Get ready to Vote in the 2016 Local Elections
Put that old mobile phone to good use
Farmers urged to check fences to keep stock and road users safe
Love Food, Hate Waste, Save Money
Civil Defence training for Council staff
Stay safe on the road this Winter
Maintenance of Road and footpaths
AA Driver and Vehicle Licensing
Improvements underway for public gardens
Upgraded broadband infrastructure Waitomo Village
Rates Rebate Scheme
A focused direction for the local economy
Dog owner responsibilities
Waitomo District Library
Maps and Property Information
Recycling…. It all goes in the same bin mate!
Recycling household plastics
This issue features Roading news, recycling information and more…
Annual and Summary Annual Report 2015/16
We are quickly approaching the end of the 2015/16 financial year and we will be reporting our performance for the year through the 2015/16 Annual Report. This Report summarises our performance across different activity areas as well as the overall financial performance for the 2015/16 year. Council’s Annual Report will be independently audited in September and presented to Council for adoption in early October. This report will be made publicly available online and in hardcopy.
Open Fire Season
Waitomo District is now in an open fire season. This means that in all cases, any person may light a fire in the open air without a fire permit. Even though you can light a fire without a permit, you nevertheless remain responsible for any damage or costs incurred to extinguish it, and can also be prosecuted under certain circumstances of negligence. We are pleased to say we had no major fire incidents occur this season. Our Rural Fire team recorded a significant increase in the number of fire permit applications when compared to the previous season. Thank you to all the people who contacted us to enquire about the fire season and to obtain a fire permit.
Roading Projects now underway
A total of 13 bridges are included in the structural bridge maintenance programme for the 2015/16 financial year:
37, 38 Waitomo Valley Road
76 Kahuwera Road
132 Mangatoa Road
202 Tikitiki Road
209 Kakara Road
222 Mokauiti Road
226 Owen Road
234 Ohura Road
235 Pao Road
237 Matiere Road
251 Waitewhena Road
255 Potaka Road
Culverts located on Waitewhena and Whataroa Roads are scheduled for replacement. Inframax Construction Limited have completed culvert inspections for the whole district. This has highlighted some other culverts that require extra maintenance in order to restore them to the required specification. Routine drainage maintenance is being carried out via the monthly maintenance zones programme. Both the bridge and culvert projects are scheduled for completion by the end of June. The annual road marking project is currently underway across the District and is nearing completion.
Te Kuiti Water Treatment Plant upgrade
Over the past few months our Contractors have replaced the pipe work that connects to the water filters at the Treatment Plant. In order for this work to be completed, the Plant operated on a temporarily reduced water filtration capacity. This meant that we had to monitor water consumption very closely and promote water conservation efforts. Given the high level of water consumption in Te Kuiti, it was necessary for Council to implement level 4 water restrictions on nonessential water use. In general we had a great level of cooperation and no issues were observed with the supply. The next phase of the upgrade will involve replacing the pipe that takes the water from the river and feeds it into the plant. This work is expected to continue into early 2017. The need for a reduction in water consumption is because the ability for the ability to produce treated water is temporarily reduced while this work is carried out. The water restrictions will remain in place until further notice.
You need to be enrolled to vote in the 2016 Local Elections on 8 October 2016. Basically you are qualified to enrol if you are 18 years or older AND:
you are a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident
you have lived in New Zealand for one year or more continuously at some point.
Monday 27 June,
everyone currently on the electoral roll will be sent an enrolment update pack in the mail. All you need to do is check that your details are right. If they are correct, you don’t need to do anything more. If anything needs updating, make the changes and send them back. If you don’t get a pack by
Monday 4 July
you are not correctly enrolled to vote, and you need to enrol.
If you want to check your enrolment details, you can:
Check details online at www.elections.org.nz
Check printed roll at Council’s Queen Street Office, Waitomo District Library on Taupiri Street or NZ Post at Paper Plus, 157 Rora Street, Te Kuiti.
Phone 0800 36 76 56
You can enrol or update your details by:
Visiting the Electoral Commission website:
Free phone 0800 36 76 56
Free text your name and address to 3676
Visit NZ Post at Paper Plus, 157 Rora Street, Te Kuiti
Picking up forms from Council’s Queen Street Office, the Waitomo District Library on Taupiri Street or the Te Kuiti Visitor Information Centre i-SITE (currently located in the former NZ Post building) Rora Street, Te Kuiti.
If you’re not enrolled by Friday 12 August you won’t get your voting papers sent to you in the mail.
If you enrol after this date, you will have to request special voting papers from your local electoral officer. If you are a Cook Island Maori, Niuean, Australian or Tokelauan you can enrol once you have lived in New Zealand continuously for 12 months. You do not require permanent residency to be eligible to enrol and vote. There are a limited number of restrictions to who can enrol which you can find out more about either on the Electoral Commission website.
Now is a great time to find a better use for that old mobile phone – drop it off at Waitomo District Council and raise money for the new exciting charity Sustainable Coastlines.
Sustainable Coastlines is a young, multi- award winning New Zealand charity with a mission to inspire, educate and enable others to look after the places we love. Waitomo District Council has come on board once again to support the scheme. All mobile phones, smart phones, batteries, charging units, data cables and head-sets are accepted regardless of condition (working or non-working), make or model. Simply place your unwanted mobile phone and accessories in the Sustainable Coastlines collection bin provided in the reception area of Waitomo District Council.
We continue to receive a number of complaints from concerned members of the public about stock on roads.
We are seeking 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. Owners of wandering stock can face criminal liability under the Crimes Act 1961 (sections 156 and 157). If a land owner or occupier fails to take necessary steps to ensure their livestock remain adequately fenced in, they will be at risk of endangering the safety or health of the public (especially road users). If their stock causes a crash and negligence is proven, they may be prosecuted. 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.
The Land Transport Bylaw and Public Places Bylaw can be viewed on Council’s website.
To make a complaint about stock on roads please phone 0800 932 4357.
Reducing food waste can help Kiwi families save money – that is the message of the new Love Food Hate Waste website launched on 1 June.
In New Zealand, the average family throws three full shopping trolleys of uneaten food into the bin each year which is more than $560 of food going to waste. The Love Food Hate Waste website will help people reduce the amount of food that they throw out in order to save money and the environment. “Often when we think about food waste we associate it with supermarkets and businesses, but the reality is the most significant proportion of food waste actually happens in the home,” said Asset Group Manager Kobus du Toit. “That’s why it is important to help people create less waste to begin with. The Love Food Hate Waste website has practical tips, storage guides and recipes to help people get the most out of their food.” Waitomo District Council is one of 59 Councils collaborating to deliver Love Food Hate Waste around New Zealand. When it comes to surplus food waste WDC aims to inform people of the benefits not only to the environment but also how it can make their money go further. Kobus du Toit says making a few small changes is the easiest way to start reducing your food waste, such as storing bread in the freezer. Bread is the most wasted food in New Zealand with 20 million loaves being thrown out each year and that doesn’t include the bread we throw to the birds. New Zealand’s humid climate means that bread doesn’t last well in the pantry and should be stored in the fridge or freezer to prevent it from growing mould.
Well known chefs including Annabel Langbein, Alyson Gofton and Dr Libby Weaver have donated their favourite recipes for using up odds and ends to the website:
Waitomo District Council is a member of the Waikato Civil Defence Emergency Management Group (CDEM) consisting of 11 local authorities.
Our role is to manage all civil defence emergency management response and recovery activities for the Waikato CDEM group at a local level. In order for our Council to be prepared and skilled for such a responsibility, we plan and undertake training. A total of 33 Council staff recently completed the foundation course that provides an introduction to Emergency Management in a Local Government environment. The course covered:
The Local and Distant Hazards to the Waitomo District.
Personal preparedness for staff.
The responsibilities for council preparedness under the Civil Defence Act so that it can continue to operate to the best of its ability.
Highlighting the fact that civil defence is the council and council is civil defence. Everyone will become involved when an event impacts us.
The supporting and operating an ‘Emergency Operating Centre’ to assist the management of an impacting event in the community.
The emergency operating centre was then set up in the Council Chambers (as it would be for an activation) so that staff could familiarise themselves with the various roles. An exercise will be held where the Emergency Operating Centre will be set up again on June 29th and staff will operate there to assist the Local Controller conduct a training scenario. Because we operate in a shared service agreement with Otorohanga and Waipa District Council’s the processes and resources used here are exactly the same. This provides Council staff with a level of familiarity should we need to assist our neighbours or they need to support us during an activation.
The following driving tips from the NZ Transport Agency website will help you prepare for and drive to the conditions when driving on icy, wet or snowbound roads.
Drive slower than you normally would – it only takes a split second to lose control in wet or icy conditions.
Avoid sudden braking or turning movements that could cause you to skid.
Accelerate smoothly and brake gently.
Use your highest gear when travelling uphill and use your lowest gear downhill.
For vehicles without anti-skid braking systems, pump the brake pedal in short rapid bursts rather than pressing long and hard to avoid skidding or sliding.
Drive at a safe travelling distance because it takes longer to stop on slippery roads. In winter, especially in poor weather, leave a safe distance between you and the car you’re following.
When travelling in fog, rain or snow, drive with your lights dipped for increased safety.
If things go wrong
In the event of an emergency, dial 111.
For mechanical breakdowns, contact your breakdown service provider.
If you want to report or check current road conditions on the state highway call 0800 4 HIGHWAYS (0800 44 44 49) or check online at
If you do get stuck, stay with the vehicle and keep everyone warm until help arrives. If you are involved in a crash, tell the police even if no one is injured.
Operational maintenance on local roads and footpaths is focussed to defined zones across the district. The scope of work required in each zone is determined through Council’s inspection process. We identify the need for maintenance of roads and footpaths as well as other systems like signs and road markings. Other zonal work undertaken includes pothole repairs on sealed and unsealed roads, cleaning of lined and unlined water tables, footpaths maintenance and removal of overgrown / intruding vegetation and grading of unsealed roads. You can read about the other types of work covered by Council’s annual maintenance programme on our website. The program for the month of June covers zones U, V, N, O, I (as shown in the map below).
This work involves cleaning of culverts and maintenance of the surface water channels and drainage in general. We determine the areas that require top priority and attention, based on the information obtained through inspections of the network. Drainage inspections will take place throughout the year.
To find out when work will commence in your area visit
Click on ‘Roads and Footpaths’
Click ‘Annual Maintenance Programme’
View ‘Map showing zone boundaries’
We have included an approximate time frame of when work will take place, however Emergency projects will take priority.
As an AA Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agent we can handle all your Driver and Vehicle Licensing requirements. Services that we provide:
Driver licence applications and renewals
Motor vehicle relicensing
Road User Charges
Road code and plates
International Driving Permits (IDP)
Become a member of AA
Learner licence theory tests
Class 1 (car), Classes 2,3,4,5 (heavy vehicle), class 6 (motorcycle) and endorsements.
Practical Driving Tests
The full practical driving tests for class 1 (car) and class 6 (motorcycle) can be booked by us but cannot be taken in Te Kuiti.
Monday 8.30am – 4.30pm
Tuesday 8.30am – 4.30pm
Wednesday 9:00am – 4.30pm
Thursday 8.30am – 4.30pm
Friday 8.30am – 4.30pm
Public holidays – Closed
We have levelled the wooden framed garden beds that were situated on the corners of Sheridan Street/ Taupiri Street and King Street/ Taupiri Street Te Kuiti.
Council is renewing these garden beds as they have reached the end of their useful lives and also to ensure that a clear line of sight is maintained at these intersections to ensure the safety of pedestrians and motorists. The Tatsuno Japanese Garden is getting some much needed attention. Our Parks and Reserves Team work to the original plan to ensure a consistent approach is followed for the garden maintenance.
Under the Government-funded Rural Broadband Initiative, Chorus has upgraded the broadband switch in the cabinet located in Waitomo Village. The upgrade was completed at the end of May.
To ensure that you get the most of the broadband upgrade, there are a couple of checks that you should make with your internet service provider (ISP). Check the modem that you have as it may require upgrading. If you live within the coverage area its a good idea to think about upgrading to a plan that will give you faster speeds (VDSL broadband).
Connect Smart promotes ways for individuals, businesses and schools to protect themselves online. All New Zealanders will benefit if we can unlock the potential of the internet by using it in a safe and secure way. Learn to Connect Smart – visit
Marketing your business online
Did you know that you can build your own website for your business or community group? There are a number of websites that provide templates and step by step instructions to create your own personalised website. Have a look at the following sites:
If you are a low income earner and are the legal rate payer for your property you may be eligible for a Government funded rates rebate of up to $610.00.
The amount of any rebate is dependant on income, the total value of the rates assessment and the number of dependants you have. To apply you must have been the legal ratepayer and residing on your property on the 1st of July 2015. Different levels of rates rebates are available on household earnings up to a maximum of $42,000 per annum.
To confirm that you are entitled to a rates rebate please contact our Customer Services Team on (07) 878 0800 or visit our website
The closing date for 2015/16 rates rebate applications is 5pm Thursday 30 June 2016.
Waitomo District Council recognises the need for an economic development strategy for the District. The strategy will be focused specifically on our district and looks at how we can grow, strengthen and diverse our local economy.
An economic development strategy for the Waitomo District is important for some of the following reasons:
Population statistics project regional decline. We want to buck that trend.
Our District needs to be resilient to changes in some of its key industries.
Our District offers businesses opportunities that have not been realised.
We need to be sure we have the right infrastructure in place to support growth.
To plan for what may be required to improve economic prosperity it is important to understand what drives the local economy. Council’s economic development person, Rachael Laver is currently working on understanding challenges and assessing gaps in the local industry and community. This is being done via one on one meetings with business owners and through the ‘livability’ section of the resident satisfaction survey, which was recently conducted. Upon completion, the data will be collated to into a document that will inform the development of a District Economic Strategy. If you would like input into the district’s economic game plan then please contact Waitomo District Council today to set up a meeting with Rachael.
The Dog Control Act 1996 requires owners to keep their dogs under control. Dog owners need to ensure their dogs do not:
cause a nuisance (e.g. through barking or fouling)
cause damage to property
injure, endanger or cause distress to any person, stock, poultry or domestic animal, or protected wildlife.
Owners must ensure that their dog is confined to their property by fencing, a kennel or a running wire. Any fencing needs to be adequate / tall enough to contain a dog. The fencing should be impenetrable, i.e. not have holes or gaps. Keep in mind that a dog barking from boredom or seeking attention can create a nuisance to your neighbours so it is important to make time to exercise your dog.
Food, exercise and shelter are basic essentials you must provide as a responsible dog owner. Ensure your dog(s) have a warm and dry place to seek shelter this Winter. Keeping them warm if they are an outside dog also helps with the condition of the dog. Do not allow your dog to roam. If your dog is impounded by Animal Control (for the first offence), it will cost you $60.00, plus $10.00 per day for food. These costs will need to be paid in full before your dog is released from the pound. If your dog is not registered, you will also be required to pay for your registration before your dog is released from the pound.
PEDIGREE® A Dog’s Story™
There is a new interactive app that teaches children dog safety. On a magical adventure through beautiful landscapes, children will meet different dogs and their owners – each of whom will teach important real-world lessons for kids to learn how to interact safely with dogs. The ‘A Dog’s Story’ app is available now as a free download from the App Store and Google Play.
For all Animal Control enquiries please phone 0800 932 4357.
The Library is excited to tell you about a new service coming soon. Our Kit Collection will include guitars, sewing machines, kids travel fun kits and lots more. All available to hire from the Library. More details to follow.
Do you need a quiet place to study?
We provide the perfect environment with free computing and internet access via the Aotearoa People’s Network Kaharoa (APNK). PC’s are available for customer use (30 minutes per day) and have a range of software available, as well as a DVD and CD drive, USB ports, memory card slots, a webcam and headset.
Are you looking for resources to assist with your study or homework?
We provide access to thousands of high quality electronic publications including Britannica Library edition, current and reputable medical information, a vast array of journal articles and genealogical resource Ancestry.com To use EPIC Databases you will need internet access and your Library Card. Visit the Library web page www.waitomo.govt.nz/library. Click on ‘Electronic Resources’. Click on ‘EPIC Databases’. Enter your User I.D. (the barcode number on your Library card). Enter your password (the last four digits of the barcode number on your Library card). If you require assistance, we have a guide available on our website or alternatively you can phone the friendly Library team on (07) 878-1028. We have a variety of books, DVD’s, puzzles and board games like Monopoly and Scrabble to keep the family entertained on a cold Winters day. ZooWhiz is a free online learning system for children aged 5-15 years old. The system motivates kids to learn through fun. Visit the Library page on our website and click on the ZooWhiz link to access the site. Check your Library account, renew items and browse our book collection online. Visit the library web page and click on ‘Catalogue’.
You can view aerial photographs, rating information and more through Intramaps – an online mapping and property information service available on our website.
This mapping service provides many layers of Waitomo District Council’s data, information and aerial photographs. You can search for a property and view associated rating and valuation information, print maps and view District Plan information. Other information available includes property and road boundaries, water assets and underground services such as water pipes, manholes and hydrants.
Intramaps is available on our website
We encourage everyone to recycle as this helps to reduce the amount of recyclable waste going into the Landfill. By separating glass, plastic types 1 and 2, tin cans, paper and cardboard appropriately you can save on rubbish disposal costs and do your part to keep our towns and environment looking clean and tidy. Council provides free recycling facilities at District Waste Transfer Stations and at the Landfill. Using these facilities comes hand in hand with the requirement to prepare and sort recyclables. All people who use the recycling facilities at the Transfer Station must ensure that:
All waste is separated into the recyclable refuse and residual waste categories. These are all marked with signage for easy identification.
All waste is off-loaded at the place and in the manner directed by the site operator. Our transfer stations are supervised during open hours.
All steps are taken to assist in the minimisation of waste.
All reasonable steps are taken to protect the health and safety of all of those persons on site including site staff.
Leaving rubbish outside the District Transfer Stations is an offence under the Litter Act 1979. This offence may lead to a fine upon conviction of up to $5,000.
Please sort your recyclables into the correct collection bins at the District Transfer Stations.
“Why are some plastic types accepted for recycling but not others?”
This is a common recycling question. There are some key factors that determine whether a plastic item is recyclable; its shape and what resin the item is made from. This is indicated by the code and triangle printed on the container. The market demand for that specific type of plastic also plays a major part in determining if it is ‘recyclable’. Basically, some plastics are easier to recycle and some considerably less. We accept plastic types 1 and 2 as this is the type of plastic our Recycling Recovery Facility (RRF) has a market for. RRF’s have two functions – to sort through the collected materials (by hand) and then to bale and re-sell those materials. If there is no market for a plastic type, then the process of recycling that plastic is not economically viable. RRF’s are paid on the quality of the baled recyclables that they produce. Quality is determined by the level of contamination, and this impacts on the price paid for the recyclables. This is why it is important to prepare your items for recycling. To help reduce contamination and improve recycling efficiency, wash and squash! 1. Scrape out any food remains/ pour away excess liquid; 2. Rinse the container conservatively in warm water; 3. Squeeze plastic bottles flat to expel as much air as possible. Removing the lids of plastic bottles is important as they are often made from a different resin type (i.e. milk bottle lids). Too many lids contaminate the load, so remove and throw these away or re-use them for another purpose where possible. There are a number of household products that are packaged in type 1 and 2 plastic containers and bottles. Keep this in mind and check the code the next time you go shopping.
PETE-based plastic containers (type 1) have a porous surface. This sometimes allows bacteria and flavour to accumulate from foods and drinks that were stored inside of them. Avoid reusing this plastic as a food or drink container.