Thank you again for your interest in our Waitomo Way publication. The October issue is ready to go! Inside this issue: – Work begins on Council’s Long Term Plan – Heavy rainfall causes large slips, flooding and erosion – Community Update; Youth Council, Les Munro Centre and Camping Ground – Benneydale public toilets – Demolition of old treatment plant building – Water Services projects – Water Services Team host school visit – New Green bins for kerbside collection – Resident’s satisfied with Council’s services and facilities A reminder to keep an eye on our website www.waitomo.govt.nz and facebook page for Council news and updates. The next issue of our newsletter will be published in December.
The Local Government Act 2002 (LGA) requires every council to produce a Long Term Plan (LTP) every three years. The LTP outlines our activities and priorities for the next ten years, providing a long-term focus for decision-making. It also explains how work will be scheduled and funded. Under the LGA LTPs must be reviewed every three years with full consultation with the public each time. An Annual Plan is developed in the years in between. At present we are putting together all the information on what the plans and priorities for the next 10 years should be. We will then develop the financial details for what these will cost to deliver affordably and sustainably. We will seek your feedback on the plans and proposals. These proposals, any options and their consequences will be presented to the community in a Consultation Document (we often refer to this as a CD). Below is a timetable of our process and when you can expect to hear from us regarding the 2018-28 Long Term Plan.
September 2017 – March 2018: Council staff and councillors work on understanding and developing priorities for the next 10 years, and gather information to understand the different options and their consequences for responding to challenges and opportunities for the Waitomo District.
27 March 2018: Council meeting where Council will finalise the Consultation Document for the 2018-28 Long Term Plan. This includes all the significant proposals and their options and consequences.
5 April – 4 May 2018: Feedback on the 2018-28 Consultation Document is open. Feedback can be posted, emailed or even given to us on the phone!
14- 15 May 2018: People who have given their feedback are invited to speak with Councillors about their feedback to the Consultation Document for the next 10 years.
6 June 2018: Council discusses the feedback received and makes decisions on which option we should include in the Long Term Plan for each proposal.
26 June 2018: Council adopts the final 2018-28 Long Term Plan.
What is a Long Term Plan? A Long Term Plan (or LTP) is a document for identifying what WDC will do over the next ten years, how much it will cost, and who will pay for it. The LTP…
  • provides integrated decision-making and co-ordination of the resources of WDC
  • provides a long-term focus for the decisions and activities of WDC; and
  • provides a basis for accountability of WDC to the community.

As part of the development of our plan we must prepare… Infrastructure Strategy A description of the big infrastructure issues and options over the next 30 years and how these will be managed. This strategy must align with the financial strategy, and covers the mandatory groups; water supply, sewerage and the treatment and disposal of sewage, stormwater drainage, and provision of roads and footpaths. Financial Strategy Explains what the financial implications and issues are of the LTP and how they will be managed. The Financial Strategy puts self-set limits on rates and debt increases. As a core part of our story, the strategy must outline where Waitomo District Council wants to be in ten year’s time.
The prolonged period of heavy rainfall during August and September has caused a large number of slips, flooding, and erosion in many parts of our local roading network. The Hauturu area and Waitanguru area received about 300mm per month during this time, and Te Kuiti received about 200mm per month. Peak rainfall events were recorded on 20 July, during 7 – 21 August, and from 28 August to 11 September 2017. Large slips and detritus occurred in approximately twenty locations including Taumatatotara West, Taharoa Road, and Pomarangai Road. Underslips (washouts) occurred on Oparure Road, Marokopa Road, Mangatoa Road, and Troopers Road. These areas will be assessed by WDC and Inframax for repair. Inframax (ICL) as the Road Maintenance Contractor had been working non-stop clearing up slips and opening blocked roads. ICL had all blocked sites opened within 24 hours or less and some areas suffered repeated slips or flooding and required follow-up work. We are currently assessing the extent of the damage and cost to repair; the initial cost is estimated to be around $50,000. 1_Roads-inset-image Caption: A large overslip blocking Pomarangai Road was cleared on the 12th September.

Youth Council activities underway The Waitomo District Youth Council planned and held their first activity with a Free Family Movie Night in the Piopio Memorial Hall on the 25 August, 6 pm – 8:30 pm. The feature film was the Lion King and children were provided with free popcorn and lollies on entry. The Piopio College netball team was approached to provide a sausage sizzle and drinks for sale. The movie night attracted approximately 70 children and their parents. Feedback overall was very positive towards both the youth councillors and the Waitomo District Council for making this family event possible. In September the Youth Council planned a clean-up event at the Centennial Park Sportsground in Te Kuiti, as part of Keep NZ Beautiful Week.
New and improved bathrooms for the Les Munro Centre We recently completed a full upgrade of the Les Munro Centre bathrooms. This project included replacing all the fixtures and fittings, new floor coverings, installation of an extraction system and painting throughout. Council allocated a budget of $180,000 for this project in the 2017/18 financial year. The final cost came in under budget at $140,000.

Camping ground land to be used as a recreational reserve The month to month tenancy arrangement for the Te Kuiti Camping Ground ended on 31 August 2017. Council intends to retire the existing site and return the land for use by the Waitomo District community as a recreational reserve. The potential for the development of a new holiday park to serve the needs of visitors to Te Kuiti is under investigation. Any proposal will be discussed with the Waitomo District community through the upcoming 2018-28 Draft Long Term Plan process. The timeline for the establishment of a new holiday park will depend on the outcome of that process.
A new modern public toilet facility was installed last month on Ellis Road Benneydale (SH30). The toilets are now open for public use. The Council included the replacement of the facility in the 2015-2025 Long Term Plan as the old toilet block had reached the end of its useful life. The new facility has male and female toilets, a unisex accessible toilet with baby change facility and 24 hours access, replacing the old concrete block which consisted of one male and one female toilet. A mural by Gary Bennett will be applied to the exterior of the toilets, featuring themes from the surrounding area such as the landscape of the Pureora Forest, native birds, and the Timber Trail. The illustration shown in the slideshow below is a concept only and the $7,000 artwork may differ from what is shown.

  • A design for the additional valves and hydrants has been completed for the Tainui Street water main renewal. Tender documents were prepared in September.
  • The Hetet Street water main renewal is nearly complete. The main focus of replacing the water main has been completed. During this phase, it was identified that additional work was required to connect the Hetet Street main to the rest of the reticulation that will make the provision of water to that zone more robust and secure.
  • The Carroll Street sewer main replacement was delayed as we obtained a grant from KiwiRail for access. Further delays have been caused by the significant rainfall. We expect to start this project later in October.
  • The Henderson and Earl Streets water ring main project has also been affected by the heavy rainfall rain.
  • The expected start date for this project is now November.
  • The Te Kuiti Water Treatment Plant building demolition is nearly complete.
  • The refurbishment of the clarifiers at the Te Kuiti WTP started at the end of September. This will involve draining the first clarifier, cleaning and then assessing the condition of the concrete and integrity of the structure. The clarifier will then be coated to seal it with an epoxy coating to extend its life. The internal fitting will also be renewed as required after the condition assessment has been completed.
We started the upgrade of Te Kuiti’s Water Treatment Plant in 2015. This essential community asset is being upgraded in stages to minimise the impact on service delivery and for affordability reasons. The upgraded design will meet the standards set by the Health (Drinking Water) Amendment Act 2005 (amended in 2008). Current and future residents and visitors of Te Kuiti will benefit from this upgrade, by having safe, clean drinking water available. Groundworks involved in phase three of the upgrade started in early August 2017. The old treatment plant building has been carefully demolished, making way for the development of the new entranceway to the site. 1_Demolition-insert-photo-1 Phase two of this project involved constructing a new water intake to replace the old infrastructure. Resource consent to work in the river bed has now been obtained and work is planned to commence towards the end of this year when weather conditions are more suitable. 1_Demolition-insert-photo-2 The old treatment plant building was not structurally compliant with earthquake building standards. In 2015 a new building was constructed to incorporate all the facets of water treatment.
WDC was approached by St Joseph’s Catholic School to host an activity afternoon for a small group of students. Treatment Plant Operator Warren (Bo) Muraahi, Manager Water Services Andreas Senger, and Health and Safety Facilitator Nicola Waghorn took the students on a tour of the Piopio Water Treatment Plant and explained the processes involved in treating the water so that it is safe to drink. The children really enjoyed the visit. It was a pleasure to have the opportunity to show them a little bit of what we do as a Council. 1_Water-Services-Team-inset-photo
We have now completed the delivery of the new green bins to all properties that receive the Kerbside Collection Service. We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their patience as we worked through this process. All green bins must be placed on the kerbside by 8 am on the day of collection. Piopio, Mokau/ Awakino, and Waitomo’s collection take place on a Tuesday. Te Kuiti’s collection takes place Friday. Large volumes of recycling (greater than the capacity of the bin), can be disposed of for FREE at the Waitomo District Landfill or District Waste Transfer Stations. Using your green bin you can recycle:
Plastic containers and bottles (type 1 and 2 only). Look for a 1 or 2 symbol printed on the item.
  • Remove and discard all lids
  • Rinse containers and bottles clean
  • Squash all plastic bottles
  • Plastic meat trays – remove plastic wrap and rinse clean.

Metals: Aluminium and Tin
  • Rinse cans and tins clean
  • Place lids inside of the tin can and squash the top of the tin to secure.
  • Aluminium drink cans, plates, trays and food tins

Glass jars, bottles: Brown, clear and green glass
  • Remove and discard all lids and bottle caps
  • Rinse bottles and jars clean

Paper, newsprint, and cardboard
  • Flatten cardboard and stack separately
  • Place paper in clear plastic bag with handles tied, or secure with string
  • Place next to Green Bin
Every year, WDC carries out a Resident Survey (RS) which seeks to gauge the opinion of residents on a wide range of services and activities delivered by Council. The survey helps us 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 which is an excellent performance result for WDC. The survey was open to the public during May and June, and 305 Waitomo district residents took part, of which 83% were ratepayers. Similar to previous years, the largest portion of respondents were from Te Kuiti, and aged 60 years and over. The top-performing Council activities and services for 2017 are included in the following table: 1_Survey-article-image-inset The performance targets were achieved for the following activities, however, survey results show a minor drop in resident satisfaction compared with last year’s results:
  • Safety of Recycling Facilities – 95% (2016:97%)
  • Safety of Waste Transfer Stations – 91% (2016:95%)
  • Safety of District’s Landfill Facility – 96% (2016:98%)
  • Provision of Parks and Quality Reserves – 84% (2016:87%)
  • Arts and Culture Facilities and Service and – 92% (2016:94%)
  • Public Toilets and Cemeteries – 88% (2016:89%)
Residents were asked if there was any other comment they wished to make about a Council service or facility. A selection of responses is provided below:
  • ‘Concerned about trees planted on kerbside not maintained by Council. Some homeowners do not look after or trim trees and they cause problems for pedestrians, elderly on scooters and children crossing roads.’
  • ‘The dumping of roadside rubbish needs to be addressed. Not enough being done to discourage bottles, drink cans etc. being thrown out of vehicles. We need signs, fines. The roadside out of Benneydale to Pureora is disgusting. Not nice for our tourist trail.
  • ‘Te Kuiti’s main Street – need a plan/strategy to lure more traffic off Carroll Street bypass. Appropriate signs/ more rest areas, tables, seating, toilet opposite op-shop.’
  • ‘For a while it felt like Te Kuiti was closing down. It feels now that it is again becoming the vibrant, enviable wee town that makes folk proud to be kiwi.’
It is important to understand how satisfied residents are with the services and facilities we provide to our communities. Where there is scope for improvement in the eyes of the community we can factor this into our planning for future service levels. We would like to thank all the Waitomo district residents and ratepayers for having their say through the Resident Survey. You can view the 2017 Survey Report on our website here. WDC’s financial and non-financial (activity) performance for the financial year will be reported on through the Annual Report for the financial year 2016/17. 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.