July Panui out now


Issue 82 - July 2020​

New housing on Sales Yard site

The 2.84ha property known locally as the Sale Yards, has been sold to developers, Kāinga Maha Ltd, for a new housing

development with work on the site set to begin later this year.

A housing development on the site will ease some of the housing pressures in town and provide high quality, affordable mixed-use housing, making the most of its location and scale. There are also legal mechanisms in place to prevent ‘land banking’ so that development can start promptly.

Keep an eye out for action starting on the site soon.

New jobs and new footpaths for Ōpōtiki district

In June this year, the Provincial Growth Fund committed $60m for job-creation projects in provincial areas which included almost $4.5m for new footpaths, cycleway extensions and horse trails in the Ōpōtiki District.

Council chose to focus on footpaths because not only does the district benefit from the amenity and safety improvements, the works have high workforce requirements and those labour needs could be sustained as the work moves from footpaths to harbour construction over the coming months and years.

And work is already underway such as this site on St John Street.​

Local rangatahi connect with small businesses

A new pilot programme headed by the Mayors’ Taskforce for Jobs (MTFJ) and the Ministry of Social Development will be connecting Ōpōtiki small businesses with local young people.

The programme will provide assistance for small and medium businesses to overcome some of the barriers to taking on local rangatahi, covering costs of things like recruitment, training and transport.

It’s all about getting local NEETS (young people not in employment, education or training) into meaningful employment because we know that young people are disproportionally affected during an economic downturn.​

From the Mayor

There is so much happening in the Ōpōtiki district at the moment that I hope this newsletter helps you keep track of just a few of the exciting projects, opportunities and changes happening in our part of the country.

Ōpōtiki is not immune to the economic slowdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and I know that some people in the community are struggling to keep businesses afloat and keep wages coming in to support their households. As always, if you need to, please talk to council about your options if you think you may have difficulty paying your rates this quarter. There are options available such as the government’s rates rebate scheme, rates remission or payment plans if you need them.

But there are real signs that Ōpōtiki is in the best possible situation for a strong economic recovery. You’ll see in this newsletter some of the many projects we have underway, many funded through central government’s Provincial Growth Fund or COVID-recovery funding. And we can already see the work flowing from that - new footpaths, new quarries, Te Tāhuhu o Te Rangi, ‘green projects’ on Waioeka and Tarawa creek, a housing development in the old Sales Yard site, new funding for irrigation and intensive horticulture in our coastal settlements like Raukōkore and Te Kaha and more projects coming online each time I look.

With each of these projects and the funding they attract, there are new work opportunities and a chance to innovate and move existing businesses to make the most of it. I encourage everyone in the district to take the opportunity and add momentum to the current boom.

Ngā mihi nui to all those who worked hard in Civil Defence roles during the COVID-19 levels through to July. With most Civil Defence functions now back to a monitoring role, I want to take a moment to thank everyone who picked up those functions for so many months and thanks to staff who back-filled roles and did multiple jobs to make that happen. I was proud to see council staff pick up civil defence roles and work so hard for the community through what became a very long emergency situation.​

Alert sirens decommissioned in Eastern Bay

Residents in coastal areas of the Whakatāne and Ōpōtiki districts will no longer hear alert sirens as a notice to check for official messages in case of a tsunami alert. Civil defence will rely on a range of other alerting tools including Emergency Mobile Alerts (EMA), radio, stinger sirens, phone and internet-based systems.

The sirens that have been used in the Eastern Bay relied on existing Fire and Emergency New Zealand station sirens and the network does not meet national standards and have been decommissioned.

Both councils weighed the very high cost of replacement sirens (indicatively $300,000-$400,000 per siren) and the frequent issues and misunderstandings of the system and the limited coverage they provided.

No one system is perfect which is why Civil Defence will always use a number of messaging systems in any situation. Nothing will ever take the place of good community (checking on neighbours, calling older family members, having a whānau plan for an emergency), recognising the natural warning signs (a long or strong earthquake and the sea behaving strangely) and staying informed through whatever systems are used in an emergency situation.

Read more on the council website or to find out more about alerting tools used in the Bay of Plenty visit www.bopcivildefence.govt​.n​z/be-warned​

Ōpōtiki library​

Thanks to the team at Ōpōtiki Hiab for dropping off a second shipping container to house 6000 adult non-fiction books in temporary storage. They’re easy to access, just ask the library staff.​

Since the library re-opened at level 1 in June, more than 3000 people have been through the doors – to use the computers, to borrow books or read a magazine, use the research resources or just to say hello to the library team.

The library is bustling with activities including Arts on Tour back up and running and new events to put in your calendar. The next PechaKucha event has been scheduled for 13 August and tickets are on sale now.

Ōpōtiki Library members now have access to unlimited free movies, films and documentaries through an all-new eMovie streaming platform. All you need is your library card and PIN to get stated. Take the eMovies link from the Library’s homepage (search Opotiki Kotui) to access a great range of quality viewing.​

Preparatory works on harbour construction site

At the end of June, Whakatōhea and Tuhoe Kaumātua led a hikoi from Snell Road to the planned harbour entrance for a karakia and cultural briefing for contractors before preparatory works started on the harbour worksite.

The significance of the location of the worksite was acknowledged and staff and contractors were briefed on the history, significance and expectations around cultural safety.

The new worksite has been fenced and construction works are continuing on the access road. Materials are being stockpiled nearby and in the office, works are underway to finalise designs and plans for construction to start in the coming months.


Photos: First - Te Kahautu Maxwell, Kaumātua, speaking to contractors and staff at planned Ōpōtiki Harbour entrance site. Second – Ōpōtiki Harbour entrance hikoi and Karakia – looking out towards the Bay.​

Good news rock story

Our innovative solution to a rocky problem has proved a popular story with technical publications around the country.

In short, Ōpōtiki’s Harbour project provided the push needed to open a number of new local quarries which will help to fill a significant need for high-quality, locally-sourced rock used for flood-mitigation, roading, site works and drainage. But knowing that significant quantities would be needed to build Ōpōtiki’s seawalls, made the investment in new quarries stack up. At the same time, reducing transport distances for amour rock for the build, means lower project costs overall and lower carbon emissions as well.

If you don’t already follow quarry and aggregate news stories, you can read more about the story at aqa.org.nz. Or you can read about it locally in the Ōpōtiki News.

Drones and survey boats for the Harbour build

In May and June, you may have seen a survey boat or a drone taking accurate measurements and carrying out crucial survey work to provide the most up-to-date data for construction planning of the harbour entrance. Engineering consultants, Tonkin + Taylor and the marine survey team at DML used the survey boat track back and forth building an accurate map of the sea floor and estuary bed and the drones provided an accurate picture of the river profiles.​

Workforce coordinator on board

Ōpōtiki has a new Kaiwhakahaere mō Whanaketanga / Workforce Coordinator, Barbara McLennan, to help ensure that local people are work-ready and have access to the many opportunities coming online.

With support from the Mayors’ Taskforce For Jobs we have established the new position to help get systems and information working smoothly so that employers can find the teams they need and there are good local pathways for training and skill development to suit industry needs.​

In Brief...

Council had a record quarter for processing building consents with a combined value of $19.5million in the last quarter. That is mostly from several large-scale projects including the new pound, Te Tāhuhu o Te Rangi, housing associated with the new kura in Te Kaha, Stage 2 of Whakatōhea’s mussel processing factory and several smaller consents such as a new dental practice and new roof for Ōpōtiki high school’s gym. There have also been a lot of requests for advice and pre- application meetings in recent weeks, so council expects this momentum to continue into the coming financial year.

Building work is expected to start next month on Ōpōtiki’s new pound. The new facility will be under cover which will be better for animals as well as staff and there will be a separate area for puppies which are currently difficult to house as there is very little warm indoor space to keep them in.​

Council now has a full list of accommodation providers for seasonal workers (Recognised Seasonal Employer – RSE visa holders) provided by the Ministry for Business Innovation and Employment. Council will be working with all the providers to ensure that seasonal workers and those in temporary accommodation are housed in safe and compliant buildings.​

Ōpōtiki District Council, Department of Conservation and Bay of Plenty Regional Council are working together with initial funding through the Provincial Development Unit Fund to remove pest plants, improve the environment for native species and enhance recreational use of the land around the confluence of the Waioeka River and Tarawa Creek. You can read more about the project on council’s website.​

The first Arts of Tour event after the COVID-19 rāhui was a noisy success with children of all ages filling the Senior Citizens Hall for Rollicking Entertainment’s Kitchen Chaos. The performance incorporated circus, magic and comedy and it was a laugh- a-minute. Find out about future events and keep up to date on all things ‘library’ by signing up to their email newsletters. Email library@​odc.govt.nz​

A few more regular events are returning to calendars this month and a few big events to break up the winter evenings.


Friday 3rd July – Monday 3rd August
A month long fishing competition for all ages.


The Ōpōtiki Matariki Festival is making a return this year but it is now a fun-filled three day festival with ice skating, rongoā, live music, rides for the kids, food and art and craft stalls, and of course, fireworks!​

Ice skating

  • Friday 17 July – 9am-5pm
  • Saturday 18 July – 10am-5pm (5-6pm adults only hour)

Memorial park. $5 child, $10 adult. You must bring socks!

Drive in movie

Saturday 18 July – 6-8pm

Hunt for the Wilder People.
Ohui Domain. Free entry.

You’ll need a vehicle with FM radio

Rongoā Workshops with Joyann

Sunday 19 July – One hour workshop 10am-11am
$10 or two hour workshop 11am-1pm $20.
Spaces limited so contact i-SITE to book.

Matariki Concert & Fireworks Display

Sunday 19 July – 3pm-6pm (Gates open from 2:30pm)

Ohui Domain, Free entry – live music and kapa haka, kai stalls, rides and fireworks!​

For more details contact the i-SITE.


Thursday 13 August – tickets always sell out fast so get in quick.​

Keep up with the news at www.odc.govt.nz/news​ or follow us on Facebook @OpotikiDistrictCouncil

​Read previous newsletters on our Panui page​.

Page reviewed: 13 Jul 2020 2:33pm