Aroha Island held another successful AGM ont he 23rd of August, thank you to all involved and those who attended the meeting it is great to have support. Below is the chairperson’s report from the AGM:


It has been a busy year with a few ups and downs, but looking good for the future.


The year started with our 2013 managers Tim and Helen coming up with a whole bunch of ideas for Aroha, then walking the new committee through the buildings and grounds. Thanks Tim and Helen for all your hard work and enthusiasm.


Our replacement managers Hayden and Laura have been a great find for Aroha. Both are tertiary trained in ecology and practical to boot. Hayden has sound practical and leadership skills. Laura is a good administrator and organiser.


We are conscious that our managers need time off to recharge. We have had excellent relief managers. First Rodney and Rawinea who were invaluable over the summer busy season. Rodney has continued on at Aroha helping with maintenance and daily tasks.


Evan and Lynda from DOC in Kaitaia so liked Aroha when they stayed, that they are coming for a weekend once a month to relieve Hayden and Laura.


Bruce and Marguerita have their own camper van and so far have helped in two stints and will be coming back from late November to February next year. They are ex orchardists and camp ground operators, and it shows in their practical skills and their quick adaption to the Aroha environment.


The following, are some of the projects undertaken at Aroha this year:


  • Removal of large cryptomeria trees that were dominating the area behind the shade sail.   Jeremy and Hayden ran this project.

We mulched the branches and used the mulch for the 600 native trees planted in 2013 and the 500 planted in 2014. Hayden has peeled and covered the logs in preparation for carving.   It is planned to run a carving school and carve signs and features for Aroha.


  • The dry summer reinforced the need for more water storage rather than depending on town water delivered.   Three new tanks installed – total 65,000 litres, bringing total storage to 175,000 litres.   Thanks to Pub Charity for funding the tank cost.


  • We decided our gardens around the Lodge and the Cottages needed a revamp.   Thanks to Glen from Tuatara Landscapes who provided his time and ideas free of charge.   Great bunch of volunteers turned up on a Saturday and got all the gardens planted and mulched.   As well, Hayden led a team that planted and mulched the native trees mainly in the ex cryptomeria area.   Thanks to QE11 for providing funding for the trees.


  • Volunteers and woofers painted the Lodge/Centre roof.   A small area remains to be painted once the weather improves.


  • Wade and Yvonne are leading a project to revamp the Lodge.   Currently the three bedrooms are being redecorated.
  • QE11 has provided funds to upgrade the switch board as we have out-grown the current one.
  • Our school visits and education days have continued.   Tiwai’s weaving classes have been a real success, using Aroha grown flax.   Jeremy, Kerry, Tiwai and beekeeper Mark have been invaluable in keeping school children fascinated with stories of kiwis, bees, the coast and bush, and Maori attachment to Aroha.


A special mention to David Hill (and Mavis) our original managers who did three summer terms.   David prepares and edits Aroha’s magazine from 19,000km away in southern England.   A fascinating read.   See our web site for copy.


QE11 held their May board and covenanters meeting at Aroha.   A beautiful fine afternoon, with Hayden and Laura turning on the hospitality.   Chairperson James Guild and CEO Mike Gibson congratulated the Trust on providing a successful example of a community environmental project.


Finally, a big thanks to our Trustees and committee members for their help throughout the year.


Special thanks to our retiring trustees Inge, Rolf and Jeremy.


Inge has been our treasurer right from the start.   It is fair to say she has been a big part of Aroha’s success.   Rolf has been there for Aroha and has supported Inge every step of the way.


Jeremy has been a mine of knowledge and enthusiasm.   He set up the bees, led the tree planting project, and most of all, helped with education, especially on school visits.


Thanks to Wade on being a good keen secretary who is bursting with ideas and always makes sure things get done properly.


Thanks to Yvonne and Tiwai for providing leadership when it was really needed and thanks also to Terry, Adrianne and Helen Ough Dealy for their input.


Howard Smith