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Woodhill Sands Trust - Trust Talk

Woodhill Sands Trust - Trust Talk

Jenette Bell
/ Categories: News

Trust Talk is a news update from the Woodhill Sands Trust to keep our community up to date with developments at Woodhill Sands. 

In this update, we cover the changes that are taking place in our operations team and report on progress with the resource consent application.

We are in recruitment mode. This will mean some changes in the way we work at Woodhill Sands, and for some of you there might be a period of adjustment. Please be patient as we get our new team members in place and they come up to speed.  We have employed Alex Stradwick to provide additional grounds support, working alongside Stu Rogers. A number of you have already commented about how well the venue is looking, so the additional support Alex is able to provide is already making a difference.

Alex has been President of Kaukapakapa Pony Club and is an experienced XC course designer, as well as a Diesel mechanic with an agricultural client base; a great mix of skills and experience for our needs.

He will be providing event days grounds support.

There will be some new faces at the Kiosk as some of the team have graduated from their studies and are moving on to fulltime work. We wish them well.

We are seeking to employ an events manager and some of you will have seen our adverts on SEEK and through social media. While we complete this recruitment, we have asked some in our community to be competition managers for specific events so that we can continue to provide support to user groups.

Any offers of volunteer support would be gratefully accepted. We are a community enterprise that is operated in a business-like way to enable the venue purchase debt to be serviced and community needs to be met. However, we do not have endless resources. The Trustees are all volunteers and provide their services on a completely pro-bono  basis. For some of our Trustees, it has almost become a fulltime job to oversee the venue operations and keep Woodhill Sands open in these pandemic times. There is a lot of work undertaken that is largely invisible to the riding community.

Like many small businesses, our costs are increasing faster than revenue, especially in these pandemic times. Our costs are largely fixed – debt servicing, staffing, fuel and event costs – but inflationary pressures are increasing costs. On the other hand, our venue charges have not increased since 2016.

In future Trust Talks, we will provide more information about what is involved in running an equestrian competition venue and where your entry fees are spent.

Lastly, dates have been set for the Environment Court hearing of our resource consent application. These dates are 16 to 20 May. Our experts are currently working through areas of concern raised by the submitters relating to traffic management, noise and dust control and related, to see where an agreed position can be reached ahead of the hearing. We remain confident that the issues raised can all be managed.

Once we have the consent, work can proceed on projects such as the ablutions facilities upgrade, vehicle crossing off James Mackie Rd , and roofing for the portable stables belonging to Waitemata SJ.

All the best to riders who are taking advantage of the extended season and summer conditions, and thank you to all our Officials and volunteers and Woodhill Sands team members contributing to the running of great events at Woodhill Sands.

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