First rent demand in 20 years

Two ladies working in the Bayfair Community Garden. Photo: Bayfair Community Garden Facebook.

Jo Stock’s thinking of changing the name of the Bayfair Community Garden after she received a rent demand from Tauranga City Council.

It’s the first rent demand the Bayair Community Garden has received in more than 20 years and it threatens the foodbank’s supply of vegetables, says gardener Jo Stock.

Unlike other community gardens that have flourished across the city in the decades since the Bayfair Community Garden started growing vegetables in the mid to late 90s, the Bayfair Community Garden is a not for profit supplier of veges for the foodbank.

They are not a bunch of gardeners growing for their own families. They are a bunch of pensioners with an average age of about 75, and have to scrounge together to find the $1000 they need each year to keep running.

The demand for $314 represents a third of their income, says Jo.

“They just decided to collect a bit more revenue seeing we are under the name of community garden. I’ve tried to tell them we are not in the same category, but they won’t listen.

“We will have to change the name on the lease. Apparently we have one now. I’ve never seen it, never signed it.”

When the garden started in 1999, Jo says they had a verbal agreement with the parks and reserves manager at the time. He’s not there anymore.

The garden originally started on Hillier Centre property, which was later sold to Sommervale Retirement village, forcing the move onto the Grenada Reserve. It was a horse paddock and fencing was needed to keep out the animals, says Jo.

Other people use the park without paying, she says.

The Bayfair Community Garden, just over the fence from Family Works. Photo: Google maps.

Saint Thomas Moore School uses the park because it doesn’t have grounds of its own, but then, Jo says the land was originally gifted to the council by the Roman Catholic Church in the first place.

The garden is part of the education for students from both St Thomas Moore and Arataki Primary School.

“We’ve got a group from head injury at the moment, and the alcohol and drug addiction services, we are doing a big service to the community,” says Jo.

That’s in addition to the 539 banana boxes of veges sent to the foodbank.

She’s spoken to the local councillors who have suggested the garden apply for a grant.

“And then if I go through all the hoops and I get that much, I have to apply every year for that - which is demeaning,” says Jo.

“We are old people, they shouldn’t be charging us anything.

“Why should I apply for funds from the city council for what for them amounts to about two morning teas? It’s a third of our income. We manage on about $1000. The rest is goodwill from all kinds of people.

“It’s a two-way thing, it doesn’t come down to money. It’s been a real worry. I haven’t been sleeping very well.”

Tauranga City Council has been contacted for comment on this story, and its comments will be added when they arrive.


13 Comments

Sorry, but for all you complainers

Posted on 16-03-2018 20:58 | By The Caveman

This group are using a bit of UN-USED council - actually RATEPAYER land - that they are producing give away FOOD from. They keep their garden area clean and tidy, and no the surrounding area as well! If they were not doing that, them your RATEPAYER $$$ would be spent by your great Council to keep the area tidy...........

you

Posted on 16-03-2018 03:27 | By Capt_Kaveman

voted for them now put up with it, so be careful who you vote for, i stood up for 2 elections and people failed to vote for someone born here so i gave up and i moved to oz

Really

Posted on 15-03-2018 15:18 | By Dazed and Confused

$3315ish odd dollars. The question I ask Is do we really have people on the payroll that spend their time and our money hunting out groups to send silly bills to.? These old buggas have probably saved the tax payer a heap of money, All people who eat well (read fresh) and exercise a bit (read gardening )spend less time in the health system , Hospitals etc etc They feed the poor,The are fighting green house gases in their own sweet way. They mix and mingle .Did I mention they feed the poor ...Leave the old coots to themselves and just say Ta for the good they do. Peace Out

Read the article people!

Posted on 15-03-2018 13:29 | By Lvdw

The article states "the Bayfair Community Garden is a not for profit supplier of veges for the foodbank."So, sure, close them down. The foodbank can come to all of you for its need then.The council needs to get its head out of its rear end I say.

Thats not right

Posted on 15-03-2018 12:39 | By Anonymous1

Whats wrong with you people they take nothing but give their time and effort to help people in need the council have gone beyond and scrape money from every avenue not happy at all.

Ruthless

Posted on 15-03-2018 12:29 | By overit

These folks are doing a great deal of good in the community. Veges for the Foodbank. TCC stop wasting money elsewhere and give this organisation a reprieve.

For goodness sake!!!

Posted on 15-03-2018 11:55 | By Bruja

These are VOLUNTEERS doing FREE work and giving FREE produce to needy people. Greedy, greedy Council! THAT’S what’s wrong with this area. GREED!!! MONEY first, people last. :(

tga council whats going on.....

Posted on 15-03-2018 11:49 | By knight

These people a doing good and free work for the community. After a lifetime of paying taxes this is the thanks they get for doing more. This council is getting worse and worse!! their wages should be cut to a normal wage and teach them what its like to struggle. We vote these people in and all they do is screw over good honest people, most of them should be fired and start again.

Typical council ~ I'm Disgusted

Posted on 15-03-2018 11:11 | By Chapsmate

You can’t expect any more from Councillors, growing fat on their huge incomes. Here is a group of pensioners, doing their bit for the needy ~ 359 BANANA BOXES, for goodness sake! Put your hand in your own pockets, councillors. It would only cost you about $10 each to help these thoughtful people out!

Lousy

Posted on 15-03-2018 10:12 | By Told you

What do the Council think they are doing they flog everybody and now a volunteer group that do a marvellous job,Most miserable action I have seen for awhile.

Nothing is for free

Posted on 15-03-2018 09:05 | By maildrop

Well, it is for 20 years, so Jo should be grateful for that.

Good on the council

Posted on 15-03-2018 08:34 | By mikeperro1

1000 x 20 = $20,000. Thats about the price they should be paying since they havent paid at all. There should be no exceptions for rates.

Need the extra money to pay for museum and more

Posted on 15-03-2018 07:32 | By Angels

Council have lost all sense of life.Only priority is to build lots of useless structures, raises taxes by 40%, charge helpful people.How can we impeach our current council

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