap­ply at any time. If I can be re-li­censed, my ef­forts would be fil­ing FNDC ap­pli­ca­tions, struc­tural su­per­vi­sion and re­spon­si­ble man­age­ment. I am do­ing what John ad­vised. I am pick­ing up my ham­mer.

Sav­ing The Swamp Palace will be a heroic achieve­ment.

MIKE WARD Doubt­less Bay

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