The following Eastwoodhill Management reports can be found below... .
GENERAL MANAGER'S REPORT
The Eastwoodhill Trust Annual General meeting is held in August of each year.
You can download the Annual Report for the 2018-2019 financial year by clicking the link below.
On behalf of the Eastwoodhill Trust Board, it is my pleasure to present the 2018/19 Annual Report.
The past year has again proven critical as Eastwoodhill (EWH) manages the business of supporting the Arboretum and working towards its key objectives: The Collection, Funding and Communication, Education and Science, and Our People.
After a rigorous selection process, using the EWH 100-year Masterplan as a benchmark, we were very pleased to able to appoint Martin Weaver to the role of Curator. Martin and his family are a welcome addition to the EWH family.
I would like to thank Marion Nicholas for her leadership and innovative thinking, and Dan Taylor for his work as Acting Curator. Supported by the hard working EWH team, I congratulate them all for consistently going the extra mile.
We continue to develop and maintain strategic partnerships locally and internationally. The National Arboretum of Canberra visited and we are considering the mutual benefits of a relationship based on a shared set of common objectives.
The Department of Conservation held the first of a planned series of education/biodiversity days. We have strengthened ties with reciprocal visits to Guthrie Smith Arboretum and Hamilton Gardens. The meeting of the Curatorial Advisory Committee, established to support the arboretum’s curatorial work, was planned to coincide with Botanical Gardens of Australia and New Zealand (BGANZ) Day.
The educational visits by school groups has been well supported and this is an area of focus for the future.
We were fortunate in March to harvest 6.7 ha of pinus radiata at Big Hill providing the Arboretum with discretionary income. I thank the foresight of the Board 28 years ago to invest in planting trees to provide an income for Eastwoodhill. We have invested $100,000 in the Sunrise Foundation to increase our future sustainability. $40,000 has been held in reserve for replanting.
The need for a full-time cafe has been discussed and asked for by the public. In January we opened The Homestead Teahouse in the empty Curators house, and it rapidly proved to be very popular. After Easter we moved the teahouse to the Douglas Cook Centre kitchen which became the Courtyard Café which was open seven days a week and extremely well supported during the autumnal rush. More formal options need to be explored for the future.
Autumn was its usual visual splendour with both visitor and accommodation numbers increasing. The Friends of Eastwoodhill’s activities have been well supported. The gift shop is proving to be prosperous with an excellent selection of items, not only purchased by visitors but locals are supporting the gift shop as their “go to” for gift purchases also.
The Eastwoodhill annual financial position shows cautious optimism.
Further financial input into The American Friends of EWH has been deferred until later this year, as we align ourselves, at this point, with broader Tairawhiti tourism and cultural objectives. The enthusiasm of our American Friends’ remains, and regular contact is maintained with Thomas Woltz directly.
I wish to sincerely acknowledge the Friends of EWH for the contribution they have made in the past year, whether it’s working in the garden, working in the shop on weekends or catering and staging events in the Arboretum.
Thank you to our benefactors who continue to provide us with much needed support. I particularly acknowledge the contribution made by the Williams Family and the JN Williams Memorial Trust.
I especially thank the Board of Trustees and our advisors, whose support, knowledge and time given to me and the Arboretum is richly valued. John Clarke is stepping down from the Board after 12 years of outstanding governance contribution as the Department of Conservation appointee and I thank him for his wise counsel. The Board welcomed Sue Kemp as the Williams’ Family representative and thank Marcus Williams for his passionate contribution to EWH over the last 16 years.
Eastwoodhill Trust Board
Firstly, I would like to welcome Martin Weaver – our new Curator – to our team. The team that was in charge before Martin’s arrival performed incredibly well with Dan Taylor as Acting Curator, and the addition of Anthea Dalton as Horticulturist, but I must also say it is a pleasure to have Martin on board with some new ideas and visions for our future. A big thanks goes to Dan Taylor who undertook the role with enthusiasm and commitment in the absence of a permanent curator. We also welcome Anthea Dalton who came on board last November for a six-month position to assist staff while our numbers were down. We have managed to retain Anthea now for a further 12 months thanks to the generosity of NZCT funding who have granted us funding for Anthea’s wages. Her work has been exceptional in refreshing areas that had been neglected from the lack of volunteers as have been available in the past, and she also is an asset with the gardens.
During the last 12 months I am very proud of all the work that my team have achieved. We have had such positive comments on the overall appearance of the arboretum and that is due to the commitment by every staff member and volunteer. Adam Greaves and Ross Gaukrodger have the grounds looking loved and cared for, Marg Sherratt has been putting a lot of effort into working with the schools and Adam’s help promoting pest trapping has been invaluable. This venture has been warmly received by the school groups that have participated.
Thanks must also go to the Friends of Eastwoodhill (FOE) for organising the Mere Boynton Concert and the Teddy Bears Picnic earlier this year. Both events were well supported by the public. Thanks also to the catering arm of the FOE that have provided for cruise ships and bus tours which generate extra income for us.
We participated in the Botanical Gardens Day of Australia and NZ at the end of May and were supported by the Dept. of Conservation (DOC) who hosted workshops on pest trapping and predators, making a bug ID and on birds and bees as well as displaying taxidermy wildlife. DOC are keen to visit on a seasonal basis to do interactive activities with the general public.
A visit from the National Arboretum of Canberra staff has resulted in the two arboretum’s preparing to undertake a Memorandum of Understanding and this will be signed in September 2019 in Canberra.
At the end of last year with the Homestead empty we decided to trial The Homestead Tea House thanks to Activate Tairawhiti who gave us funding to assist with set up costs. The Tea House was very well received by visitors and was run until Queen’s Birthday weekend, and it showed that we do need to have a café or similar operating on the grounds for visitors so we are looking at ideas for next spring. The feeling is that a destination type café will have wide appeal.
The past twelve months have seen visitor numbers increase, and it’s good to see an increase in general donations, accommodation, admission receipts and shop sales.
We are delighted to have received funding from Tom and Esme Tombleson Charitable Trust to provide a second mobility scooter for use by the general public. As we all know, Eastwoodhill relies heavily on donations and funding. We are always extremely grateful for funding received, especially from our regular donor’s JN Williams Memorial Trust and Lion Foundation who yearly assist with operating costs.
Personal thanks to Eastwoodhill staff, Board, Friends and volunteers for all their hard work over the last year as we continue the dream that is Eastwoodhill.
Marion Nicholas, Manager.