April 2019 Panui

8/04/2019 12:00 p.m.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The Panui is produced quarterly and is designed to keep you up to date with Council Activities.​​​​​​​​​​​ Panui banner.png

Issue 77 - April 2019

From our Mayor

Last month, New Zealand faced terrorism on our own shores with the attack on the Christchurch mosques that left 50 people dead and many more injured.

Although we are physically a long way from Christchurch, the Ōpōtiki community responded with a closeness of spirit – koha, prayers, vigils and silence at our own memorial to acknowledge and support those affected by the attack and the wider Muslim community. Our thoughts and compassion go out to those families still.

When I look around Ōpōtiki’s community, I see an incredible diversity – the tangata whenua – the backbone of our community. Workers from the Pacific Islands who come here to help us for months in each year. Young backpackers from all over the world, also taking the opportunity to work in seasonal jobs. Business owners, retirees, employees, all part of our whanau. Our community. 

These people choose to make New Zealand home and we want to make sure they feel safe here, especially in light of the terrible attack in Christchurch. Our diversity of ethnicity, religion and culture is our strength and we should be proud of it and we need to stand tall and protect it. As a community, it is time to look out for each other, be tolerant and understanding. ​​

Kia Kaha, Kia Maia, Kia Manawanui. 
Be Strong. Be Brave. Be Steadfast.
Mayor John Forbes

Photograph of children doing a Tsunami hikoi

Tsunami hikoi​

There was an incredible turnout to Ōpōtiki’s first tsunami hikoi last month. More than 400 students and teachers, pre-schoolers and tamariki from kindergartens, kohanga reo and pre-schools walked a well-marked path out of Ōpōtiki township and settled briefly at the finish point near OPAC for a short talk on preparing for a tsunami. 

The schools, particularly Ōpōtiki Primary School, led the work for this hikoi and were supported by Emergency Management Bay of Plenty, Council and the Police who helped out with road safety. 

Make sure your whanau, your workplace or your organisation is prepared should the worst happen. There is now a well-established habit of practising “drop, cover and hold” and fire drills. We should also practise our “long or strong get gone” evacuation route. ​

Find out more about the route to take and how to prepare on our Tsunami Evacuation Information page

Graphic of Emergency Management message If an earthquake is long or strong get gone

Recognising Regulatory 

Council has a Regulatory Team that is focussed on making sure that there are consistent rules in place and that people follow them. And they chase people up when they don’t. ​

A graphic of a mobility parking signParking​​​

Mobility parks are vital for holders of a valid mobility parking permit. These parks are wider than standard parks and are central to town so that those who have difficulty getting around can still access community services. They are not for other drivers, even if you are ‘just popping in’. Please keep them free for people who need them.​

This is true for parking on footpaths as well – wheelchairs, prams and mobility scooters all need that space to get around. ​​

Freedom Camping

Council keeps an eye on self-contained campers using our designated freedom camping areas. We have had some great feedback recently about these regular visits from Council staff, having a chat and reminding people of their obligations. ​

But 'self-contained' means just that – no littering of any sort. Council has issued a number of infringement notices to campers when they have left their litter behind.

Picture of rubbish dumped in a reserve

Animal Control

Most issues are with dogs, but Council also deals with complaints about horses, roaming cattle and occasionally even roosters or pigs.

Most owners are responsible and ensure that their dogs are registered on time, microchipped and don't roam. Make sure you are one of them.​

Picture of puppies laying on a blanket

Please also ensure that you neuter your pet – rehoming unwanted puppies is a big job in a small community. This year is likely to be a record for the number of dogs registered within the District.


Council responds to a few dozen noise complaints each year – mostly noisy neighbours and parties. Council does have the ability to seize stereos and speakers, so please keep noise down and be a considerate neighbour.​

Rubbish Dumping

Litter, big or small, is a bad look for our town. When Council is alerted to a dump site, we will arrange clean-up of the area and do our best to track down who is responsible. ​

Picture of dumped household items in a reserve

The owners of this mess were fined more than $1600. 

Picutre of a deer skin hanging over a sign at the beach

In this case a member of the public let Council know about the littering and sent photos of the vehicle involved. We were able to track the licence plate back to an owner and issue infringement notices.

Changes to kerbside rubbish and recycling coming​

Changes to the service are coming this year. We’ll be issuing four new recycling crates and a new 45L wheeled refuse bin to all households on the Ōpōtiki recycling and refuse collection route.

We’re making the changes to the service to stop problems with dog strike on collection day, to allow for increased recycling capacity, and decrease the need for non-recyclable single-use supermarket bags. The new service will collect two recyclables each week – paper and tin one week and glass and plastic the next. The refuse bin will be collected each week.​

We’ll send full information to households on the route before crates and bin are issued.

Here’s what the new recycling crates and refuse bin will look like:

Graphic of recycling crates in different colours and a 45Ltr wheeled refuse bin

Momentum on economic development​

The appointment of Ian Morton and Karl Gradon to a new position to drive regional development will add to the momentum of recent Provincial Growth Fund announcements.

Karl and Ian will be working with Councils, iwi, Toi EDA and other stakeholders to ensure that the eastern Bay of Plenty maximises funding opportunities, particularly through the Provincial Growth Fund, and ensures that the existing projects are kept in step and meet funding requirements.

The role will join up projects that have already secured funding through various means – Ōpōtiki’s Harbour entrance, the mussel farming production facility, Kawerau Putauaki Industrial Development (KPID) commercial manufacturing cluster, Whakatāne’s tourism and wharf development, kiwifruit and other horticulture irrigation clusters on Māori land, and digital connectivity in the eastern Bay.​​

Photograph of Ian Morton and Karl Gradon

Ian and Karl - Photo courtesy Whakatane Beacon

Vote 2019

Graphic of paper chain cut outs with the Vote 2019 logo and supporting text

The next Local Government election will be held on Saturday 12 October 2019. This is your chance to choose the people who will lead Ōpōtiki for the next three years.

Nominations open Friday 19 July and close at noon on Friday 16 August. Postal voting papers will be delivered from 20 September with voting closing at 12 noon on Saturday 12 October.

Voters in Ōpōtiki will choose 3 Ōpōtiki ward councillors, 2 Waioeka/Waiōtahe ward councillors, 1 Coast ward councillor and 1 Mayor (elected at large). Voters will also choose 4 Coast Community Board members and at the same time be asked to vote for Bay of Plenty Regional Council councillors and Bay of Plenty District Health Board members.

To make sure your voice is heard you need to be enrolled to vote. Visit www.elections.org.nz to check or update your details or to enrol.​

Council supports the local government Vote2019 campaign. It’s about encouraging informed debate, supporting candidates as they stand, and promoting voting in the October elections. Check out www.vote2019.co.nz for more and follow updates on the Elections ​page on this site.


You can now receive notifications on your phone about things like road works, changes to rubbish collections, community events and more. You can also use the app to let Council know about things like a damaged footpath, road pothole, graffiti or share an idea with Council.​

Graphic of a phone with the Antenno app showing on the screen

Download from App Store or Google Play now - it's free!

Arts on Tour – more great events coming soon​

Did you head along and have a great laugh with Michele A’Court and Jeremy Alwood? Or did you have a poignant and thought-provoking evening with Lisa Brickell, Siri Embla and Ruth Dudding in Mockingbird?

Both very successful Arts on Tour evenings organised by the lovely staff at the library.

There are more great events in the wings. In May we have My Name Is Moana and in July The Carnivorous Plant Society. Both promise to be excellent shows so (with tickets selling out in advance) make sure you get your tickets early!​

Keep up to date with all the latest news and latest event information on the Ōpōtiki Library Facebook page.​

Sitting at home watching TV?

As the days grow longer and the weather a little chillier, why not step outside your comfort zone, try something new and get involved in your community.

Join a club

Ōpōtiki has dozens of clubs, societies, sports groups, support groups and informal groups for all sorts of interests. There is always a great range of interesting events and activities including the Harvest Festival Dinner at Nukuhou North Settlers Hall on 26 April. Find out more about them from the friendly staff at the i-SITE.

Photo of Opotiki Walking Club members walking

Ōpōtiki Community Walking Group - IMAGE COURTESY OF THE ŌPŌTIKI NEWS​


New Zealand is a world​ leader in contribution by volunteers. A recent study estimated that volunteers contribute more than 157 million unpaid hours of work valued at over $3.5 billion to nonprofit organisations each year. Create positive change right here in Ōpōtiki – human rights, faith communities, health, education, sports and recreation, social services, arts and culture, emergency services, the environment and conservation, animal welfare, and community support development – the list is endless. Thanks to our current volunteers for all they do.​

Still need ideas?

Learn a new language, learn to play a musical instrument, take a walk along the stunning Dunes Trail, get inspired at PechaKucha (the very successful series continues through Ōpōtiki Library). Ōpōtiki has so much to offer!​

​​For more information on any of the wide range of Ōpōtiki clubs, groups, activities and events, visit the Ōpōtiki i-SITE or www.opotikinz.co.nz or call (07) 315 3031.​​

You can view/download a PDF copy of this issue and read older ones on our Panui page​.

Page reviewed: 12 Apr 2019 12:14pm