October 2019 Panui


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

Picture of the top banner of the Panui newsletter showing Pakowhai ki Otuaopuku bridge  

Issue 79 - October 2019

End of an era

As the current triennium ends, Council says goodbye to a number of long standing councillors. 

Councillor Ken Young has served the Waioeka/ Waiotahe ward since 2013 and has long been an advocate for community spaces, parks and reserves and making sure that community assets would be available for future generations. 

Councillor Arihia Tuoro has represented the Opotiki ward for the past six years and has been an advocate ​for many community programmes in that time - from correct spelling of the town and district to the driver licencing programme. ​

We also say goodbye to Opotiki's long standing Mayor, John Forbes who has served the community since 1986 as councillor and mayor. He has represented Opotiki on a local and international stage and he has held more positions on national bodies than we can count. His passion for the district and his hard work have given this town a legacy that we will appreciate for many generations to come.​

Decades of Service marked

Congratulations to Errin Wilmshurst and Duff lntemann on receiving long service awards from the Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management at a ceremony in September.

Civil Defence Minister Peeni Henare presented them with 20 and 30 year awards and thanked them for their vital contribution. Council would also like to thanks Errin and Duff for their tireless work for civil defence emergency management and the wellbeing of our Opotiki communities and the nation.

Voting closed on 12 October 2019 and we hope everyone took the opportunity to vote in this year's local elections.

In the coming days (no later than 23 October) we will have final results in and know who will be representing Opotiki residents for the coming three years as Opotiki mayor and councillors, Coast Community Board members, Bay of Plenty Regional Council councillors and Bay of Plenty District Health Board members.​

The Inaugural meeting will be held on 31 October 2019 and councillors and the mayor will be sworn in. The first normal meeting of council will then occur on 12 November 2019 and regular monthly meetings will follow for the coming three years.

Thank you for all taking the time to participate in our local democracy.​

Opotiki's library upgrade 

Opotiki has been discussing the future of the public library for more than 10 years. The current temporary premises are not fit for purpose and are a short-term lease option. The previous library premises on the corner of King and Church streets have severe issues with a leaking roof and black mould. It is also too small for the wide range of services the library provides.

For many years, the community has fund raised for the new library building and has raised almost $!million towards the rebuild. However, we have not been successful in raising sufficient funding from other external sources to get close to the build cost and the project had stalled.

Council went back to the community and asked whether we should continue with the project with funding via a loan. The feedback from more than 260 submissions collected in July and August showed a large majority wanted to go ahead with the project.

Accordingly, Council voted to go ahead with building Te Tahuhu o Te Rangi Technology and Research Centre funded with a $3.25 million loan. This decision factored in the advantages of owning all the land on the larger redevelopment site (and no longer having to pay rent on the current temporary premises), likely income from the Mechanic's Institute deed, likely additional funding through other sources such as BayTrust, a safer, purpose-built facility that meets current earthquake standards, a significant  community asset with benefits for future generations.​

Architects conceptual drawings for Te Tahuhu o Te Rangi

Earthquake-prone buildings in the town centre 

Changes in national legislation mean that some building owners in the Opotiki district will need to have their buildings assessed and seismic strengthening work carried out in the coming seven years. 

There is a lot of work to do to ensure that Opotiki is meeting these legislative timeframes. In the past months, Council has consulted with the community on thoroughfares with high pedestrian and vehicle traffic and worked with organisations that own buildings used for emergency management and education purposes. 

Council is also working to identify 'priority buildings' in the district and will be sending letters to building owners by 1 January 2020 requesting that a structural engineer undertakes an initial assessment of the building. 

If a building you own may be impacted by these changes, please take some time to read more about the legislation and what it may mean for you. A good starting point is the Council website which has links to the legislation and Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment guidelines. You can also speak directly to our Policy Planner on 07 315 3030. ​


Opotiki town centre

Harbour Development

The last few months have been an exceedingly busy time on the Harbour Project as we finalised our business plan and application to the Provincial Growth Fund for the build of Opotiki's harbour entrance.

These twin seawalls will provide a year-round navigable harbour entrance to be used by a wide range of craft with a strong focus on servicing the growing mussel industry right on our doorstep. This will allow fresh produce straight to the planned processing factory here in Opotiki. ​

Our business case will be reviewed by the PGF and then sent to Cabinet for final consideration. While there are no set timeframes, we hope to hear back before the end of the year. ​

Conceptual drawings of rock walls and harbour entrance

Town Centre Revitalisation​​

What things do you love about the current town centre? What things do you think need to change? How can we best tell the 'story of Opotiki' through our architecture and streetscape? How can we make the town centre a bustling place where we want to spend time?
Council is currently asking for feedback on how we revitalise our town centre. We are out and about on the streets, speaking at service group meetings, chatting with individuals and groups who want to know more and holding formal and informal catch-ups to hear from as many people as possible. 

You can also provide feedback on our website​, on a paper form, through Facebook, the Antenno app or face to face. We'd love to hear from you. 

The next step will be to use this feedback to inform a Structure Plan and Design Guidelines which will be available for further thoughts and feedback early in 2020. 

Sue Robb Policy Planner Opotiki District Council chatting to Joelle Bettridge on Church Street about proposals to revitalise the town Centre. IMAGE COURTESY OF JAMES SANDBROOK, OPOTIKI NEWS 

Bridge cleaning underway!

Waka Kotahi, the NZ Transport Agency started work cleaning the Waioeka Bridge on Monday 14 October. Council is thrilled that the work has been prioritised after raising the matter on behalf of the community for more than three years. Well done to everyone in the community, politicians and groups who added their voices to the chorus and achieved this great result.​

Waioeka Bridge, Opotiki

Changes to rubbish and recycling collection in Opotiki township​

Several areas in Op6tiki's urban collection area have received a flyer letting them know that their rubbish collection day has changed. 

For all properties east of the Waioeka bridge, there is no change to rubbish and recycling pick up. However, if you have a property west of the Waioeka Bridge, you will have received a notification about the change of rubbish days to Wednesday. All rubbish and the correct recycling crates need to be out by 8am on Wednesdays. 

This is because advice from Worksafe NZ is that our contractors should not work on both sides of the road at the same time due to the risks for collectors moving into oncoming traffic. So to allow our contractors sufficient time to work safely and continue to provide a high level of service, we will spread the collection over two days. 


Opotiki Events 

It has been a fantastic autumn and spring of events in Opotiki with some very successful events getting the crowds out and about as the weather warms.

Protecting our whenua and environmental care has been front and centre of many of these events -we had plenty of teams out as part of Clean Up New Zealand Week. More than 200 participants joined groups who choose a part of our beautiful district to give a good clean-up and got busy during the week in September. One of the groups collected 27 bags of rubbish in one short stretch of highway near Snell's Beach. Great work! (but also terrible that so much rubbish was there in the first place).​

Arts on Tour

Opotiki's popular Arts on Tour events continue to sell out and August's winter warmer was no exception. The one-woman play, "Solitude", followed the fascinating life and times of Annie Fox, a woman who took herself away to the remote mountains of Kahurangi National Park to live a hidden life with her lover, Henry Chaffey.

To welcome in the spring in September, Arts on Tour brought the foot-tapping sounds of the Kugels -wild spirited music that set the packed Senior Citizens Hall buzzing. ​

The final two events for 2019 are likely to follow the trend and attract big crowds, so get your tickets early. October's 'The Keys are in the The Keys are in the Margarine Margarine' is a poignant look into the minds of people living with dementia and Alzheimers. It is an honest look at both and the funny and the painful impact of these diseases in everyday life. 

And November brings 'The South Afreakins', a dark comedy about displacement, immigration and finding 'home'. A highly-reviewed, solo performance by Robyn Paterson. 

​Arts on Tour continues to be a great way to bring international-quality shows to Opotiki and the events are always popular, so keep an eye out for more events on the Opotiki Library Facebook page. ​

​Mary Bumby's Hive of Story

Legendary storyteller, author, and performer, Tanya Batt, entertained, educated, and sung her way through Mary Bumby's Hive of Story in September. This fantastic performance brought to life the story of pioneer settler Mary Bumby, one of New Zealand's earliest beekeepers, and was a great opportunity to learn about the honey bee and their connection with humanity ​through the ages.​

Summer Festival Events Calendar

Details for Opotiki's outstanding summer of events are being finalised and excitement is building for another fun-filled summer blast!

​There will be annual family events - Beach Dig, Omazing Race, Movie Night and Scary Night Out. There will also be the incredible Lantern Festival, Gourmet Food Market and Christmas Parade all to fit in in December and January. Keep an eye out for all the details and a calendar of events.

  • 9 November 2019 -Ag Fest - Memorial Park Show Grounds (gold coin donation)
  • Late December - 18 Jan - (Lantern Festival) - Opotiki's Summer of Events
  • 6-7 February 2020 - Mataatua Regionals​

Stole the Show: international celebrity Parson James is performing in his only NZ show at the Lantern Festival .

​You can find previous copies on our Panui - Council Newsletter​ page.

Page reviewed: 18 Oct 2019 3:20pm