Consultation on the 2018-28 Long Term Plan (LTP) closes 5pm, Friday May 4, 2018. The Consultation Document (CD) sets out an overview of our plans and key proposals for the LTP. You can help shape the next ten years by telling us what you think about the key matters contained in this document. If you haven’t got back to us yet please do so. We would like to hear your feedback. The Consultation Document is available around the district at:
  • WDC Office, Queen Street, or Waitomo District Library, Taupiri Street, Te Kuiti.
  • The Old Piopio Post Office Gallery, 45 Moa Street, Piopio.
  • Mokau Museum and Gallery, 33 North Street, Mokau.
  • Cafe Kai and Bar. 15 Waitomo Village Road, Waitomo.
  • Benneydale Foodmarket Ltd, 34 Ellis Road, Benneydale.
  • Marokopa Camping Ground, 1 Rauparaha Street, Marokopa.
  • Read the CD online and make a submission at: www.waitomo.govt.nz/shapeWaitomo
The CD is not a summary of the Long Term Plan, it contains the key matters we would like to get your feedback on. For more information, you can review the ‘Supporting Information’ which contains the detail of what underlies the CD. The supporting information can be viewed on our website or from the WDC Office, Queen Street and at the Waitomo District Library, 28 Taupiri Street, Te Kuiti. Solid Waste (asset) Management and Minimisation Plan Council’s Statement of Proposal for the Proposed Solid Waste (asset) Management and Minimisation Plan is also available for public consultation until 5pm, Friday May 4, 2018. The Statement of Proposal and the Proposed Solid Waste (asset) Management and Minimisation Plan, along with a submission form is available from the locations mentioned above. Submissions may be submitted to Council by post, hand delivery or email. Details of each of these methods are as follows: Email: consultation@waitomo.govt.nz Post: Waitomo District Council,PO Box 404, Te Kuiti 3941 Hand Delivery: Waitomo District Council, Queen Street, Te Kuiti.
Our project to upgrade the entrance to Brook Park is now complete and the site is once again open to the public. We confirmed this project in the 2017/18 Annual Plan. The road has been widened to provide safe access, a new fence and entry sign has been erected, and the kerb and stormwater drainage were also improved as part of the project. We are very happy with the result and have received positive comments from the public.
We are looking to enter into a lease arrangement with a suitable partner who can manage the day-to-day operations of the Marokopa Campground. The ideal Campground Operator will be committed to delivering a quality camping ground experience that is affordable and enjoyable for another generation of kiwis and international visitors to our vibrant and thriving District. An Expression of Interest (‘EOI’) document is available from our office, the camping ground office, and can be downloaded from our website. The document provides more information about this opportunity and outlines the process we are working to. The purpose of the EOI is to identify interested parties with the capability and qualities required to deliver the day to day management of the facility. If you would like to submit an EOI please do so by 4.00 pm Tuesday, 1 May 2018. Queries can be made to Hilary Walker at WDC on 07 878 0800 or Hilary.Walker@waitomo.govt.nz
Waitomo District contains some areas of exceptional natural beauty, which is why so many overseas visitors come to our District. Not only do tourists get to see the real New Zealand – but they can also experience our amazingly diverse landscapes and ecosystems. There are two significant pieces of work that Council is required to do for the District Plan review. The first is to identify and evaluate the Significant Natural Areas in our district, and the second is to identify and assess the Outstanding Natural Features and Landscapes. These are matters of national importance under the Resource Management Act 1991, and therefore we must make provision for them in the new District Plan. To do this, we have to identify these areas and features, verify them and consult with the landowners. Then, if we need to include them in the new District Plan, there will also be a formal process of submissions and hearings. More detail about these processes follows below. Significant Natural Areas Significant Natural Areas or SNAs are areas of indigenous forests, shrub lands, wetlands, and habitats of threatened flora and fauna. SNAs are essential to maintaining healthy populations of threatened plants and animals. We have contracted Kessels Ecology to help us with this work. The first part of the assessment is a desktop study which filters all of the databases that different organisations hold and applies criteria to map what is “significant.” Then we have to test this information. We do this by taking a sample of the sites and verifying them by visiting the properties. During April and May, some landowners might get a letter from us asking if we can visit “ground-truth” the maps that have been generated. Once this is done we’ll talk to landowners who we think might have an SNA on their property. These landowners will be invited to attend meetings in local venues so we can discuss the values of the areas and amend our maps if this is needed. The current District Plan has rules that protect indigenous vegetation. Once we have our finalised data, we will need to assess how these areas are managed in the new District Plan. From there, we will consult with landowners again more formally, as part of the Proposed District Plan submissions and hearing process. If you would like any further information, or would like to talk to somebody at the Council about this work, then please email Fiona Hill at: Fiona.Hill@waitomo.govt.nz or phone the Council’s Freephone number 0800 932 4357 and ask for Fiona. Outstanding Natural Features and Landscapes Outstanding Natural Features and Landscapes or ONFLs, are areas of land that possess unique qualities. They can be vast spaces. For example, the northern part of the Herangi range is identified in the Waikato Regional Policy Statement as an ONFL of regional significance. They can also be very small spaces – a waterfall, bluff, gorge, natural arch or coastal inlet. Council has contracted Landscape Architect Bridget Gilbert and geologist and marine ecologist Dr. Bruce Hayward, to help us identify our ONFLs. Again, the first part of the assessment is a desktop study which filters all of the information we hold. Then we ground-truth the maps that have been generated. Usually, the features and landscapes are easy to spot from a public place and often they are on conservation estate. Once this evaluation is done, we’ll talk to mana whenua to ensure Tangata Whenua values are taken into account. Then, later this year when we are confident about the data we have mapped, we will have a conversation with those landowners who we think might have an ONFL on their property. You’ll be contacted directly by letter if you are affected. The current District Plan has two landscape areas which we are assessing to decide if they are still applicable. One of the main shortcomings of our current District Plan is the need to update our provisions to align with the New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement 2010. This document requires much stricter control over activities in the coastal environment, mainly to protect areas of high and outstanding natural character. If you would like any further information about this project, email Cathy O’Callaghan at: Cathy.O’Callaghan@waitomo.govt.nz or phone the Council’s Freephone number 0800 932 4357 and ask for Cathy. Read updates online: www.waitomo.govt.nz/district-plan-review Contribute your ideas by connecting with us at: Facebook: @waitomodistrictplanreview Twitter: @WaitomoDC twitter.com/WaitomoDC Instagram: www.instagram.com/waitomo_nz Website: www.waitomo.govt.nz/district-plan-review
Under the Resource Management Act 1991, the protection of historic heritage from inappropriate subdivision, use and development is a matter of national importance. As a consequence, the Council must recognise and provide for historic heritage in the District Plan. Historic heritage includes sites, buildings, structures, places and areas, archaeological sites, sites of significance to Māori, including wāhi tapu, and the surroundings associated with them. To meet these obligations, Council has decided to start by reviewing the list of heritage items in the current District Plan and then identifying any new buildings and structures which might need better protection. Identifying and protecting archaeological sites, sites of significance to Māori and wāhi tapu will be a separate project which will commence later this year. Heritage New Zealand and local historical societies and museums have agreed to partner with the Council in this first phase of the project. The project will benefit from the expertise that these organisations can provide. Together, we will identify and photograph heritage buildings and structures that might be included on a new list of protected buildings in the District Plan. Once we have a list of potential buildings, it will be reviewed by Council’s contracted Heritage Advisor Dr. Alexy Simmons. Council will contact landowners to discuss this further if we think a building or structure deserves further protection. We expect this to happen later this year. If you would like any further information or would like to talk to somebody at the Council about this work, then please email Fiona Hill at Fiona.Hill@waitomo.govt.nz, or phone the Council’s Freephone number 0800 932 4357 and Fiona will call you back.
Working Towards a Motorhome Friendly Town We have established a dedicated parking area at the northern end of Rora Street allowing for Self Contained Campervans to park-over for a maximum stay of two days. The New Zealand Motor Caravan Association have provided input regarding the location and scope of the parking area. The designated area runs from the intersection of Rora Street and Ward Street, to the car parks located in front of the public toilets at the northern end of Rora Street Te Kuiti. Novice Driver Training Programme In mid-2013 the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) introduced a Pilot Learner Driver program for Te Kuiti and the surrounding district. The basis for the Pilot programme was that young drivers were over-represented in road crashes and improving their safety was signalled as a priority in the Government’s Safer Journeys Road Safety Strategy. At the time some government actions were also introduced to improve young driver safety. These included raising the standard of competency required to gain a restricted licence, increasing the minimum driving age to 16 and making the youth alcohol limit for teen drivers to zero. In light of these changes, the NZTA considered how best to work with local communities to support young people with the supervised practice they need to become safe drivers and assist them to gain their restricted licence. From these discussions, a Pilot form of the Community Learner Driver Programme concept was developed to:
  • Address issues of disadvantage for learner drivers in the 16–24 age group seeking to get their restricted licences – this includes access to suitable vehicles, mentors and practice; and
  • Improve levels of safe driving for these learner drivers.
The initial Pilot program was extended into the 2014/2015 and 2015/2016 years with the programme terminating on 30 June 2016. At this time Waitomo and Otorohanga District Councils commenced discussions about the way forward. Both Councils agreed that there was a need to develop and deploy a new and sustainable driver training programme to meet the needs of our communities. A coordinated and collaborative approach to driver licencing in the Waitomo and Otorohanga Districts was agreed on. NZTA confirmed their ongoing support of a new locally led and locally delivered programme and endorsed allocation of the annual subsidised road safety budget to support delivery of the programme. The primary objective – to develop a best practice model for novice driver training in rural New Zealand communities. A collaborative arrangement to support the Novice Driver Training Programme has been in place since 1 July 2016 between Waitomo District Council, Otorohanga District Council, and the NZTA. Te Kuiti Community House in conjunction with Number 12 facilitate delivery of the programme to enhance the learnings of novice drivers in our Districts. In the current period (1 July 2017 to 28 February 2018) a total of 66 young people have achieved their Restricted Driver Licence with 337 driving lessons taking place. The current contract arrangement terminates on 30 June 2018 and discussions are well underway between the two Councils and Te Kuiti Community House regarding renewal of the contract for a further three-year term. The results of the programme confirm its success. Creative Communities Funding Scheme Applications for funding under the Creative Communities Scheme, closes Tuesday, May 1, 2018. We encourage individuals, groups or organisations that support and promote arts activities to apply. Please contact Clowdy Ngatai – Community Development Coordinator to discuss eligibility and application requirements. Ph: 07-878-0800.
Te Kuiti Water Treatment Plant We recently completed the concrete pour for the new driveway and chemical tanker filling stand at the Te Kuiti Water Treatment Plant. This driveway will allow safe, all-weather access to the upgraded treatment plant, and incorporates a bunded chemical tanker filling stand. The concrete driveway is 6.5 metres wide and 170 mm thick with steel reinforcing to cater for heavy truck and trailer units to safely enter and exit the Waitete Road site. Improvements to sewer main Last month we installed a new inverted syphon sewer main under the Mangaokewa river that will allow the safe transfer of sewer from the eastern side of the river to the main sewer pumping station. The main is a continuously welded PE pipe that was drilled under the river so as not to disturb the river bed. The manhole (pictured) is approximately 4.5 metres deep. The pipe will add capacity to the existing network from the eastern side of the river, into the main sewer pump station. The pipe will form part of the new Taupiri Street augmentation sewer main project that is currently out for tender. Marokopa public toilets The new public toilets have been delivered to Marokopa. We are currently organising the final installation work which involves connecting and inspecting the drainage, electrical work, reinstatement of the ground area, installing a water tank, filters and outdoor shower. We expect the toilets to be open for public use in early May. Wastewater Treatment Plant Waste activated sludge (WAS) is one of the processes we use for treating sewage wastewaters. WAS uses aeration and a biological floc composed of bacteria and protozoa. The bacteria works slowly over time to break down solids. When large solids form in the sludge pond at the Te Kuiti Wastewater Treatment Plant, there is less holding capacity and an increased potential for overflow of wastewater, especially during prolonged periods of rain. We use a dredge to remove the solids that accumulate over time in the sludge pond (photo bottom left). The solids are treated with flocculation and coagulation chemicals, and a large press which separates the solids from the liquid. The material is mixed with bark, shredded greenwaste and reclaimed soil, from the Landfill. The fertiliser is currently being trialled for agricultural purposes.