Whangamata Ratepayers Association
P.O. Box 62, Whangamata 3643
Newsletter October 2018
It’s been a very busy three months and the new committee has accomplished a great deal on your behalf.
In our last newsletter I advised that the committee has identified three main areas of focus:
1. Stormwater Management
2. Power supply continuity
3. Williamson Park resource consent.
I’m very pleased to advise that significant headway has been made in all three of these areas.
Having the opportunity to meet with council staff in regards to specific flooding of the Waikeke Stream onto Patiki Reserve and surrounding properties, we were able to express our concerns around the wider stormwater issues facing Whangamata, and supported by councilor Terry Walker, make it very clear that the present state of stormwater management in town was far below an acceptable level. I’m pleased to advise that as a result, TCDC has undertaken to commission a report into stormwater infrastructure in Whangamata, which is due to be released in March next year.
While this is an exciting step forward, it’s unlikely to be the end of the journey. Presently TCDC has a policy that it is only responsible to ensure no water inundation of living quarters, while this association holds that a much higher standard should be adopted; Whangamata needs to have sufficient stormwater infrastructure to manage flows except in the most exceptional of cases. In other words, roads and sections should not flood under normal conditions, and if they do flood under exceptional conditions, that flooding should be limited and quickly mitigated.
We are looking forward to seeing the report, and continuing conversations with council on the matter.
Power Supply Continuity
A very meaningful meeting was held with senior representatives of Powerco, with the first output being our website post below:
Please follow the link if you haven’t already seen the post; it’s about all of us being able to notify Powerco when and if there is a local power outage. I believe we have already seen a higher standard of continuity over this winter, and it will only get better if more people use the ap provided, and Powerco is advised every time there is a localised power issue.
Powerco have also fitted updated monitoring equipment to their high-voltage lines in the town, which again assists with speedy recover from power failures.
Discussion also included provision of a back-up supply into the town; recognising that we are presently fed by a single high-voltage feed from Waihi. While this is an ongoing conversation, and in your committee’s opinion the only long-term solution suitable for the town, Powerco have undertaken in the interim to install a battery backup solution, capable of supporting the commercial town centre in the event of a major power failure. This solution is scheduled for installation mid to late 2019. Discussion continues on a second high-voltage feed line.
Williamson Park Resource Consent
While there are many differing views on the subject, the overwhelming majority opinion was as expressed in our submission on it. Please see that submission at:
I will be presenting verbally to the commissioner in support of our submission later this month, including some copies of correspondence from Mr Williamson to the Council over a 35-year period, making his views clear on commercialisation of the reserve he generously donated.
You will see in our submission that we totally support the traditional family events run at the park, but do not support the commercial ventures which, due to a little noticed and now regretted change to the Council Long Term Plan, require the reserve to be fenced, limiting access by ratepayers and residents to the surf club and the beach.
I am advised by Councillor Terry Walker that the usual Summer Festival events will be run again this year; final details are presently being worked out.
You may have seen a news item indicating that Whangamata’s water was not up to standard; I am assured by Councillor Walker that this is not the case. There are apparently some issues around detailed monitoring which need to be upgraded (and which are being done), but the water standard itself I am assured is up to standard.
For the record I have written a letter to the CEO of TCDC on the matter, and will report his response in due course.
Follow the link to our new website and join us: https://www.whangamataratepayers.org.nz/join-us/
19th October 2018