On Wednesday 8 November Phil Holden, Chair of Greytown Trust Lands Trust, Derek Williams, Deputy Chair, Joseph Gillard and Graeme Gray, Co-Chairs of Cobblestones Trust signed a historic 99 year lease for $1 per annum over the land owned by GTLT that is used for Cobblestones as part of the museum and gardens.
Some members of the trusts celebrating after the signing: from L to R: Derek Wilson, Phil Holden, Andy Holmes, Lucy Cooper, Helga Perry, Joseph Gillard, Bob Tosswill, Graeme Gray, Steve Meyrick, Janette Wallace Gedge, Derek Williams
Joseph as co-chair welcomed everyone to this auspicious event and said: “This confirms a long-standing collaboration between Greytown Trust Lands Trust, and confirms the original agreement of 50 years ago which sought to preserve the past as it was then seen.
“From Cobblestones’ perspective we want to acknowledge the foresight and commitment to public good of the Lands Trust 50 years ago in setting aside a prime site for the museum. A recent community review of the occupation agreement confirmed significant public support for Cobblestones to continue on this site under an affordable arrangement.
“In return, Cobblestones will continue, to engage with the wider community and region with open days, music events and functions. Mention must be made here of the Friends and their ongoing, energetic support for Cobblestones in every way.
“More recently, we have been looking to Papawai as the tangata whenua to provide guidance and use Cobblestones’ facilities to tell their truly unique and vital stories.
“This background provides Cobblestones with the security to continue with the upgrading work which started about a decade ago. As with GTLT, we see ourselves being an indispensable part of Wairarapa, and continuing in our commitment to the telling of Wairarapa stories and as a venue for good fun and happy times!”
Phil Holden, Chair of Greytown Trust Lands Trust responded:
“This has been a long journey but the end has justified the time. Greytown Trust Lands Trust is at the heart of this community and supporting Cobblestone in this manner is fitting and something we are proud to have delivered and achieved. It was 50 years ago that the Trust went into overdraft to support the establishment of Cobblestones, so it is fitting that the circle is closed through this new lease arrangement.”
Mike Butterick, newly elected MP for Wairarapa, was in attendance and congratulated the two Trusts for their collaboration. He said: “This is a fantastic story of localism, community benefit provided by locals in partnership with Greytown Trust Lands Trust.
“I would acknowledge and thank all those involved in the success of the museum, especially the volunteers, without them the museum wouldn’t exist, indeed the contribution of volunteers in our communities not only continues to amaze me, it reinforces my belief that volunteers are the glue that hold our communities together. And that, is the story of the community I’ve grown up in, that’s what defines Provincial New Zealand.
“I would also acknowledge the Trust, the future outlook for the museum is very positive, it’s now enabled, due to the Trust’s very generous terms, over a considerable period, the security to plan.
“Cobblestones Museum is an important and significant attraction that helps underpin the Wairarapa as a destination, and contributes to the local economy, from which we all benefit.
“I look forward to seeing the Museum going from strength to strength.”