AGM 2020 Overview and Reports

Here is the AGM overview of 2019/2020, which was presented by Dave Pooch on the day.

To read the full AGM annual reports and minutes click this link.

OVERVIEW by Dave Pooch

In one sentence Wangapeka is in good heart and active. For the statistically minded we have held 30 retreats. They ranged from 2 to 30 nights long. People were paying to stay at Wangapeka for 185 days of the year. 286 people paid for 3039 bed nights. This record high usage had a positive effect on the financial result but brought extra pressure on our precious staff and on our facilities.

Late last year our elders Tarchin, Bonni, Mary Jenkins and Keith Rowan suggested we have three new elders. Those three, Mark Schrader, Shelley Szybowski and Matthew Eades kindly accepted. Our elders ongoing advice and care for Wangapeka and its people is invaluable.

Trust board meetings
Over the last year our trust board met monthly for half-day meetings at both Wangapeka and in people’s homes. Zoom has become a useful technology, especially since Covid arrived. Thank you, Matthew for encouraging that process.

Trust board members
I now briefly mention your board members. Coordinator Louise did lots of detailed work on employment contracts. Jane, who had been on the board and programmes committee for ages, stepped down. Thank you both. Tim has been secretary for the last 12 months and brilliantly, he has made a folder for every board meeting and kept it on Dropbox. Documents are now easily found. Kath, a general board member pretty well totally transformed our entire communications efforts. Karen, also a general board member launched herself into the new requirements of Health and Safety. Shelley Taylor was co-opted on to the board a few months ago and has done a great job of chairing our meetings. Finally, I have been treasurer although Pierre has done pretty well all the treasurer work. Thank you, Pierre.

Human resources
I would like to end with some personal observations about human resources.
Back in the day when the trees were small and Tarchin was a young meditator, one caretaker at Wangapeka was quite enough. But progress has a price. There are more courses and retreatants, more walking trails and things to maintain and far more legal requirements. For the first half of the financial year we had a team of four caretakers; the paid office and land caretakers and two long term volunteers Brandon and Lily. Brandon attended to some much-needed building maintenance and Lily was housekeeping assistant, cook and was the key person who got our kitchen approved and registered with Tasman Council for 2020. The four became a harmonious nucleus community.

Now we are back down to just two caretakers and occasional volunteers. There are issues and questions to be considered here. To what extent are we willing for our retreat centre to become a mini community of four or more? How many volunteers at a time could/should we aim for? Is it better for a retreat centre to a support a meditation practitioner rather than an extra caretaker? Do we need to change our funding and payment models? The board members welcome your views and it now has the capacity to consider such matters rather than just dealing with urgent issues.

The 2020 Wangapeka Trust AGM – List of Trustees

The AGM was buoyed by the hui in the days preceeding. It was heartening for the trustees to feel the support of the community, shown in numbers attending and in response to questions raised during the AGM.

The Board of Trustees now has two new members:

Elli Yates and Hadleigh Tiddy. Both Elli and Hadleigh have been involved in Wangapeka for many years. Elli since childhood. A very grateful and warm welcome to Elli and Hadleigh.

Karen Harley stepped down from the BOT but remains active on the Programmes Committee. Karen has made a huge contribution to the Wangapeka Educational Trust as a trustee, in particular, building on Faith’s work in Health and Safety. Karen led the WET to upgrade our Health and Safety processes to meet current regulations. She did this with pragmatic skill to ensure we are doing all we can to care for the well-being of all who come to Wangapeka. We appreciate her valuable contributions, calm, kind and methodical approach. Thank you Karen!

The Current Wangapeka Board Trustees:
Shelley Taylor—coordinator
Tim Leyland—secretary
Dave Pooch—treasurer
Louise Petzold
Kath Mitchell
Elli Yates
Hadleigh Tiddy