Plenty for you to catch up on this month in Waitomo.
Council adopted its Annual Plan 2016/17 on Tuesday 28 June. WDC publicly invited community and stakeholder feedback on the proposals set out for the 2016/17 year, from 15 April to 13 May 2016. During this period Elected Members attended an Elected Members session on the 18 May at the Te Kuiti Railway Station building (3). WDC received two items of feedback on its proposals for the 2016/17 year. No audit was carried out by Council’s Auditors, as there are no significant changes in the proposals to what was contained in the Long Term Plan for the 2016/17 year.
WORK PROGRAMMES AND PROJECTS FOR 2016/17 Council intends to continue progress in its focus areas of Community Connectivity and Development, Economic Development, and Good Asset Stewardship, in a financially prudent and sustainable manner. The plans involve progressing some projects set out in the LTP 2015-25, and investigations in other areas to make progress towards the outcomes set by Council. The key initiatives planned for 2016/17 are:
  • Facilitation of the Retirement Housing project development.
  • Investigation of new Campground in Te Kuiti.
  • Development of concept plans for Timber Trail Marketing.
  • Complete the Te Kuiti Railway Station Buildings projects (majority of which will be completed by the end of the 2015/16 year).
  • Support Digital advancement of the District.
  • Support implementation of the Waitomo Village Structure Plan.
  • Complete the planned phases of the Te Kuiti Water Treatment Plant project.
  • Sealing of Maraeroa Road

TOTAL RATES 2016/17 The rates revenue requirement in the 2016/17 EAP is $19.06 million, an overall average 2.85% rates increase over the current year, however, it is 1.1% less than the forecast contained in the LTP 2015-25. The Cost of Service Statement illustrates that Council’s planned Net Operating Expenditure for the 2016/17 Annual Plan is 5.3% lower than the forecast contained in the LTP 2015-25. Annual-Plan-table_image-A The overall public debt at the end of the 2016/17 year is forecast to be $2.66 million less than the forecast contained in the LTP 2015-25. The graph below illustrates the favourable trend in debt reduction. Annual-Plan-GRAPH_image-B You can obtain a copy of the Annual Plan 2016/17 from our website or by visiting the Waitomo District Council Office, Queen Street Te Kuiti.
The NZ Transport Agency are proposing a number of improvements across State Highway 3 to improve safety, resilience, route availability and travel times. The programme aims to reduce the number of deaths and serious injuries from crashes. For more information visit the NZTA website.
WDC received 3,295 service requests for the year ending 30 June 2016. We provide a 24/7 customer contact solution via the Service Request System. This system is used to record customer requests and monitor our progress until an issue is resolved. Customers can lodge a request by calling our freephone number 0800 932 4357 at any time. Alternatively, send us an email or complete an online request form available on our website and WDC’s Customer Service goals are to:
  • Understand our customers and their needs
  • Effectively communicate with our customers and the community
  • Empower all employees to serve our customers
  • Value customer satisfaction and simplify the customer experience
  • Embrace technology to benefit our customers.
The Customer Service Strategy is available to view on our website.
One of the key responsibilities of a local authority is to manage its revenues, expenses, assets, liabilities, investments and general financial dealings prudently and in a manner that promotes the current and future interests of the community. WDC has good practices in place to monitor and mitigate the risks that exist in its’ day to day operations. A reporting regime is in place for financial variances, debt profile, outcomes of external audits and health and safety reporting. However, Council is aiming to enhance its Risk Management regime further and considers that it would be beneficial to establish a formal risk management regime to provide assurance that key risks are being identified and managed by WDC. At the June Council meeting, a time line and work plan for the Risk Management work stream was adopted by Council. Work will commence this month with the development of an Internal Audit Plan. The next step is for WDC to develop a Risk Management Framework and Policy. Our goal is to ensure good practice for accountability and sound management of ratepayer resources.
Keep New Zealand Beautiful Clean-Up Week takes place from 12th to 18th September 2016. Last year alone, nearly 80,000 volunteers helped to Keep New Zealand Beautiful. The aim of this event is to increase community participation of all kinds, but also addresses issues of sustainability, environment, health, crime and social inclusion. For more information and to get involved visit
We want to support the commercial viability of our businesses by ensuring residents and visitors to Te Kuiti have access to parking. This is a friendly reminder that parking restrictions apply in Te Kuiti’s CBD, as provided for in WDC’s Land Transport Bylaw 2010. The following time restricted parking arrangements are applicable between the hours of 8:00am and 6:00pm on any day except Saturday, Sunday and statutory holidays: Time-Limied-Parking-Image-A You can view the Land Transport Bylaw on our website or request a copy by contacting our friendly Customer Services Team.
A partial upgrade of the security camera system was completed in 2008/09. Since then, several other individual cameras have been installed in Te Kuiti’s CBD. Technology has advanced significantly over the years. To ensure that we continue to have a camera system in place that is effective and reliable, we will soon commence a review of the security camera system.
Dogs should always be kept on their owners’ property and not be allowed to roam. Roaming often leads to several dog behavioural problems. A dog that is used to having freedom, but expected to be confined, is likely to protest. This can be in the form of destructive behaviour, digging holes, becoming agitated and barking excessively during the day and night. Dog owners are reminded that it is an offence to allow dogs to roam. If caught roaming, dogs will be impounded. Owners are encouraged to adequately fence their property to keep their dogs confined at all times. It is important to exercise your dog daily. The new Dog Control Bylaw contains maps showing on-leash and off-leash dog exercise areas. Remember to always carry a plastic bag to scoop that poop. Dog owners are reminded not to take their dogs to the Central Business District of Te Kuiti or to playgrounds and schools, as these are dog prohibited areas. Owners who fail to do so will be issued with a fine.
Stock on roads is a risk to public safety Stock on roads is an issue in the District. During the 2015/16 financial year, 72 service requests were received for matters relating to roaming stock. All farmers are reminded to mend fences regularly and keep their stock safely on their properties. Any stock that is found wandering on the road will be impounded, and owners will be required to pay an impounding fee.
Be a good neighbour Prolonged exposure to loud noise may affect the health and well-being of the people living in our communities. One of WDC’s obligations under the Resource Management Act is to control noise. It’s important to consider your neighbours when it comes to the noise created by your stereo, celebration or gathering. We receive noise complaints through our Service Request System, mainly relating to loud music. If you’re planning a party or celebration, let your neighbours know beforehand. Help to prevent issues by offering the opportunity to discuss any concerns directly with your neighbours. If your neighbour’s party becomes too loud, goes on too late or both, phone WDC on 0800 932 4357. We are obliged to investigate and take action if necessary. To reduce the chance of enforcement action, we encourage people to limit high-level noise activities after dark, and to be a considerate neighbour.
We are working on providing new public toilet facilities in Benneydale, as planned for in the 2015-25 Long Term Plan. The user numbers that we obtained over a three month period have helped us to understand how often the toilets are used, and to ensure we develop an appropriately sized facility. We have now worked through the design and tender process for the Benneydale toilet. Construction of the new facility is planned to take place over the next few months.
Work is progressing with the installation of two new filter units. The Level 4 Water Restrictions are still in place. The capacity of the treated water produced by the Plant is temporarily reduced, while the upgrade work is underway. It is important for the water restrictions to remain in place until further notice. We ask that residents and business continue to monitor water use; turn off taps while not in use, and to fix leaky taps and faucets right away. We receive public notifications of water leaks through our Service Request System. This information allows us to investigate the issue promptly.
Waikato Civil Defence is now using the Red Cross Hazards app and it is available to the public to receive emergency type alerts. Download the Hazard App by New Zealand Red Cross to help you and your family prepare and respond to hazards in New Zealand. The app is a vital tool to help you get through emergencies and to receive disaster alerts. You can download the app for free from the App Store or Google Play store on your smart phone. You can also get emergency information from, facebook and twitter.
We invite community clubs, groups, and organisations to make an application for the Discretionary Grants fund. Applications must be received by 5 pm, Thursday 1 September 2016. If you are a not-for-profit group operating within the Waitomo District, you may be eligible to apply. The focus of the Discretionary Grants Fund is to provide assistance for the ‘not-for-profit’ sector, to create a strong social base and meet local needs. The dollar value of each grant will be determined on a case by case basis during each funding round. Grants are ‘one-off’ and are not intended to form part of any ongoing financial support relationship with Council. Applications are considered and determined on a quarterly basis. Organisations can only apply for funding once in any given financial year. We encourage applicants to first read the Community Development Fund Policy to ensure that they understand and meet the eligibility criteria before lodging an application. We provide guidance information and support for groups who are working through the application process. For assistance, please contact Donna Macdonald – Community Development Coordinator on (07) 878 0800. The following funding opportunities are coming up this year: Funding-and-grants-image-A
Vandalism of public property is an ongoing issue for Council. There are financial and non-financial costs as a result of wilful damage. People who carry out acts of vandalism, whether it is graffiti or breaking property, are behaving in an anti-social, destructive way that is degrading the quality of local living. Our residents expect to have the enjoyment of a safe local environment. We want to encourage people to view the Waitomo District positively as a place to live, work and visit. To achieve this, we must all work together. The following is a sample of the issues that we have addressed so far this year:
GRAFFITI/TAGGING Public toilets in our District have been targeted 13 times.
ROAD SIGNS A number a road signs have been damaged across the District; Te Kuiti, Piopio, Mokau and Kiritehere beach. Signs were broken or stolen.
RAILWAY PEDESTRIAN OVER BRIDGE LIGHTING The lights on the bridge are broken as soon as they are replaced. This has occurred five times this year. See photo below.
CENTENNIAL PARK AND MANGAOKEWA RESERVE The turf/grass has been ripped up twice. A significant cost in damage repairs and the area was closed for some time impacting on local sports teams.
CAMPING SIGNS At Awakino Heads Road (see photo below). These have been damaged four times.
DOG CONTROL SIGNS Stolen from Piopio, Mokau and Te Kuiti.
We are seeking the support of the community to put a stop to vandalism. We encourage people to call the Police immediately on 111 if they observe vandalism taking place. Take a photo and record important details like a description of the individual(s), and the vehicle registration number. Photos are invaluable as a way to capture evidence for investigation purposes. If you come across vandalised public property while out and about, please let us know straight away by phoning 0800 932 4357. Our call centre operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Any person observed vandalising public property, commits an offence under the Public Places Bylaw, and if convicted can expect to receive a fine of up to $20,000
There has been growth in the development and use of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS). There are a variety of aeroplanes and multi- rotor ‘helicopters’ in toy and electronic stores. RPAS is the official International Civil Aviation Organization term for this type of aircraft. They are also known as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and drones. The growth in the use of RPAS has resulted in new Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) rules for unmanned aircraft coming into force on 1 August 2015 to improve aviation safety for operators, other airspace users, and people and property. The new CAA rules address the safety risks that modern unmanned aircraft pose to other airspace users as well as people and property on the ground. A key update to Rule Part 101, which was designed to regulate traditional model aircraft, is the requirement for operators who want to fly over people or property to gain consent from the affected individuals or property owners before they fly. The CAA have advised RPAS users that having a conversation with a property owner beforehand is an effective way of managing risks. CAA have informed Operators who intend to fly over public spaces to get permission from the land owner. CAA is encouraging public land owners to be proactive and suggests erecting signage indicating where or not unmanned aircraft flights are allowed or not at the park entrances. WDC intends to develop a draft Policy and present this to Council for consideration in September and adopt the Policy in October.

  • The George Street to Alexandra Street sewer pipe (under the railway corridor) requires replacement.
  • The sewer pipe that runs from the Esplanade to the Sewer Main Pump Station (located at the northern end of Hinerangi Street) is being replace, and this will aid in reducing the inflow of ground water into the Wastewater Treatment Plant.
  • We will be working on changing the route of the Nettie Street sewer pipe in order to rectify a historic issue.
  • Works will be undertaken on stormwater pipes in the areas of Hill Street and Edward Street, to improve drainage.
  • The pipe connecting to the Hetet Street Water Main will be upgraded.
  • The condition of the existing pipe at Blackman’s Reservoir requires replacement.
  • Additional manholes will be installed for the sewer main in Taupiri Street, and King Street East to Alexandra Street, to assist with maintenance and cleaning.
  • Work on the Benneydale sewer main is planned. This work was identified as a priority during a recent CCTV inspection.
  • Sections of water main in Piopio township will be renewed and an additional pipe installed ahead of the planned water main replacement programme.
  • The water mains in the Mokau township network will also be renewed.
Waitomo District Council conducted a Biennial Waste Audit in July. The audit identifies the parts of the waste stream that could be recycled, reused or recovered. This information guides the development of recycling facilities, landfill design and the Kerbside Collection Service. Twenty refuse bags were randomly selected from Te Kuiti, and ten from the communities of Waitomo Village, Piopio and Mokau. In addition to this, we measured the degree of compliance with our recycling requirements. Preliminary results show that food waste continues to make up the highest portion of the contents of refuse bags. Plastic food wrap, plastic bags, nappies and sanitary items also made up a large portion of waste. These results are consistent with those obtained in previous audits. The quantity of hazardous waste materials, timber, rubber and metal items contained in refuse bags have reduced. The final results of the waste audit will be published in the Annual Report 2015/16. We are planning exciting activities to encourage people to reduce food waste. Further details will be provided to the community in the near future. Waste-Audit-image-A Waitomo District Council’s Team Administrator Hilary Walker and Manager – Operational Services Vikus Joubert get stuck in to complete the Waste Audit. green
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