When members of the Dannevirke Community Board decided they needed to lift their profile and learn more about the community they represent, they didn't expect such a great response.

Board member Kim Spooner suggested a coffee morning at Dannevirke's Red Sky Cafe and backed by the rest of the board, a meet and greet was held for the first time on Tuesday.

"The response has been fantastic," Kim said. "I'm tickled pink by the success."

Fellow board member Pat Walshe said the community of Dannevirke had put the board in place to "do a job. So we're getting on with it".


Jinny Kean has been living in Dannevirke since February last year and was previously the chaplain at Wellington Hospital and she went along to the meeting with Ruth Ussher.

"I love living in Dannevirke," she said. "I've spent most of my life in Auckland and Wellington and this sort of get-together is personal and great."

The coffee morning was a chance for people to air their issues.

"You feel happy when someone listens," said Lorraine Martin, who, along with husband Alden, own Dannevirke's Gateway Motel.

Alden said the couple wanted to make board members aware of the problems they've had with road noise and traffic speed on State Highway 2 alongside their motel at the southern end of Dannevirke.

"We've spent $35,000 on a fence to reduce road noise," Alden said. "Trucks are the worst when it comes to speed problems."

Community board member Pat Walshe said he had taken the couple's concerns to the road safety committee and was hoping a new 50km/h sign would be going up soon.

"The trouble is when motorists hit the top of the hill going south, they see the 70km/h sign up ahead and they're gone," he said.


Community board chairman Ross MacDonald said it was up to the police to put a camera car on that section of highway.

"The only deterrent is to hit motorists in the pocket," he said.

Steven Bray, who runs Steve's Tuck Shop on High St, close to two churches, expressed concerns about funeral-goers parking long term in the two spaces directly in front of his business.

"They can park for up to an hour," he said. "I've spoken with the New Zealand Transport Agency, who directed me to Tararua District Council and their Alliance group. I was then told this was a community board problem."

Bray is now working again with NZTA on the problem.

"There is nowhere in the Tararua District with five or 10-minute parking signs," he said.

"That's what I need, but I feel as though I've hit a brick wall. To me it would be commonsense not to park there."

Community board member Terry Hynes said a 10-minute parking limit sign made sense and MacDonald acknowledged that when people were travelling south into Dannevirke, if there were no parking spaces immediately outside the premises, they weren't going to stop.

The community board, the public face of the district council in the northern ward, will continue to trial the Tuesday coffee mornings at the Red Sky Cafe, starting at 10.30am.