Halswell Domain

Halswell Domain
View from the Model Engineers' site in the Halswell Domain

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Why is it taking so long to set up a market?

I’ve talked to a lot of people about setting up the market and people are always surprised that it is not as easy as they thought!  Why is it taking us so long to get going?  Here's a couple of reasons:

  1.  We need consent from the City Council.  This process is going to cost us in the region of $10,000 (and no that is not a mistake!) in council fees and planning costs.  Clearly, we are not going to make enough money out of the market as is is currently running to pay for that, so we need to convince any potential funders that this market is a going concern.
    Applying for funding takes a lot of time – not so much for writing the applications, but for waiting until decisions are made.  It usually takes a couple of months for these decisions to come out and if you miss out (as we have recently), then you have to start again and find another suitable funder, make an application and wait to hear a decision.  Until we have the money, we can’t really get going because a large part of the money is needed to pay the planners who can help us put our application together.
  2. Before we can even apply for consent we need to find a long term home – and we need to be sure about it because consent is granted for a site, and if we need to shift sites, then we need to get another consent.
    St Luke’s Church cannot be that home because, as many of you will know, the parking around there is terrible, and there is no way that we would get consent to do a weekly market on any site on State Highway 1.
    The CCC consent team have told us to avoid CCC public land because doing so means a lot more hoops to jump through, and the costs go up as well. They recommend a school site or something similar.
    So we are interested in using one of the schools in the area as a site for the market. At this stage, we are waiting until Halswell School can be in the running because we think that perhaps this would be our best bet, if they are up for it. At the moment, they are not, because of the building that is still going on there.

Having run a few markets last year, we now know that we can run a market, although we are not getting the numbers that might make us thinkg we could do it weekly at this stage.  To be convinced we need to see good numbers turning up this year.  Good numbers also would encourage us to continue putting in the work and energy needed to do this.
So please, do make the effort to come along and to tell your friends about it and get them along too.  The more people that come, the better the range of vendors will be which will make the market more varied and fun.  If we are to pull this off, your active support is critical!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Business Mentoring talk to the Halswell Business Network

On Monday 15th Jill Taiaroa from the Canterbury Development Corporation came and spoke to our Halswell business network. Jill has been involved with business mentoring since It started in 1991 and gave us a useful overview of the service.  She gave us a brief history and outline of the business mentoring services which was started in 1991 and has been very successful in helping many businesses right across New Zealand. 

The service is available to small businesses in Canterbury.  Businesses pay a $150 + GST registration fee which provides access for to free business mentoring for two years. This is possible because business mentors work completely voluntarily.  They are usually retired businesspeople that come from a range of backgrounds who make themselves available to the business mentoring service.  They are people who step forward to pass on some of the things that they have learned working in their own businesses.  They provide a CV and are checked by the teams of people who administrate the service around the country.

Jill and her small team at CDC field enquiries, find out what a business most needs and then matches them with a mentor according to their needs. Over the two years some businesses may have a few different mentors who can each help them with different aspects of their business. 

You can find out more at  http://www.businessmentors.org.nz/ and you can also apply for mentoring from that website.

Jill’s talk elicited many questions and quite a bit of discussion amongst the businesspeople that attended that went on for some time after she left.  Overall it was a pleasant meeting – thanks to Kate for providing food and drink and to all who helped make this meeting happen. Thanks also to Jill for coming to speak. 

Any others who were there - please add something that you found very useful or interesting from the meeting in the comments below (it might also be useful and interesting to other business people who could not make it to the meeting)

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Markets starting up again

It’s spring and we are working to get our community markets off the ground again.  So grab a bag and a sunhat, and come on down to St Luke’s Church Grounds and have some fun.

Our vision for these markets is that they are for the community and as much as possible by the community.  What does that mean? 

The Halswell Community Project has the goal of supporting other community organisations, local businesses and all Halswell residents.  We already do this with our Website (Halswellcommunity.net.nz), community E Newsletter and Halswell Community Facebook Page.
The markets are another step.  At a recent meeting, some of our young people commented that there is nowhere in Halswell that is central where people can hang out and bump into other people.  This is something that the HCP Committee have noted for some time, and one of the reasons why we are setting up the market.  It is one way of providing a regular place for local people to get together and bump into other people.  We were really pleased to see people chatting to others and having their kids playing together out the back while they did so. 
A local family business and their stall at the Market in early 2014

We also see it as a way to support local businesses and clubs.  Quite a number of local groups clubs and businesses were vendors at our markets last year, and it is shaping up that way this year.   For clubs, having a stall at the market is a good way to both fundraise and raise awareness of their activities.  For businesses it is mostly a good way to raise awareness of their goods and services.  This is what makes our market quite different to most of the other markets around Christchurch and the reason why we call this a community market.   

We want to find ways to make it even more useful for the local community.  We are, for example planning to have a notice board on site where people can put up their notices.  If you have suggestions then let us know below.

We DO need more stalls that sell food – cheese, fruit and veges, bread and even meats.  If you know anyone who might be interested in selling any of these things then let us (and them) know!  

And do come down to St Luke’s (where the playcentre is) in Halswell Road, meet some of your neighbours and support the vendors that are there.  We‘d like to see this market grow  into a weekly market but it needs more people coming to it before that can happen.