Council grant to reserve walkways


The Tamahere Reserve was one of the community organisation winners from the Waikato District Council’s newly adopted 10-year plan.

The council today formally adopted the 2015–2025 Long Term Plan (LTP) and among grants and donations to be made during the 10 years is $50,000 for boardwalks in the Tauwhare Rd reserve.

Leo Koppens, chairman of the Tamahere-Mangaone Restoration Trust which is restoring the reserve, was delighted.

“This grant really shows the council’s commitment to developing the reserve.”

Koppens said the boardwalks, which will be built by contractors this year, will be a metre wide and could stretch up to 200m alongside the Mangaone Stream, providing safer access across wet areas and allowing visitors to connect with the stream.

The LTP included a 2.9% general rate increase for the 2015–16 financial year, and increases of 1% and 3% are expected over the next 10 years.

Consistent with the Financial Strategy adopted as part of the 2012 LTP, some ratepayers will still receive significant targeted rate increases as the council continues to make reticulated water and wastewater services financially sustainable.

The LTP sets out what the council hopes to achieve for the district over the next 10 years

Waikato District Mayor Allan Sanson said the council had agreed on a robust plan which met the needs of the community.

“A big challenge for us is finding the balance between focusing on delivering core services to the community and being aware of ageing infrastructure, an increasing population, a demand for new developments and paying for growth,” he said in a statement.

Sanson said he was pleased with the consultation process and feedback from the community about the plan, with around 865 submissions received.

“This year we again held hearings in three locations – Tuakau, Raglan and Ngaruawahia – making it easier for people to discuss their submissions with council.

“We received 865 submissions and heard 70 of them in person. Councillors and staff talked with our communities about the proposed plan at a range of events around the district during the four week consultation period including market days, poukai and community events, as well as the usual arranged meetings.

“We would like to thank everyone for their input, especially those who shared their views in person,” he said.

Key outcomes from the six principle areas of consultation:
• Extending library hours, making resources and some council services available to more people at different times
• Moving to a consistent and district-wide targeted rate for the ‘three waters’ – wastewater, water supply and stormwater – over three years
• A planned assessment of the condition of the district’s most critical water and wastewater infrastructure assets
• A 10 year programme to improve small sections of unsealed roads where safety and vehicle traction is an issue
• Supporting district-wide zero waste and waste minimisation targets through a user-pays approach with households who have a waste collection service
• Gradually increasing maintenance of district parks and reserves to a higher level over the next two years.

Funds were also approved for grants and donations to be made either once or over the 10 years to the following organisations:

• Waikato Biodiversity Forum
• Bush Tramway Club
• Tamahere Reserve (Tamahere-Mangaone Restoration Trust)
• Huntly Volunteer Fire Brigade
• Franklin Tourism Group
• Te Whakaruruhau Incorporated
• Onewhero Old School Building
• North Waikato Transport Trust
• Para Kore
• Waikato District Lakes and Freshwater Wetlands.

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