Waitomo District Council (WDC) has commenced the sealing of Maraeroa Road. The 1.5km stretch of road provides access from State Highway 30 to Pureora Forest Park, the scenic location of tourist destinations Pa Harakeke and The Timber Trail. Council has been planning for this work to be completed for over a decade. The NZ Transport Agency supported the funding application for the extension of WDC’s sealed roading network. The $817k project is expected to be completed in mid-April 2017. Mayor Brian Hanna says that the project is an excellent result for WDC. “The business case reflected that cycling is a high priority activity under the Land Transport policy, and there are contributing factors that highlighted road user safety concerns with Maraeroa Road.” “The road is used by logging trucks and experiences slippery conditions in winter and dust in summer. The road is travelled by people who potentially have less experience in driving on these types of roads in a remote area.” Says Mayor Hanna The decision to seal Maraeroa Road has been described as a godsend for the businesses operating at Pureora according to Glen Katu, CEO of Maraeroa C Incorporation which owns 5,500ha of forestry lands at Pureora. “Maraeroa C Incorporation which was established in 1973, is grateful that WDC funding has been committed to sealing Maraeroa Road, as the road is very busy now particularly during summer.” “Having a sealed road at Pureora is not a luxury but a necessity due to increased visitor traffic not only from domestic but overseas visitors now.” “Pureora Mountain Ginseng also has a plantation and factory close to the Maraeroa Road, and there will be a welcome relief from the dust that is thrown up by vehicles using the road, covering the ginseng plants and the buildings.” “The Timber Trail is fast becoming an Icon in the district and Pureora will soon be a major visitor destination with more than 10,000 people visiting Pureora to ride the 85km Timber Trail this season.” Mr. Katu says. The Pa Harakeke Visitor Centre facility opened in 2009 and provides a range of services to people riding the 85km Timber Trail, including accommodation, shuttle services, bike hire, secure parking and food and beverages. Our passengers and shuttle drivers will have a better experience travelling on the road, and it means less wear and tear on the vehicles. Pureora is an important eastern gateway to the District, contributing to the local economy and supporting the growth of the Waitomo region. 1_Background-image-article-1 3_Inset-image-article-1-replacement
We would like to remind local business owners to get in touch before putting up advertising signs. While we understand the desire for local businesses to establish promotional signs to attract customers, we need to ensure that signs are appropriate and consented, that they do not create potential safety issues for motorists and that they do not adversely impact on the landscapes and character of our beautiful District. Business owners who plan to promote their business with signs; whether it is located on their private property, on public land, or on someone else’s land, must first check with WDC that their sign complies with the District Plan. If it does not, then, a resource consent is required before the sign can be erected. The various factors that are considered as part of a consenting process include placement of the sign, the size of lettering, design (including the number of characters) and visual amenity. Signs related to a business should generally only be placed on the site of that business. Therefore most ‘off-site’ signs require a resource consent, and you should be aware that the consent may not be granted. WDC will undertake regular checks to identify unauthorised signs and address these accordingly by requiring the owner of a sign (or the owner of the site the sign is located on) to either remove the sign or apply for consent. If these requirements are not met, infringement fines can be issued. To arrange a meeting with a WDC representative, please phone our friendly Customer Services Team on (07) 878 0800, or email info@waitomo.govt.nz
Our annual resident survey has been distributed with this newsletter. We invite residents of the Waitomo District to provide their opinion on the services and facilities we provide to the community. The annual survey is an important reporting method used to measure how we perform against our goals and also to help with future planning. Return your completed survey to WDC (including your contact details) or complete it online and go into the draw to win a $250 Prezzy card. The survey closes 17 May 2017.
The Shearer Statue was cleaned, sealed and repainted in March to keep it looking it’s best and to weatherproof the structure. The plantings on the bund behind the statue had reached end of life and needed to be refreshed. We installed giant letters spelling out ‘Te Kuiti’ and plan to complete work in this area by renewing the rest of the gardens. This work forms part of the annual maintenance and renewal programme.
Visitors were delighted to see local legends Sir Colin Meads and Stan Meads (pictured below) lead the iconic running of the sheep at this year’s Muster. The traditional format for the sheep run went smoothly and was a crowd pleaser with the flock ‘performing well’. WDC would like to thank our volunteers who supported us in providing another successful event. We had around 70 stalls registered for the Muster and main stage performances from violinist Aldrich Cecilio, Imperious Dance Company and JGeek and the Geeks. The Les Munro Centre was transformed for the NZ Shearing and Woolhandling Champs, and it was fantastic to see our community facility bustling with activity and excitement over the three days.
Council prepares a Long Term Plan every three years which details the programmes and financial forecasts over the next 10 years. Then every year, Council prepares an Annual Plan detailing the annual budget and also notes any variations or differences from the forecasts contained for that financial year, in the Long Term Plan. We have been working through the preparation of the Draft Annual Plan and at its meeting on 28 March 2017 Council discussed that the financial forecasts for 2017/18 align with Council’s financial strategy and the forecasts contained in the LTP for 2017/18 year. Given this, Council agreed not to consult on the Draft Annual Plan 2017/18 which would save time and costs. The intention is to adopt the Annual Plan in May 2017. The overall average rates increase in the Annual Plan 2017/18 over the current year is 2.7% compared to 3.88% forecast in the LTP 2015-25 for the 2017/18 year.
The local roads reseal programme for the current financial year is now complete. There are 459 km of sealed roads in our network which are classed as Local Roads (that excludes State Highways). Sealed roads require a re-seal after about 11 years (on average), but this depends on various conditions which includes the number of heavy vehicles and geometric factors like steep gradients and tight corners. About 40 km or nine per cent of the network is resealed each year at a cost of around $1.3 million.
Last month we signed off on a new kerbside collection service contract with Envirowaste. We will be delivering a new recycling bin to properties that receive the kerbside collection service. Residents can use this bin to recycle their household items like plastics, glass, tin and aluminium cans. Hold onto your old green bin and use this for paper and cardboard items (please flatten cardboard). Both recycling bins will be accepted for collection as part of our kerbside collection service, provided that the recycling materials meet our requirements and are prepared for collection (i.e. rinsed, squashed and any lids removed). More information will be provided closer to the time. Inset-image-kerbside
We are proud to support the Paper4Trees programme that encourages and educates children about recycling and allows them to see just how much paper and cardboard destined for landfill can be diverted into the recycling network. Children collect recyclable materials into classroom bins provided by the Paper4trees programme. Once the bins are full, the materials are bundled together with string and put out for collection. Depending on the quantity of paper recycled, schools are allocated trees that the children can plant to symbolise the completion of the cycle. WDC funds 100% of the costs for 18 schools and preschools to take part in the programme. Inset-imahe-paper4trees Environmental and financial benefits Under the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (NZ ETS) WDC must surrender emission units to the Government for our landfill emissions. As a result of the Paper4Trees initiative 966 tonnes of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) has not been produced in the Waitomo District Landfill over the last nine years. At the current price to purchase New Zealand Units (NZUs), this would equate to approximately $8,283 in savings. However surrender obligations have only been in place for about four years now and the cost of NZUs has not always been so high.
Are you and your family doing awesome stuff on the farm to protect our environment? Agrecovery are running a video competition for rural kids and schools to highlight what is being done to improve environmental performance on-farm, and to raise awareness of Agrecovery Rural Recycling in its 10th year of operation. Make a short, fun video that shows how you and your family “Farm for Our Future”. You could talk about what’s being done to improve the natural environment, water quality or animal welfare, waste reduction or recycling, or anything else that show how you and your family are being good stewards of our land (kaitiakitanga).
TO ENTER… Request an entry form from info@agrecovery.co.nz Get written consent from everyone appearing in your video, and if they are under 18 years of age, you will need written consent from their legal guardian. Make sure you have permission to use any music or images that are included in your video.
CATEGORIES AND PRIZES There are two categories with a total prize pool of $2,000!
  • FAMILY: individual child or siblings under 18 years of age as of 30 June 2017. Prizes: $500 for the winning individual or siblings and $500 for his/her/their school
  • SCHOOL: school class or group under 18 years of age as of 30 June 2017. Prize: $1,000 for the winning school

Videos can be submitted from 1 April until 31 May 2017. They will be posted on the Agrecovery Facebook page. A link will allow members of the public to vote for their favourite video from 15 May until 18 June 2017. The winner will be announced in June 2017. www.agrecovery.co.nz www.facebook.com/AgrecoveryRuralRecycling
Applications for the Creative Communities Scheme May funding round close on Friday 19th May 2017. The fund was set up by Creative New Zealand in 1996 and we administer the local distribution of that fund, to create opportunities for local communities to engage with, and participate in local arts activities. Arts and cultural projects that are eligible for funding must:
  • Increase participation in the arts at a local level or increase the range and diversity of the arts available to local communities.
  • Take place within the Waitomo district and/or produce benefits that are largely experienced within our district.
  • Not have started before an application for funding is assessed.
  • Not have been already funded by Creative New Zealand for the same purpose.
Administration, operating costs, buildings and/or redevelopment, debt servicing, fundraising and catering expenses/food are examples of the types of expenses that are ineligible for funding. The types of information we require as part of the application process include:
  • Detailed proposal and quote for requested funding
  • Budget and time frame for project
  • How much funding is required, how much you have in hand, and how the shortfall will be met
  • Who else has been asked, has given or is giving funds
  • Either financial statement or audited accounts
  • Deposit slip
  • Decision Process
Applications are considered approximately three weeks after the application closing date. You can expect to receive notification of the result within the four weeks following the decision. Once the project is complete, a project report form must be completed to document and confirm how the grant funds were spent. Successful applicants must also acknowledge Creative Communities contribution to the project. For more information on how to apply for Funding please contact the Customer Services Team on (07) 878 0800.
Phase two of the Te Kuiti’s Water Treatment Plant upgrade involves the construction of a new water intake pump station – the infrastructure that draws water from the Mangaokewa River, for Te Kuiti’s supply. The new intake must be designed to comply with our resource consent conditions. Part of the inlet will be constructed within the river bed. As water levels are critical to allow for safe and environmentally friendly construction, we have delayed the construction of the intake due to the high river level. Work will begin on the renewal of the clarifier structure (shown below), which is significant in the overall design of the treatment plant. A new chemical dosing process design is also underway to improve the use of chemicals for flocculation, coagulation, and carbon dosing. The clarifier effectively removes the suspended solids (leaves and floating debris) before the water is fed through to the sand filtration system.
We provide our community with many valuable services and facilities that ensure our towns and District are a vibrant and thriving place to live, work and visit. Our services include ten playgrounds, 25 parks, 18 public toilets, waste water management and provision of four drinking water supplies, through to providing library, aquatic and other recreational services and ensuring the district’s eateries meet health standards.
The following are statistics for some Council services, for the period January to March 2017:
6,188 Customer service calls we received
768 Service requests received
48 New Library members
42 LIMS processed
25 Building Consents issued
18 Tonnes of rubbish removed from the roadside and public litter bins
Council adopted its Local Easter Sunday Trading Policy at the 28th February monthly Council meeting. Under the Policy, any shop is permitted to open on Easter Sunday throughout the Waitomo District. Public consultation was carried out during the period 7 December 2016 to 27 January 2017. We received a total of five submissions all in support of allowing shops throughout the Waitomo District to open on Easter Sunday if they choose. The reasoning given by submitters for supporting the proposal focused on the benefit to visiting tourists as well as the local community who would have the choice to shop on Easter Sunday. On the basis of the submissions received Council agreed to make no changes to the proposed Draft Policy. The Local Easter Sunday Shop Trading Policy became operative on Wednesday 1 March 2017.
We plan to carry out capital works projects over the next few months to upgrade, replace and improve the water, stormwater and sewerage infrastructure in the township. Ongoing improvements to the stormwater network will provide greater collection, diversion, and disposal of urban surface water run-off following rainfall. Work to replace the old Edward Street stormwater pipe with a larger diameter pipe (photo below) started in March. Hill Street’s stormwater pipe will be rerouted across the street, and a new utility hole will be installed. Other projects include:
  • Replacement of the Carroll Street sewer pipe that is located in the railway corridor.
  • Re-routing of the sewer pipe on Nettie Street and installation of manholes.
  • Replacement of the main water supply pipe connected to the Blackman’s Reservoir.
  • Replacement of sections of the water supply pipes in Henderson Street, Earl Street, and Hetet Street.
We aim to have these projects completed as quickly as possible. Thank you for your patience while we complete this work. 2_IMG_4706
The safety of people travelling on rural roads is very important. One of the purposes of the Land Transport Bylaw is to establish rules about the movement of stock on roads. Our aim is to ensure that potential danger and inconvenience to other road users is minimised and to protect the road network. We are seeking the cooperation of owners to ensure the management and keeping of stock complies with the rules contained in Council’s Bylaws. It is the responsibility of every owner of stock to ensure the animals are adequately confined and do not wander or gain access onto public property. The owner of stock is responsible for public safety or any damage to public or private property, or injury of stock, which may arise from roaming stock. Owners of wandering stock can have a criminal liability under the Crimes Act 1961 (sections 156 and 157). If a land owner or occupier fails to take necessary steps to ensure their livestock remain adequately fenced in, they will be at risk of endangering the safety or health of the public (especially road users). If their stock causes a crash and negligence is proven, they may be prosecuted. Wandering stock may be impounded by Animal Control Officers and all costs associated with the impounding (officer time, transportation and sustenance) are recovered from the owner. If the stock is not claimed, it may be disposed of in accordance with the Impounding Act 1955. Enquiries regarding animals and stock on roads can be made by phoning 0800 932 4357, or email info@waitomo.govt.nz