Vote for your favourite photo in the Waitomo District Calendar Competition…
Waitomo District Council and Ruapehu District Council have made a joint commitment to fund a marketing role for the Timber Trail cycleway for a three year period. A three-year marketing strategy and a one-year tactical marketing plan has been developed. The objectives of the strategy are:
  • To establish a clear and consistent brand, imagery and story that all stakeholders can use to promote the trail.
  • To establish a strong digital presence for the trail that is backed up by timely expert advice and booking assistance.
  • To develop and curate content for the purpose of targeted marketing of the trail.
  • Support the development of packaged Timber Trail experiences to entice visitors to stay longer and spend more time enjoying their trip.
View the Strategy on our website.
The Waitomo and Otorohanga District Councils have joined forces to assist learner drivers in both districts to pass their restricted licence. Until recently, both District Councils have provided separate learner driver training programmes in the Waitomo District for 16 to 24-year olds. The Community Driver Mentor Programme (CDMP) coordinated by the New Zealand Transport Agency, (NZTA) was aimed at giving disadvantaged young drivers the resources and range of driving experiences they needed to pass their restricted licence test and develop safer driving behaviours. The programme addressed the challenges that learner drivers in the 16 to 24–year age group often face such as access to a suitable vehicle and an experienced mentor to teach them safe driving habits. The Waitomo and Otorohanga District Councils have combined local road safety budgets to fund a two-year programme similar to the previous CDMP and will target young drivers who already have their learner’s licence and support them to obtain their restricted licence. Waitomo Mayor, Brian Hanna says the vast majority of vehicle crashes on roads in both districts are caused by high-risk drivers in the 16-24 age group. “For the best road safety outcomes and to enhance employment opportunities for young people for both our districts, we consider it important that resources are combined and directed to helping our young people.” “The new service level agreement will ensure that the programme is equally promoted in the Waitomo and Otorohanga Districts with every endeavour to support an equal split of student enrolments from the two districts,” says Mayor Hanna. Click here to find out more.
Brook Park is one of the most significant reserves within the district and provides a leisure reserve for residents and visitors as well as protects the community’s heritage. The Brook Park Incorporated Society are a group of local residents who work together to identify projects from the management plan and develop them over time, raising funds where necessary to support this work. Some of the projects underway at present include the completion of the mountain bike trail, weed control, fencing and maintenance work, and removal of a number of old trees in the conifer grove. Are you interested in joining? Your help would be greatly appreciated at working bees, and to generally raise the profile and use of the Park. If you would like to find out more please contact Guy Whitaker on 0211 515 575, or Bruce Maunsell 0274 887 663.
On Friday, 9 September, the Mokau Water Supply system water main along State Highway 3 burst near Rangi Street. This was repaired. However, another section of the same pipe burst near the water main pump station the following day. The restoration of the service was delayed. Before commencing work in-ground electricity and telecommunication utility services had to be determined by the utility providers and a street light pole had to be removed. Following this, the pipe was repaired. Work is already underway to replace this part of the piped water infrastructure in Mokau. During the past year, we have been working to install additional shut-off service valves on the Mokau water main. This work forms part of the replacement project that is scheduled for this coming summer. As a result of the recent issues with the mains, this replacement schedule has been brought forward. We will commence the project soon and install a new water main along SH3 from the water main pump station to Rerenga Street. There will be short periods of disruption to the water supply as we connect it to the existing reticulation network. We understand that this will cause further inconvenience, and we ask residents to bear with us during this time. Residents will be notified directly prior to the scheduled work.
Over the last five years, WDC has undertaken staged upgrade works at the Les Munro Centre to modernise it so as to promote its use as a premier venue for functions within the District. An integral part of the upgrade work is the revitalisation of the outdoor area which is currently underway. Contractors are working on the construction of a deck area that will be accessible from the main sliding doors that open up from the supper room. This will make the outdoor area more accessible and user friendly. The gardens and plants will also be updated. Existing features such as the large silk wood tree and open green space areas will be retained and enhanced. The construction work is due to be completed early October.
Construction work has been completed on the fourth stage of the Railway Station Building Project. This involved the internal refurbishment of Building 1 and Te Kuiti i-site and a new entrance way to link the two buildings. The next stage will be the internal fit out of Building 1 followed by the relocation of the i-site services back to their premises. B
Waitomo District Council wants local business owners to get in touch before erecting advertising signs (hoardings) beside local roads. A review of the advertising signs across the District has identified that a significant number of the current roadside hoardings are not consented, and therefore do not comply with the rules of the District Plan. Business owners who plan to promote their business with roadside signage; whether it is located on their private property, on public land, or on someone else’s land must first check with WDC that their sign complies with the Plan. If it does not, then, a resource consent is required before any sign can be erected. The various factors that are considered as part of a consenting process include placement of the sign, the size of lettering, and design (including the number of characters). WDC want to support local business and understands the need for appropriate promotional signage as an important way to attract customers. Our aim is to minimise potential safety issues for motorists by keeping distraction and physical hazards to a minimum. Regular checks will be undertaken along the roading network to identify unauthorised signs and address these accordingly as provided for under Section 19 of the District Plan. To arrange a meeting with a WDC representative, please phone our friendly Customer Services Team on (07) 878 0800, or email info@waitomo.govt.nz
Vote now for your favourite photo! We have received an amazing range of images showcasing our District. Voting is now open! We invite you to view the photos and vote for your favourite. For more information visit the Te Kuiti i-SITE Visitor Information Centre (currently located in the former NZ Post Building, Rora Street Te Kuiti). We are open 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday. Phone (07) 878 8077, Email tkisite@waitomo.govt.nz. Scroll to the very bottom to vote on each category. Voting closes on Friday 14 October 2016.
Coastal Category
Image 1 1_amarakopaphoto
Image 2 2_Belinda-Ratima
Image 3 3_img_4250
Image 4 4_John-Roach-2
Image 5 5_John-Roach
Image 6 6_marokopabeach
Image 7 7_mokauatsunset
District/Iconic Highlights Category
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Image 9 9_img_4362
Image 10 10_marakopafalls-deborahohagan
Image 11 11_runningofthesheep-brentohagan-001
Image 12 12_shears2015-brentohagan-001
Image 13 13_steamtrain-viaductdeborahohagan
Image 14 14_waitangurufallspiopio
Image 15 15_wnpc2
Rural Category
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Image 17 17_img_1320
Image 18 18_img_1614
Image 19 19_Joy-Hurley-2
Image 20 20_Joy-Hurley-4
Image 21 21_wp_20151010_004
Scenic Category
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Image 23 23_img_1574a-001
Image 24 24_Michael-Jensen
Image 25 25_rainbowonbenneydale
Image 26 26_thumb_brians2_1024
Image 27 27_wnpc1.1
Image 28 28_wp_20150705_001
Township Category
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Image 30 30_lookingtowardsmarakopa-carolinedavidson
Image 31 31_mokaubridge
Image 32 32_p1000547-001peacepark4
Image 33 33_pandi
Image 34 34_Path-image
Image 35 35_wp_20151121_001
Wildlife Category
Image 36 36_p1000487-001tui
Image 37 37_tui
Image 38 38_tuigeorgestrtk
Community Leisure Management (CLM) are managing the day to day operation of the Aquatic Centre and will be providing a range of activities including swimming lessons, aquatic exercise classes and pool party events for children. In this year’s satisfaction survey, we asked residents how satisfied they were with the quality of the pool’s facilities and service. Eighty-eight percent of residents were satisfied with the service. This result exceeds the 2015/16 performance target of greater than or equal to seventy per cent of resident satisfaction with the pool facility, and is a significant increase from the satisfaction rating given last year (75%). Kirk Olsen and his team of qualified lifeguards are focused on providing a family friendly facility, that is safe, healthy and hygienic recreational environment. We encourage families to come along and enjoy the lovely warm water. Fees for this season are:
  • Adult $4.50
  • Seniors $3.20
  • Child $2.40
  • Students $2.80
  • Under 5’s FREE
  • Learn to Swim Classes (per lesson) $10.00
Safety is our top priority and that is why swimmers are monitored by lifeguards throughout the season. Please remember that supervising your children in the water and inside the pool facility, is your responsibility. Parents supervising their children, with the support of the Pool lifeguards, is the best approach to pool safety. For more information visit the team at the Waitomo District Aquatic Centre 11 Hinerangi Street Te Kuiti. Phone 07-878 8803. 1Pool-closing-day
Resident satisfaction has increased for Council services, facilities and overall performance. Every year, Waitomo District Council carries out a Resident Satisfaction Survey (RSS) which seeks to gauge the opinion of residents on a wide range of services and activities delivered by Council. The survey helps us as a Local Government to understand people’s views and opinions about our service delivery, and where there is room for improvement. It is also a means for measuring our activity performance against 14 targets; all of which were achieved this year – an excellent performance result for WDC. The survey was open to the public for two weeks during May, and 329 Waitomo district residents took part, of which 83% were ratepayers. Similar to previous years, the largest portion of respondents were from Te Kuiti, in the 60 years plus age bracket. The following graph shows resident’s satisfaction with a number of key services, and compares this year’s survey ratings with those obtained in the 2014 and 2015 surveys. 1Key-survey-activities-summarised-2016   Council’s Overall Performance Residents are more satisfied with Council’s financial management and that Council is capable, competent, and efficient and that the Councillors interact with the community. The following graph shows that the positive trend in resident’s satisfaction continues.   newOver-performance-graph1 263 residents took the opportunity to let us know which service(s) are considered a priority to improve over the next 12 months. The top services mentioned were Roads and footpaths, District Promotion and Elderly Persons Housing. Residents also commented on the following:
  • Better parking and rubbish disposal options for high tourist areas.
  • A need for more residential and tourism accommodation.
  • Improve local roads and footpaths.
  • Better promotion of the Aquatic Centre.
  • More public seating.
  • Promote the District and local businesses.
  • More options for waste collection and disposal.
WDC considers it important to understand how satisfied residents are with the services it provides to the communities in the District. Where there is scope for improvement in the eyes of the community this can be factored into WDC’s planning for future service levels. We continue to have a high and improving level of support for what we do. However, the results of the Survey highlights service strengths and opportunities for improvements in the areas of Solid Waste Management, Building Control, Emergency Preparedness, Communications, and assisting in the creation of vibrant communities and thriving business. We would like to thank all the Waitomo district residents and ratepayers for having their say through the Resident Survey. You can view the full Survey Report on our website. WDC’s financial and non-financial (activity) performance will be reported on through the Annual Report for the financial year 2015/16. Council will receive the Annual Report at the October Council meeting. The Annual Report and a Summary Report will be made available to the public.
We are busy with many different projects in our Community Services group. New concrete spheres were installed along the edge of the Te Kumi Road public reserve land in Te Kuiti. This is part of our efforts to restrict illegal vehicle access to our public places. Work to improve the south end public gardens is continuing, with the aim of replanting these to match the rest of the main street gardens. 1IMG_4051 We identified a number of old trees that needed to be removed at the old Te Kuiti Cemetery. These were felled in September for safety reasons. Following the colourful display last year, we have planted wildflower seed mix in additional areas at the new and old Cemeteries, to create a bee and butterfly friendly garden. 1IMG_2702_web The new playground at Waitomo Caves Village was completed in August, and includes new swings, a slide and climbing equipment. 1Waitomo-Playground-003
In this year’s survey we asked residents how long their household could survive without outside assistance in the event of a natural disaster. Of the 303 residents who provided a rating, eighty-nine per cent understand the need to plan for the ability to survive on their own for three days if there was an emergency event. We encourage everyone to make a plan to help their family get through an emergency. Think about the things you need every day and work out what you would do if you didn’t have them:
  • If you can’t get home, where will your families meeting place be?
  • Who will pick up the kids?
  • If you have to evacuate your home, you will need to take your pets with you. How will you transport them?
  • Do you have water for three days or more? That’s around nine litres of water for every person in your home.
  • If the power is out, how will you cook, stay warm, see at night?
  • Is there spare cash in case ATMs are not working?
  • Do you have enough fuel in case petrol pumps are not working?
All of these questions and more should be answered as part of your families’ household plan. Visit www.happens.nz/make-a-plan. Fill in the form then print it out, stick it on the fridge and make sure everyone knows the plan. Or save it as a PDF and email it to your family members. what-would-you-do-guide
Our 2016 waste audit showed that residents dispose of more organic waste and food scraps than any other type of rubbish material (found in blue rubbish bags). Around 39% of every blue bag is filled with organic waste which can be easily recycled (up from 36% in the 2014 Audit). We encourage residents to separate food scraps and garden waste from other household rubbish. This is important for the environment and for financial reasons When organic materials break down in the landfill, they decompose anaerobically (without oxygen). This generates methane, a harmful greenhouse gas that traps heat in the atmosphere and contributes to climate change. Under the Emissions Trading Scheme, Council is required to purchase and surrender New Zealand Units to account for the emissions generated by the district Landfill. This places a financial impact on how we fund the services provided to the community. What you can do at home to make a difference Composting at home as an affordable and natural way to recycle and to divert organic waste from Landfill. Start composting at home and in a few months you can create an ongoing supply of organic fertiliser that will help you to grow healthier plants, reduce the need to use chemical fertilisers in your garden, and save you money. To reduce food waste in the home, plan meals before you buy and store food correctly. It may be convenient, but potatoes and onions shouldn’t be kept in the same place as they produce gases which spoil each other. Both should be stored separately in cool, dry, dark places. Rotate your items when unpacking your groceries – move the old stuff to the front and put the newer products behind. Food can be kept fresher for longer by keeping them in their original packaging, in the fridge. Most modern packaging has been specially designed to preserve fresh food and keep it at its best, so don’t open items until you need to. For more tips visit www.lovefoodhatewaste.co.nz 1PIE-GRAPH-AUDIT
The composting process is easy to learn, but requires a little bit of technique which comes with practice. Breaking down waste requires the right amount of moisture, heat, soil, aeration and the correct mix of materials. For a healthy compost mixture, you need a good balance of these four ingredients: 1IMAGE-FOR-COMPOSTING Tips to start making compost:
  • Purchase a compost bin from your local hardware store or make one yourself.
  • Position the bin in a semi-sheltered grass area, with good drainage.
  • Encourage worms into the compost by breaking up the soil where the bin will be placed.
  • Start with a layer of course materials, such as branches or twigs.
  • The ‘add-as-you-go’ method of composting is often preferred because you can regularly add the daily kitchen waste to the pile.
  • Remember to keep food scraps covered with a brown layer of grass clipping, weeds and leaves.
  • Mix your materials by adding 2 parts green to 1 part brown.
  • Turn the compost every few weeks.
You can use the compost on your garden to grow healthier, more productive plants and reduce the need to use chemical fertilisers in your garden.