Wishing our community a safe and happy holiday.
Over the past few months, the Elected Council have been considering a number of strategic considerations and variations from the financial forecast and funding impact statement included in the LTP 2015-25 in respect of the 2017/18 financial year. As always Council is focussed on retaining a balance between managing debt, affordable rates increases, and continuing to prudently manage our infrastructure and services. Development of the draft Exceptions Annual Plan 2017/18 (dEAP) is now underway. The focus of the dEAP will be on providing the levels of service committed to the community through the LTP. We will be progressing with the key projects which include upgrading our playgrounds, improvements to the Brook Park entrance way, footpath renewals, road improvements, and progressing with Economic development and district promotion initiatives. Another key project planned to be underway next year is the review of the District Plan. There is change happening in many parts of our District and it is important that our District Plan provides the right direction and guidance for land use. Some of the projects being considered for 2017/18 which were not included in the LTP but need to proceed include further upgrades to the Mokau water supply pipes and Taupiri Street stormwater. The majority of the remaining Te Kuiti Water Treatment Plant upgrade will be completed during the 2017/18 year, with the last of the works to be completed in 2018/19. We have a very busy 18 months ahead of us and our goal remains to enhance the livability of our District, facilitate our communities to be vibrant and thriving and to do this in a financially prudent and sustainable manner. We will be inviting feedback on the draft Exceptions Annual Plan 2017/18 in the new year and we look forward to hearing your views on our plans and forecast budget. We encourage you to speak with your Elected Members on the draft Plan which will be adopted for consultation in April next year. Once again we will utilise our communication channels to let you know when and how you can have your say.
Council was approached by the ‘Project Game On’ team (North King Country Indoor Sports and Recreation Centre project group) for a financial contribution of $1.5 million plus operating costs, towards the stadium project. Council supports the project and capital contribution in principal and have agreed to consider it as part of the Long Term Plan 2018-2028 development. The funding contribution would be subject to community consultation around funding arrangements, through the 2018-28 LTP.
Council understands the challenges facing the Hillview Rest Home, as a result of recent changes to the level of assessments for rest home placements and the desire for people to remain in their own homes for as long as possible. Council has been approached by the Board of Trustees for financial support, the details of which have not yet been provided. Council plans to consider this further once the information has been received.
We have adopted a draft policy for consultation which allows trading on Easter Sunday throughout the entire Waitomo District. This consultation is an opportunity for the community to have their say. We would like to hear from you as to whether:
  • you would like to see shops in the district which are currently not allowed to open on Easter Sunday open if they choose, and
  • if you agree with having a policy which allows more shops to open on Easter Sunday, do you think this policy should apply to shops across the district, or just in certain areas.
Anyone can make a submission about the draft Local Easter Sunday Shop Trading Policy, and we encourage you to tell us your views. A submission form is included in our Statement of Proposal. Copies of the Statement of Proposal are available on WDC’s website, or, hard copies are available from Waitomo District Library, Te Kuiti i-SITE and our main reception Queen Street, Te Kuiti. For any queries, please phone 07 878 0800. When you complete the submission form or write to us, please indicate if you wish to speak at the hearing, and we will send you more details closer to the time. The consultation will take place during the period Wednesday 7 December 2016 and Friday 27 January 2017. Submissions close 5.00pm on Friday 27 January 2017.
We are considering the option of converting the existing sodium lights currently lining our urban roads to low-energy, light-emitting diodes (LEDs). The major benefits of LED lighting is a reduction in the electricity consumption, and a reduction in maintenance expenses due to the longer life expectancy of the LED lamps. The development of a feasibility study and business case is underway (to the requirements set by the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA), and will outline the cost to upgrade the network, and what the potential future energy and maintenance costs might be. We have trialled LED streetlights on Rora Street at the pedestrian crossing opposite the Visitor Information Centre i-SITE and received positive feedback.
In New Zealand emergencies can happen anytime, anywhere, and often without warning. The 7.8 magnitude Kaikoura earthquake, tsunami and aftershocks have highlighted New Zealand’s risk of earthquake and tsunami, and the importance of being prepared for any event that comes your way. Confusion exists around the right action to take in an earthquake and the warning signs and appropriate action for tsunami. During an earthquake it’s important to drop, cover and hold, wherever you are. If you are inside, Drop, Cover, and Hold – do not run outside or you risk getting hit by falling masonry and glass. DROP down on your hands and knees. This protects you from falling but lets you move if you need to. COVER your head and neck (or your entire body if possible) under a sturdy table or desk (if it is within a few steps of you). If there is no shelter nearby, and cover your head and neck with your arms and hands. HOLD on to your shelter (or your position to protect your head and neck) until the shaking stops. If the shaking shifts your shelter around, move with it. If there is no shelter near you crawl to an inside corner of the room and cover your head and neck with your hands and arms. If you are outside, move away from buildings, trees, streetlights, and power poles, then Drop, Cover, and Hold. Stay there until the shaking stops. If you are near the coast – Long, strong, gone. If you feel an earthquake that lasts longer than a minute or is strong enough to knock you off your feet, don’t wait for a tsunami warning. Move immediately to higher ground or as far inland as you can. Walk if you can. Stay there until you get the all clear. Make a plan today. Know where to go, find out who can help you and who might need your help. Visit 2what-would-you-do-guide
If you plan to light a fire in the Waitomo district during a restricted fire season, you will need to apply for a fire permit. There is no charge for the issue of fire permits. Our Restricted Fire Season for open fires starts at midnight on 9 January 2017 and ends midnight on 31 March 2017. The season may begin earlier or be extended if dry weather conditions continue to develop. Anyone lighting an open air fire which includes campfires, cooking fires, braziers, rubbish fires (including 44 gallon drums and rubbish pits), controlled burns and prescribed burns – must obtain a permit. We may need to undertake an inspection of the site prior to issuing a permit so please ensure that your application is lodged at least three working days prior to the date you intend on lighting the fire. If a fire you have lit on your property gets out of control or creates a nuisance, all costs associated with putting out the fire may be passed on to you. Bonfires on the beach can look good in the movies but there a numerous safety hazards associated with this activity. Road conditions and limited access to rural areas may result in longer response times for emergency and fire services. Be alert to the fire risk in rural areas and if you are going to light a fire consider the following:
  • Fires can cause financial and material losses. If you are unsure if you are covered by your insurance policy, contact your insurance provider.
  • Ensure the weather conditions are suitable. Strong winds can carry sparks for a considerable distance increasing the risk of fire.
  • Make sure the fire is adequately separated from other combustible materials like mature trees, scrub, shrubs, a woodpile etc.
  • Supervise the fire at all times and have a means to control/extinguish the fire, such as a hose connected to a water supply.
  • Fires should not be ignited or have a naked flame visible during the hours of darkness.
  • Ensure the fire is totally extinguished on completion of the activity.
  • Make sure all embers are completely extinguished before you dispose of them by soaking in water or leaving to cool.
  • Ensure sufficient road access to your property suitable for large emergency response vehicles.
  • Keep important contact telephone numbers handy.
Residents are urged to regularly monitor the fire season as well as maintain their occupied (or unoccupied) section by removing any combustible material, to reduce the risk of fire spreading onto (or from) your property. If possible, choose the safer and environmentally friendly option of disposing of rubbish and garden waste at your nearest transfer station. Further advice on vegetation fires or to apply for a Fire Permit, please contact David Brown, Principal Rural Fire Officer on 027 233 2152 or Waitomo District Council on 0800 932 4357.
Join us for an exciting and entertaining show by magician Trevor Sills. 2Item-8-Simply-Magic-inset-photo Wednesday 18th January 2017 at 11am. Free and open to all ages. Waitomo District Library Taupiri Street Te Kuiti. Open Monday – Friday 10.00am to 5.00pm, Saturday 9.30am to 12.30pm. Phone (07) 878 1028
WDC has adopted a Policy to provide guidance on the use of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (“RPAS”) on or over Waitomo District Council (Council) property and facilities, and to manage safety risks. The policy applies to both recreational and commercial operators of RPAS weighing less than 25kg. Under the Policy, Council does not allow the use of RPAS on or above some Council properties. Council permits the use of RPAS on or above parks and reserves, subject to certain conditions, one being that the operator complies with Part 101 Rule or such other CAA rules and regulations which apply to RPAS, in particular, the requirement to obtain the permission of people before flying the RPA over them. You can view and download the Policy on our website
We continue to undertake various stages of renewal work at the Les Munro Centre. Our aim is to modernise this valuable facility so that it can be promoted as a premier function venue within the District. We have now completed work in the outdoor area. The new deck provides improved outdoor access from the supper room, and makes the area more user-friendly. Most of the gardening is now finished, with roses to be planted next to the cobblestone pathway. During the 2017/18 financial year, we plan to restore the main bathroom facilities in line with the rest of the centre, and improve ventilation, fixtures and fittings. 1Item-10-Les-Munro
We are progressing with the upgrade of the filter pipe work at the Te Kuiti Water Treatment Plant, with three new stainless steel water filters now in place, and the fourth scheduled for installation in January. The Te Kuiti Water Supply is at water restriction level 4 during this critical stage of the project. The restriction requires households and businesses to limit the use of water for nonessential activities (outdoor use, washing cars, filling of swimming pools, etc). Item-11-inset-photo-Asset-Group-Manager-Kobus-du-Toit Group Manager Kobus du Toit says that although there is enough treated water available for people to drink, certain risks must be managed to ensure the security of the availability of the water supply service. “We carefully monitor the water consumption levels and are conscious that temporarily reduced water filtration capacity that the treatment plant is currently operating at is a risk. We understand that the ongoing water restriction requirement might be the cause of frustration for residents, and we regret the inconvenience. We aim to keep any disruptions to a minimum as maintaining the level of service for the community is essential. Your effort to conserve water and avoid all water wastage is greatly appreciated.” Says Mr du Toit. The water restriction level will be re-evaluated following the completion of the filter pipe work. The Te Kuiti Water Treatment Plant is an essential community asset that once renewed, will meet the standards set by the Health (Drinking Water) Amendment Act 2005 (amended in 2008) and ensure it is of high quality, and benefit the people who live in and visit our communities now and in the future.
The following restrictions have been set for Waitomo District water supplies: Mokau, Piopio and Benneydale water supplies are on Level 1 – Conservation: Use sprinklers between 6am-8am and 6pm-8pm. Hand-held hosing is allowed anytime. Te Kuiti Water Supply is at water restriction level 4. Avoid outside use of non-essential water systems (washing cars, filling of swimming pools etc). Quick tips for water conservation All of the water that flows into homes connected to the town water supply, is good enough to drink. That’s right – the water in your toilet, washing machine, hose and faucet all comes from the same place, the Water Treatment Plant. It has been treated and tested to be clean and safe for human consumption. The next time you turn on the tap, flush the toilet or run a household appliance, remember that all the water you use is precious. Do your best to use it sparingly.
  • Remind visitors and guests that water conservation is important.
  • Promote shorter showers and shallower baths.
  • Do full loads in the clothes washer and dishwasher.
  • Use a broom to sweep sidewalks and paved areas.
  • Water your garden every four or five days, to encourage plant roots to grow deeper.
  • Adjust your mower to a higher setting. A taller lawn provides shade to the roots and helps retain soil moisture.
  • Check for leaks in pipes, hoses and faucets and fix them right away.
Every effort you make to conserve water will make a big difference. For more quick tips visit
As the holiday season draws near, we would like to remind owners of the need to look after their dogs both at home and when out and about in the Waitomo District. Is your dog kept secure on your property at all times? Under the Dog Control Act 1996 a dog owner must ensure that, when a dog is on their property, it is either under the direct control of a person or confined in such a manner that it cannot freely leave the property. All fenced properties should have a secure gate with a latch that firmly closes, and fencing must be of an adequate height and appropriate for the purpose of containing the dog. Dog owners are required to take all reasonable steps to ensure their dog does not cause a nuisance to any other person (walking or cycling past the property). And that their dog does not injure, endanger, intimidate or otherwise cause distress to any person, stock, poultry, domestic animal or protected wildlife. Areas where dogs can be exercised off-leash in the Waitomo District Regular exercise will keep your dog healthy and content. Playing fetch for 10-15 minutes a day is a great activity to make sure your dog gets enough exercise. The designated areas where people are permitted to exercise their dogs off-leash include the Mangaokewa Reserve, Ward Street Reserve and the land located adjacent to the Redwood Forest (Esplanade). You must supervise your dog and keep it under control while out and about. Dog on-leash areas are designated and sign-posted in a particular area of Kara Park Piopio and Centennial Park Te Kuiti; and
  • The area between the Tatsuno Japanese Garden on Rora Street (railway side) and the Citizens Advice Bureau, and the northern end of Rora Street (railway side) from Ward Street North are both areas where people can take their dog on a lead.
  • The eastern bank of the Mangaokewa River between Lawrence Street and the Te Kuiti Bowling Club is a location where dogs must be on a lead.
Dogs are permitted in the district cemeteries provided they are kept on-leash. We ask that people respect other people’s personal space. Public places are for everyone’s enjoyment, and not everyone is fond of dogs. Dog owners or people walking dogs in a public place must pick up after the dog and carry the means (e.g. a bag) to pick-up the dog’s faeces. Areas where dogs are not permitted: The Central Business District of Te Kuiti from Rora Street (between Alexandra Street and the South End Loop Road) and King Street East and Sheridan Street (between Rora Street and Taupiri Street). Unless the dog is attending a veterinary clinic located in this area or the dog is contained securely within or on any vehicle, and does not cause a nuisance or endanger any person;
  • The Village Green and Kara Park in Piopio (as defined in Schedule 1 of the Bylaw).
  • In the vicinity of a playground, public school, kindergarten, play centre, private school, and public swimming pools without prior written permission of WDC.
  • The Mokau River Esplanade from 1 December to 31 March.
When visiting other beach areas in the Waitomo District, we ask dog owners to be considerate of other beach users, closely supervise their dogs at all times, and please keep your dog from disturbing or endangering any other animals and wildlife. The Dog Control Bylaw includes maps that clearly outline these areas. You can view the Bylaw on our website and at the WDC Office on Queen Street. Alternatively contact our friendly Customer Services team on 07-878 0800 to request a copy.
Click the image to view WDC Service hours over the Christmas and New Year Period. 1Item-14-Council-Service-Info1
Thank you to everyone involved in the ’All I want for Christmas’ Parade. The event was a great success and it could not have happened without the valuable support from our community. Congratulations to the WDC Roading/Inframax Team 1st place winners of the Ultimate Shield, Number 12 – 2nd place and Imperious Dance Company 3rd place.