While I was in at the council offices this afternoon tugging my forelock in the hope of being granted the boon of lodging some plans for consent (no such luck; I’d forgotten to include a lock of hair from the seventh son of the licensed drainlayer involved) I overhead a conversation with a chap who was there asking questions about the regulations he’ll need to meet to build a long-jump pit at his school so the kids could practice long jump.
It was a long meeting. He came away with a long list.
We went to (a late) lunch to commiserate, and drew up a list of things comparing what you need to do now to do such a simple job, and what you’d need to do twenty years ago. It looked something like this.
1. What you need to do now.
- Assign a school project number to “long-jump” project, and write it up in “proposed projects” register.
- Organise meeting with stakeholders to go forward together on “long-jump” project.
- Appoint sub-committee to investigate Ministry of Education regulations on playgrounds and long-jump pits, OSH regulations on playgrounds and long-jump-pits, and District plan requirements on a long-jump pit in an area not zoned for Active Recreation.
- Appoint working group to collate information from ACC on dangers of long-jump activies and mitigation measure and advertising campaign necessary to ensure safe use of long-jump environment.
- Appoint working-group subcommittee to meet with SPARC to determine correct and safe construction of long-jump pits to meet competition requirements of the IAAF.
- Appoint project team to assess sustainability options for long-jump pit construction, and to assess impact and appropriateness of “long-jump” project on existing indigenous vegetation and indigenous fauna.
- Appoint cultural advisors to discuss cultural impact of “long-jump” project on affected persons, to draw up plans to mitigate negative effects, and an action plan to show integration of cultural values of affected tangata whenua with values and goals of “long-jump” project.
- Appoint psychological advisors to prepare report on impact of competitive sports on the self-esteem of students with special athletic needs.
- Produce regulatory impact statement, environmental assessment, cultural report and sustainability study for “long-jump” project.
- Organise working party to present proposal for “long-jump” project to all stakeholders, including but not limited to MoE, OSH, ACC, School Board of Trustees, local athletics associations and conservation groups, tangata whenua and Uncle Tom Cobley.
- Give the fuck up and promise yourself you won’t ever get involved in such a thing again.
2. What you needed to do twenty years ago.
- Stick a notice on the notice board saying “Parents Working Bee on Saturday.”
- Dig a pit.
- Fill it with sand.
- Have a beer.
And people wonder why folk can’t be bothered getting involved down their local schools these days. Or anywhere else.