As part of the District Plan review, Council has done some specific work around place making and place shaping for five of our townships. With the help of these communities, draft Town Concept Plans have been prepared for Te Kuiti, Benneydale and Piopio and draft Structure Plans for Waitomo Caves Village and Mokau. Over the past year, Council has held open days in each of these towns to help us understand community aspirations and to identify issues which needed to be addressed in the plans. We have also worked with local interest groups and Iwi. All of the open days were well attended and people’s feedback was thoughtful and focused. Council would like to thank the members of these communities who have supported this planning initiative. WDC has collected all of the community feedback and created a framework that identifies what we think are the most important key moves for each town. Now we would like to share the draft plans to make sure what we have identified properly reflects community aspirations, and most importantly, is practical to implement. This means we will also need to understand how and if we can fund these projects in the near future. That might mean making applications for funding from other sources. Rather than being a main street type beautification type programme for each town, these plans have a wider focus. The key moves are high level and address topics such as connectivity, changing character, the gateway entrances and future land uses. However, Council is mindful that these plans need practical application. As a result, we have tried to prioritise the ideas and action plans which relate to each of the key moves so we can establish what is achievable over what time frames. On the 1st of December this year, each of these draft plans will be available for you to view online. You will be able to submit feedback via our website. Then during February we will hold a second round of open days in each of the five towns, to talk with community members face-to-face. On the 1st of March 2019, we will close the feedback and finalise the plans. You can find all of this information by searching for your town using the District Plan review link on our main webpage or by following this address: The open days are scheduled for the dates listed below (please note some venues are to be confirmed). The residents of these communities will be reminded of these dates closer to the time.
  • Mokau: Friday 8 February 2019. Mokau Community Hall.
  • Bennyedale: Tuesday 12 February 2019. Bennyedale library.
  • Te Kuiti: Thursday, 14 February 2019. Railway building.
  • Waitomo Caves Village: Wednesday 20 February 2019. Waitomo Caves Discovery Centre.
  • Piopio: Friday 22 February 2019. Senior Citizens Hall.
REZONING During the District Plan review, there are different opportunities for you to become involved and provide input to the process. At the moment, Council is examining the zoning that we might apply across the district. From the 1st of December this year, if you live in a township or settlement, you will be able to see the draft zones for your property online. These maps do not represent final decisions, but rather are a starting point for conversations about what the appropriate zoning might be. The communities of Marokopa, Te Waitere, Kinohaku, Benneydale, Piopio, Hangatiki and Waitomo Caves Village have had a preview of the suggested zoning as part of the open days. In December we will add draft zoning maps for Te Kuiti, Mokau, Awakino, Aria, Taharoa and Oparure along with the maps of these communities to our website at: You can also find this information through the District Plan review link on our main webpage. The webpage details how you can provide us with your feedback or contact us as required.
The 2017/18 Annual Report was adopted by Council at the Tuesday 30th October Council meeting. The document reports on WDC’s operational performance and financial position for the year to 30 June 2018. The Annual Report was audited by Deloitte and was issued an unmodified audit opinion. Click here to view. The Annual Report seeks to communicate to the residents and ratepayers of the District the financial and non-financial performance of the Council for the year ended 30th June and the financial position of the Council as at that date. The Annual Report is presented to the residents and ratepayers after first being audited by Council Auditors and then being formally adopted by the Council.
To find out more about holding a stall, exhibition, or performing on stage at the 2019 Great NZ Muster, please contact our Community Development Coordinator Clowdy Ngatai on 07-878-0800, or send us an email
Last month we identified a leak in the wall of the raw water storage dam from which water is treated and supplied to Mokau and Awakino communities. The leak resulted in the loss of a considerable volume of stored raw water. It was necessary for us to implement water restriction (level 4) to conserve the remaining stored water in the upper dams. Level 4 is a complete ban on any outdoor water use, and asks residents and businesses to use water for essential purposes only (drinking, food preparation, hygiene and sanitary). We are working on repairing the dam embankment – this work is expected to take around 3 weeks to finish. Although the upper dams contain sufficient storage of water due to recent rainfall events, we consider it prudent to keep the water restriction in place and review this in early December. NIWA is predicting some dry weather ahead so now is a good time to start thinking about ways to conserve water. See our information about our water conservation and tips to save water in this edition of the Waitomo Way.
Council recently reviewed its Communications Strategy, which is an essential document that directs and outlines the Council’s approach to engaging with the community. The objectives and principles of the Strategy remain the same from the review, however, improvements to the methods we use have been agreed to, that will enable us to continue to provide an effective and useful service to our community. Digital communication methods (social media and website) are two methods that we think are working very well. Our website is an integral part of the way we inform and deliver services to the community. It offers 24-7 access to Council information and we plan to continue to use this as a key means of delivering Council business. In most cases, our social media pages will refer to news and information that is readily available on our website. Our social media pages on Facebook are: Waitomodistrict WaitomoDistrict.animalcontrol TeKuitiNZ MayorBrianHanna WaitomoDistrictPlanReview We have also recently started using Instagram (waitomo_nz) and Twitter (@WaitomoDC) to promote our District and Council. Council considered the feedback that we obtained through our 2018 Resident survey, which confirms that the top Council communications that people read and use are the Waitomo Way newsletter and the Council adverts and notices published in the Waitomo News. In order to be more efficient and to address some hiccups around the distribution of Waitomo Way, we plan to consolidate these two methods by publishing a regular Council news page in the Waitomo News, starting next year. This will also be published on our existing digital newsletter site We have a growing number of subscribers to our digital newsletter, and this is a great way to receive Council news straight to your email inbox. To subscribe visit The 2018 Communications Strategy was adopted at the October monthly Council meeting. You can view this document on our website
A full restoration of the carving of Tūwhakahekeao that sits at the front of the pavilion Te Kūititanga o Ngā Whakaaro, has been completed by Nathan Roa out of “The Red Shed” at Waitomo. Nathan has done a fantastic job and we really appreciate his great work and the care he has taken with this. Tūwhakahekeao (which will be 20 years old next year) was originally carved by Brett Tuheke, a Tā moko artist based in Sydney. The carving and the pavilion has been re-oiled annually. The recent works to the carving included a complete strip down and application of several coats of oil to protect the timber which is Totara, Black Maire (Taiaha). The one hand was replaced after the recent vandalism. It is really important that this carving is respected and valued by everyone in our community – please look but don’t touch. Moving forwards, we will be working with Nathan and Tui Waretini on the maintenance of the pavilion. Following community feedback, we are establishing a shelter at the new Te Kuiti cemetery. Our Parks and Facilities team have re-purposed the noticeboard that was removed from Te Kuiti’s main street railway plaza, and are creating a seating area and access to water for the visitors to the cemetery. We have also installed signs at the old Te Kuiti Cemetery to make it easier for people locate the water tap. Our public amenities are maintained to a very high standard, and are a credit to our team.  
As part of our annual maintenance programme this year we plan to reseal approximately 40 km of roads on our network. The pre-reseal repair work is already in progress and we aim to complete 30% of this programme before Christmas, weather permitting. Our footpaths programme is also now in progress. ACE Consultants have inspected the footpaths on our behalf. We aim to widen existing narrow footpaths up to 1.5m wide to better accommodate mobility scooters and pushchairs. In addition, a number of potential sites have been shortlisted for new footpaths. The area in front of Benneydale School will have a new footpath and crossing to improve road safety for children walking to and from school. Bitumen bleeding (road “tar melting”) has always been a problem on chip seals during the hot summer weather. We rely on members of the public to notify us about the bitumen or tar melting on the road, so we can address this issue accordingly. Once a service request is received, we apply Grade 6 chip (sealing aggregate) on top of the melted bitumen. As a further pre-caution “Slippery surface” and “Ice/Grit” signs are put up to highlight these sites, and we continue to monitor for further issues or until the bleeding has subsided. You can notify Council of a service issue or complaint via email, our website, free phone 0800 932 4357 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week), visit or call into our Queen Street Office and speak with our Customer Services team.

TE KUITI, PIOPIO & BENNEYDALE water supplies are on level 1 Conservation
  • Use sprinklers between 6-8am and 6-8pm.
  • Hand-held hosing is allowed anytime.

MOKAU water supply is on level 4 Restriction: Essential water use only (ban on outdoor use).
Typically residents use more water over Summer. It comes hand-in-hand with summer activities; enjoying the outdoors, swimming, gardening and getting on top of property maintenance. An influx of visitors also contributes to higher water use in our communities. A period of hot, dry weather puts our supplies under pressure from an increased level of consumption, so it is important as a community to have good water conservation habits. Our aim over summer is to manage this demand for water, as best as possible, to ensure we can meet the essential needs of households, businesses and public services. Simple water conservation measures can make a big difference:
  • Put in the plug to wash fruit and veggies or for rinsing dishes.
  • Do full loads in the dishwasher & washing machine – this saves water and power!
  • Turn the tap off when brushing your teeth or shaving.
  • Promote shorter showers & install an efficient showerhead – this can save 50 litres of water for each six-minute shower.
  • For cool drinking water, fill a jug and keep it in the fridge. Running water to cool it down can waste 10 litres a minute.
  • Do not flush wipes & rubbish down the toilet. Throw them in the rubbish bin.
  • Fix leaky taps and toilets right away. A small, regular drip could waste hundreds of litres of water a week.
  • Water your garden in the early morning and late evening.
  • Use recycled water (also known as grey water) that you have collected in your home to water your garden.
  • Focus on watering the plant’s roots. Using a soaker hose, or a watering can ensure the water goes where it is needed.
  • Remove the weeds from your garden, they compete with healthy plants. Use plenty of mulch.
  • Don’t cut your lawn too short or too often in summer.
  • Cover swimming & spa pools when not in use.
  • Use a broom to sweep sidewalks and paved areas. Using a hose for this can waste 1,000 litres of water per hour.
  • Invest in an auto shut-off nozzle for your water hose. This reduces water wastage while washing your car.
  • Wash your car on the grass.
If you notice a leak, burst pipe or a water problem in your street please contact the Council straight away on 0800 932 4357. Water alerts and updates will be published on our website, facebook page and in the Waitomo News.
Not all vegetables are created equal. Some hardy things like carrots and pumpkin can last for weeks or months, while others may wilt within a day or two of making it into your refrigerator. It is important to understand which vegetables go off fastest, so you can make sure to eat them first. This is particularly important if you are only shopping once a week. If you don’t shop regularly, make sure you buy a variety of vegetables from each section below to make sure you have a wide enough range to last until you do your next grocery shop. This handy guide tells you which vegetables you need to eat first.
We wish everyone is our communities a safe and merry Christmas. You can view our office hours on the file below.