Our Long Term Plan 2018-28, which sets out the future direction for the district, was adopted by Council on Tuesday 26 June 2018, and approved an average rates revenue increase for 2018/19 of 2.48%. Formal consultation on the Council’s 10-year plan ended on May 4, with 117 submissions received covering a variety of topics. The majority of submitters were supportive of all six proposals contained in the consultation document and of the direction Council has set for the next ten years. Some concern was raised for the proposed change in funding method for Water and Sewerage services by the two largest ‘extraordinary’ users of water in Te Kuiti. As a result of the feedback received from the community during the consultation process, Council deliberated and resolved to confirm its preferred options, as contained in the consultation document and incorporate them into the 2018-28 LTP as follows:
  • Council will pursue the Safe Communities accreditation in support of community development.
  • Council will provide a maximum capital funding grant to the Game on Community Trust (GoCT) of $1.5 million, with $1 million provided in 2018/19 year and $500,000 in 2019/20 under the proviso that if the GoCT are able to source additional funding from other benefactors then Council would contribute less.
  • Council will become a member of the Waikato Regional Economic Development Agency (WREDA), and participate in the Sub Regional (South) Economic Development initiative.
  • Two new rates remission categories will be established one for new businesses and the other for properties adversely affected by natural calamities. The details of the criteria and conditions is contained in the Rates Remission Policy.
  • Council will proceed with the upgrade of public toilets in Mokau and Waitomo Village if 50% of the costs of these upgrades can be obtained from the Tourism Infrastructure Fund (TIF).
  • Council will implement the new funding method for sewerage and for water services across the District and will set 10% district benefit rate for all rating units across the District.
In consideration of the submissions by the two largest ‘extraordinary’ water users, Council agreed that harmonisation of water by meter rates would be transitioned over four years starting in 2018/19, same as the Water Targeted Rate. Council also agreed to include an additional $60,000 in the budget to further support community partnerships. Council adopted a number of strategies and policies including the “Financial Strategy’’ and the ‘’Infrastructure Strategy”, as fiscal parameters within which Council will operate in working towards its vision, so that initiatives are carried out in a fiscally sustainable manner. Council is committed to reducing debt as part of its Financial Strategy for this Plan. Over the 2018-28 period the forecast dividend income ($4.95 million) from its shareholding investment in Inframax Construction Limited will be used to repay debt. The New Zealand Transport Agency recently notified us that the funding assistance rate for roading maintenance and renewals would be increased from 65% to 73% starting 1 July 2018. This will mean additional subsidy income. Council has agreed to utilise this additional subsidy to further reduce its debt over the 2018-28 LTP, in keeping with its overall Financial Strategy. This will also have an indirect effect on reducing rates requirement due to reduction in interest costs. Over the term of the 2018-28 LTP, public debt is forecast to reduce from a high of $46.8 million in 2018 to $24 million by the end of 2028. This is a decrease of $22.8 million or nearly half (49%) over the ten year period. We are pleased to have heard from many Waitomo District residents, and are delighted that so many people took the time to get involved and share their thoughts with Council. The final LTP is available on Council’s website and in hardcopy format.
If there is a property in your neighbourhood that you believe is a health or safety hazard due to an unkept section, you might first try talking to the property owner. If this does not resolve the problem, contact us on 0800 932 4357 to report concerns associated with hoarding and other nuisance issues including vermin control. If your concern is a fire risk, you can let Fire and Emergency New Zealand know about it by completing the online form available at: or call 0800 336 942. Please note that Fire and Emergency NZ are only able to take action to deal with genuine fire hazards, and not where the property is just unsightly or presents a health hazard.
We have made it quick and easy to access cemetery records through our new online search tool available here. A search of the records can be made by simply entering the deceased person’s name. The physical location within a cemetery can be confirmed together with a photo (where available) of the headstone and other plot information. This is a great resource for ratepayers and residents, and people wanting to locate or visit the plot of deceased friends and relatives. The tool is proving highly popular and has been accessed more than 700 times since it went live at the end of June.
Council has adopted the 2018 Solid Waste (asset) Minimisation and Management Plan (SWaMMP), which sets out the delivery of our waste management services for the period 2018-2028. Council started the review of the SWaMMP earlier this year to determine the best way to manage waste, with the overall aim of reducing waste going to landfill. The SWaMMP addresses recycling, collection, and disposal of waste, use of Council provided facilities, litter bin use, education and waste management for events. Public consultation on a proposed SWaMMP took place between 5 April 2018 and 4 May 2018. A total of 50 submissions were received that specifically relate to the matters under consultation. Public feedback did not support the Mokau/Awakino Transfer Station relocation proposal. Some key points raised in opposition include the inability to address significant amenity value issues, and that the transfer station location was not a solution for the solid waste issues in Mokau. The Awakino transfer station is very under-utilised. We consider that the location of the Transfer station (an approximate 15km round trip from Mokau village) is inconvenient for some and could be one of the reasons for the continued illegal dumping of rubbish at the public litter station located on North Road Mokau, and the widespread misuse of street litter bins. In response, Council agreed to not relocate the transfer station to Mokau. The identified solid waste issues in Mokau will be addressed using a multi-pronged approach including:
  • Better signs.
  • Reassessment of the transfer station opening hours.
  • Clearance frequencies of the street litter bins.
  • Identification of options for the un-consented green waste disposal site.
  • And an increased focus on public education and promotion of waste minimisation efforts such as recycling, composting and reducing food waste.
Council will also carry out minor works throughout the District’s waste disposal sites and transfer stations such as improved safety features and presentation of transfer stations; a review of the district’s recycling facilities; and improve recycling options at events. 97 percent of submissions showed strong support for this proposal.
We provide a weekly Kerbside Recycling Collection Service for the communities of Te Kuiti, Piopio, Mokau/Awakino and Waitomo ward and Village. Click here to view our guide to this service.
Hayden Kemp, the owner of two dogs that mauled and killed 14 sheep on the Piopio/Aria golf course on January 21st, 2018, was prosecuted by the NZ Police after an investigation assisted by Waitomo District Council (WDC). The dogs were not registered or microchipped with WDC at the time. The dogs had strayed from their rural home address located about 1km away onto the Piopio/Aria Golf Course. One dog was shot by a farmer during the attack, while the other dog decamped and was later seized and impounded by WDC Animal Control with the assistance of the NZ Police. The dog was later euthanized after being formally surrendered by Mr Kemp to WDC. On 30 May 2018, in the Te Kuiti District Court, Mr. Kemp pleaded guilty to the charge of owning two dogs that attacked stock. Mr Kemp was convicted, and ordered to pay $2,240 reparation to the Piopio/Aria Golf Club and $817.50 to WDC. Mr. Kemp has been disqualified by WDC from owning a dog for five years.
We recently carried out an audit of the Waitomo District Landfill waste stream, with the aim of better understanding the way people deal with waste. The audit used a sample of both the refuse and recycling waste streams. WDC’s General Manager Infrastructure Services Kobus du Toit explains that Solid Waste management is a significant activity for the Waitomo District. “This type of audit informs our understanding of how well the services and facilities are used by the community and where further education is required.” It was highlighted in the 2016 Waste Audit that putrescible or organic and food waste made up 39% of Waitomo District’s domestic waste sent to landfill. This is an increase of 2.75% on the 2014 audit result. Increasing recycling and reducing the amount of food waste going to landfill are key strategies identified in WDC’s Solid Waste (Asset) Management and Minimisation Plan (SWaMMP). The data will be recorded and analysed by an independent contractor.
Farm business operators have a responsibility to take all measures to reduce potential road safety hazards that arise from stock movements, for example, the waste left behind by stock, which creates a very slippery road surface. Operators that cause any damage to the road, road reserve or any Council or private property in the course of moving stock are liable for costs incurred by Council to rectify the damage. The rules associated with the movement of stock on roads is outlined in Council’s Land Transport Bylaw, and can be viewed on our website. For more information contact our Roading team on (07) 878 0800 or email Wandering stock We seek 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. If an owner’s stock causes a traffic accident and negligence is proven, they may face criminal liability. 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.
We have commenced a maintenance programme across the roading network including bridges located on Te Mahoe Road, Manganui Road, Waikawau Road, Matiere Road, Pomarangai Road, Matiere Road, Ramaroa Road, Tikitiki Road, Aharoa Road, Manu Road, Te Waitere Road and Marokopa Road. Bridges are inspected each year. The maintenance work that is required on bridges is identified and carried out to ensure structures are provided for safe access by road users. Issues that we look for include the build-up of debris, structural damage to the foundations, painting of structures, replacement of marker posts and a general evaluation of the condition of the bridge structure. All roads will remain open while the bridge repairs are underway. For roading service requests please contact us on 0800 932 4357.
Have you spotted a Council service issue around town? This could be a damaged road sign, dumped rubbish, a water leak, or a roaming dog. We provide a Service Request System that operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This allows you to notify us of an issue with our services or facilities. MAKE A SERVICE REQUEST BY PHONING OUR CUSTOMER SERVICES TEAM ON 0800 932 4357. We encourage you to get in touch so we can quickly investigate the issue and get things sorted. Generally, we need to know:
  • a description of the issue.
  • the location of the issue (street and town).
  • a photo is very helpful. Email to
  • contact information so we can update you.
For non-urgent service requests or to make a general enquiry: Visit our Queen Street office and speak with our friendly Customer Services Team. Fill in our online form: Visit Send us an email Fax (07) 878 7771
Many disasters will affect essential services and possibly disrupt your ability to travel or communicate with each other. You may be confined to your home, or forced to evacuate your neighbourhood. In the immediate aftermath of a disaster, emergency services will not be able to get help to everyone as quickly as needed. This is when you are likely to be most vulnerable. So it is important to plan to look after yourself and your loved ones for at least three days or more in the event of a disaster. Get your family or household together and agree on a plan. A functional emergency plan helps alleviate fears about potential disasters, and can help you respond safely and quickly when a disaster happens. You can get a copy of a household emergency plan and checklist here. A household emergency plan will help you work out:
  • What you will each do in the event of disasters such as an earthquake, tsunami, volcanic eruption, flood or storm.
  • How and where you will meet up during and after a disaster.
  • Where to store emergency survival items and who will be responsible for maintaining supplies.
  • What you will each need to have in your getaway kits and where to keep them.
  • What you need to do for members of the household, family or community with a disability or special requirement.
  • What you will need to do for your pets, domestic animals or livestock.
  • How and when to turn off the water, electricity and gas at the main switches in your home or business. Turn off gas only if you suspect a leak, or if you are instructed to do so by authorities. If you turn the gas off you will need a professional to turn it back on and it may take them weeks to respond after an event.
  • What local radio stations to tune in to for civil defence information during an event.
  • How to contact your local council’s civil defence emergency management office for assistance during an emergency. If life or property is threatened, always dial 111.

PUBLIC TOILETS – RORA STREET TE KUITI As part of our planned maintenance of the Rora Street public toilets, we replaced the cubicle partitions with more graffiti resistant partitions. The male and female toilets were temporary closed to the public while we completed this work.
ACCESS RAMP FOR BROOK PARK ROTUNDA We have built a ramp up to the Brook Park Rotunda to improve wheel chair access. The pathway that leads from the carpark to the rotunda is being worked on by the Rotary Club in liaison with the Brook Park Inc. Society – who have completed some fantastic work to date including weed control, tree planting, and are busy organising the next fireworks event planned for this November.
WAITOMO DISTRICT AQUATIC CENTRE We have completed most of our planned maintenance work at the Waitomo District Aquatic Centre, to ensure this great facility is preserved on behalf of our community. The steel roof and rear wall of the grandstand has been replaced. We have completed maintenance and upgrades to the pump and filtration system so it will now operate more efficiently. Minor works were also completed on the storage shed, steel perimeter fence (that runs behind the grandstand), the inside of the pavilion and changing rooms (cleaned and painted), and some minor plumbing work completed inside the changing rooms also. We plan to drain and repaint the swimming pools in September, in time for the start of the Pool season in October.
The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) continues to track the spread of myrtle rust in order to understand how it might behave in New Zealand and what its long-term impacts might be. Myrtle rust is a serious fungal disease that affects plants in the myrtle family. Plants in this family include the iconic pōhutukawa, mānuka and rātā as well as some common garden plants such as ramarama and lilly pilly. If you think you’ve seen myrtle rust, don’t touch or disturb the plant, take a photo, and call 0800 80 99 66. For more information visit
All General Land is liable for the payment of property rates, according to the Local Government (Rating) Act 2002 (the Act). The only exception to that rule is where the land meets the criteria set out in the Act, in that case, the property is classified as “non-rateable” for the purposes the Act. We have commenced with the process of declaring some land as abandoned, under the Act. In July, a total of 21 properties with overdue rates totalling around $366,000 have been identified as potentially abandoned land. These significant rate arrears have remained unpaid for a very long time. Numerous attempts have been made to locate the owners so they can address the arrears, without success. We want to clarify that the land identified as potentially abandoned is not Maori land. It is abandoned land held under General Land classification, as recorded with Land Information New Zealand (LINZ). We obtain the information regarding the classification from LINZ; the classification is not made by Council. As part of the legal process, we published the public notices to encourage any person with an ownership interest to come forward to address the unpaid rates arrears. We invest time and effort into the collection of rates arrears because it is considered fair to all other property owners who do pay their rates on time that rates arrears are recovered. To date we have had some success as a result of the public notice, with owners coming forward and clearing the outstanding rates arrears. Anyone who wishes to discuss outstanding rates arrears on abandoned land is encouraged to contact us on 0800 932 4357, or to visit the Queen Street Office, Te Kuiti.
The rising cost of carbon emissions is one of the main factors contributing to the increase in the cost of using Waitomo District Landfill from 1 July 2018. The Emissions Trading Scheme is the Government’s principal policy response to climate change and has been in place since 2008. The objective of the scheme is to support and encourage global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by assisting New Zealand to meet its international obligations and reduce New Zealand’s net emissions below business as usual levels. The Government has announced it is phasing out the one-for-two transitional measure in the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (NZ ETS) which allows businesses to pay one emissions unit for every two tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions. From 1 January 2019, a full surrender obligation applies across the NZ ETS. The market price for purchasing carbon credits has been steadily rising for the last 18 months from about $5.00 to between $17.00 – $20.00 per unit. This operating cost means that from 1 July 2018 Waitomo District Council must increase fees and charges. General Manager Kobus du Toit says the Council’s user-pays approach aims to encourage people to take responsibility for the cost of disposing of their waste. “Every household and business produces waste. There is an unavoidable cost to dispose of it in an environmentally responsible way”. “One tonne of waste produces approximately 1.19 tonnes of carbon dioxide. Waitomo District Landfill currently takes approximately 10,000 tonnes of waste each year, and therefore, the Landfill must pay for 11,900 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide (11,900 NZU).” Says Mr du Toit. WDC encourages residents and business to do their part to reduce, reuse and recycle. Reducing food waste not only keeps money in your pocket but also reduces the volume of landfilled waste.