Newsletter May/June 2023

Friends of Maara Roa (FMR): 22 years bringing biodiversity back to the Cannons Creek catchment

Working bees are every fine Saturday; meet at 9.30 am in the carpark at the back of Porirua College.  The nursery group meets every Thursday from 10 am to noon, in the grounds of Aotea College in Okowai Road. Website:

May/June 2023 newsletter: Looking to the future

 Jeremy Paterson taking some of the thousands of plants he has transported for the Friends of Maara Roa.
  • AGM 2023: Monday 10th July, 7.30 pm.  Diary the date now!
  • What future for the Friends of Maara Roa (Inc)?
  • Why consider change?
  • The way forward

Come to our 23rd AGM

The 23rd Annual General Meeting of the Friends of Maara Roa Inc will be held on Monday 10th July at 7.30 pm in the Mana Electorate Office, 12 Hagley Street Porirua. This was the venue for our 2022 AGM and has ample parking.  As usual, supper will be served. Our thanks to Mana MP Barbara Edmonds for making it available free.

Plans for Belmont Regional Park

Our AGM guest speaker should be very well known. As our local ranger since 2010 Jeremy Paterson has helped the Friends of Maara Roa in numerous ways, including transporting thousands of plants from the nursery.  Now the Western Principal Ranger, Parks, for the Greater Wellington Regional Council, he is the perfect person to talk about the recent changes and exciting future plans for our park.

What future for the Friends of Maara Roa (Inc)?

For the first time since it was established in June 2000, this year’s AGM agenda will include a discussion about the future of the Friends of Maara Roa.

The question is whether it should continue as an incorporated society.  If the matter goes to a vote, only paid-up members will be able to take part.

Why consider change?

An incorporated society imposes a legal framework which amongst other things specifies committee membership, proceedings such as AGMs and other meetings, and reporting such as the annual financial statements. 

The committee considers that most of the original aims of FMR have been achieved – in fact exceeded in the area planted – and the active membership, as explained in our last newsletter, is dwindling.   The thinking is that most of these aims could be continued by a less formally structured group of people. Such a care group or similar would continue to supported by Greater Wellington Regional Council, with approved expenses paid for.  As a non-profit organisation with similar aims, a care group could take over FMR assets.

There are other reasons to consider formally winding up the incorporated society.

  • A new Incorporated Societies Act comes into force from September 2023, making changes to the 1908 Act, and requiring all incorporated societies to re-register and to have a minimum of 10 paid members.
  • The committee has been short of one member for the past two years and will be without two more when Mel and Janet Tyson (secretary) retire at the AGM.
  • As an incorporated society FMR has to provide annual audited accounts. In fact almost all current spending is already authorised and provided by GWRC.

The way forward

The decision for the AGM is whether to dissolve the incorporated society, and if so when. If members vote for dissolution, they will have to pass a resolution to apply to the Registrar of Companies.   Before this can be done, all surplus assets must be disposed of in accordance with the society’s rules and the requirements of the 1908 Act.  The original constitution says such assets should go to a group with similar aims; the new Act specifies that they should go to a not-for-profit entity.

The assets include the contents of the nursery at Aotea College, including the propagation house donated by the Tindall Foundation (pictured at right); spades, saws, loppers and other tools; the traps purchased through the Community Environment Fund; and the intellectual property/archive material on the website and on paper.

Any questions?

Further information will provided for those attending the AGM, including copies of the original constitution and details of the changes mandated in the 2022 Incorporated Societies Act; a list of current assets is being compiled and will also be available. If you have further questions or want more details please contact Sef Truyens (  or 04 234 7747) or Janet Tyson ( or 0274528633). 

The Friends of Maara Roa (Inc) is supported by Greater Wellington Regional Council. We work to the 20-year Belmont Regional Park Cannons Creek Forest Restoration Plan. Our next committee meeting will be on Tuesday 13 June 2023. Contact Sef  or 04 234 7747 to come along.