Issue 76 - January 2019From our Mayor
Our district finished 2018 with some hugely encouraging news from Regional Development Minister Shane Jones, who announced $25million of support from the Provincial Growth Fund for a range of Eastern Bay projects.
For all of us, who have long shared the confidence that Ōpōtiki has a very bright future based on marine industry, the announcement was a clear incentive for us to keep moving forward with our plans.
Regional Development Minister Shane Jones, Provincial Growth Fund officials, and local VIPs enjoyed a trip around the inner-harbour, on-board the Ōpōtiki Coastguard vessel during the Minister’s visit to Ōpōtiki in mid-December.
Image courtesy of James Sandbrook – Ōpōtiki News
Council has worked hard to make sure the platform for development is in good shape through the district plan zoning processes and projects such as the sewer rehabilitation.
Our final meeting of 2018 saw Council take positive steps on another two key community projects – we listened to your feedback though the LTP process and are going ahead with the revitalisation of the Church Street Rose Garden into a significant playground facility which also acknowledges the site’s history and meaning to local people. Council also determined to re-focus on a library redevelopment.
I hope residents were able to enjoy a holiday break with family and friends. It’s been really neat to see the many visitors who have chosen to recreate in our district. When out and about, I noticed many who were traditional holiday-makers with connections to Ōpōtiki, as well as others who were discovering our corner of paradise for the first time – all enjoying our attractions and hospitality.
Here’s to a safe and productive 2019.
Mayor John Forbes
Happy New Year from Emergency Management
New Year is traditionally a time to put in place a ‘wish-list’ for life-improvements, and while some may have already fallen by the wayside, making a commitment to your families resilience in an emergency is a resolution well worth keeping.
Now is a great time to think about your household plan. Take a look at the online planning tool (happens.nz/make-a-plan). It is also a good time to check your emergency supplies.
Tsunami Hikoi week is planned for March (10 – 16). This is an excellent opportunity to ensure you and your whānau know exactly where to go in an emergency. We will be supporting Ōpōtiki schools to practice their emergency evacuation plan during this time – so parents and caregivers, look out for information in coming weeks.
From the Emergency Operations team at Ōpōtiki District Council and from Emergency Management Bay of Plenty, we wish you all a very safe and happy 2019.
Summer Festival 2018/19
Our events team again delivered, or supported, an action-packed Summer Festival to entertain locals and visitors alike.
Over 500 enjoyed the Transpower Gourmet Food Market and Movie Night at the end of December, making the most of the live music, and taste sensations offered by the food trucks – everything from locally-produced honey (drizzled on crepes) to berries, rolls and sushi.
The perennially popular Ōpōtiki New World Beach Dig drew a crowd of 400 for a sun-filled morning of fun; and a bit of cloud-cover was welcomed by participants in the Ōpōtiki New World O-mazing Race held on 9 January (image shows teams completing the challenge set at the Ōpōtiki Lawn Bowls Club).
As our Panui went to print, the Ōpōtiki Lantern Festival and Island View Ukulele Festival were ready to kick off.
Building Consent process improvements
Over the past few months we have been working hard to improve systems within Council’s building service, which has been under significant strain due to a record number of building consent applications received and processed.
Our strategy for improvement has included:
Building consent applications can now be submitted, managed and tracked from anywhere, at any time through our online service page.
Call back and appointment request online
You can now submit call back and appointment requests online
We’ve added more resource and communication
An additional staff member has joined the team to process consents; and we have called in additional support for site inspections to get us over the spike. We’re also checking in with building contractors to let them know about the changes and to get their feedback on potential areas of further improvement.Library updates important collection
Thanks to a generous donation from an anonymous benefactor, the Ōpōtiki District Library has begun a major update of its large print collection. New titles across a wide genre have been introduced – from contemporary fiction to classics and non-fiction. Don’t assume large print books are only for those with eye-sight issues – just think how handy a larger font size could be when you’re reading in a summer holiday tent and your camper’s headlight isn’t quite up to the job.
Library Manager Jo Hunt with just a few of the hundreds of new titles in the large print collection.
Get your DVDs here
Across the country, public libraries are taking up the space in the market created by the closure of DVD stores – and Ōpōtiki District Library is no exception.
Call in – you’ll be impressed with the range of titles available for loan at a very affordable weekly rate. You’re also encouraged to use the ‘request an item’ link on the library webpage so that the collection can be built to reflect user interest.
Do you want to be alerted to all that's going on in your neighbourhood and beyond?
Download Antenno, our free mobile app that sends you notifications and alerts about places you care about - things like community events, changes to rubbish collections, road works and more.
Antenno is free to download and use; you can opt out of topics that aren’t of interest to you. It doesn’t ask for any personal information or login details, so it’s a nice easy way to stay informed.
Antenno makes it easy for you to submit feedback or report issues such as a damaged footpath, road pothole, graffiti or to submit feedback or an idea to Council.
INSTALL ANTENNO NOW - IT'S FREE!
Download the app from the App Store or Google Play and save places you care about, such as home, work, your holiday home or school. What are you waiting for?
Download Antenno from the App Store.
Residents, who have been notified of the need for a new rapid number for their property, are reminded to complete the simple on-line form (or call Council) to receive their free address number decal.
Food Act compliance
Our regulatory group is pleased to report that local businesses are showing increasingly better compliance with meeting the requirements of the Food Act. Keep up the good work.
Parking on a pavement? Expect a fine.
Council has responded to community concerns about inconsiderate motorists parking on pavements or in spaces reserved for mobility-card holders. A policy has been introduced which will see infringement notices issued for parking in inappropriate places. Around ten people have so far been issued notices and some of the vehicles concerned also received infringements for no WOF or registration, making the decision to park on a footpath a costly one.
Island View Ukulele Festival
Opotiki Lantern Festival with Stan Walker
Ngāi Tai Arts Symposium 2019
Tōrere Marae, Tōrere
East Coast Arts Festival, showcasing home-grown talents, gifts, artwork and kai.
Ōpōtiki Showjumping and
Memorial Park Pavilion Fields
This event attracts riders from all over the North Island and locals, competing for series points to be eligible to compete at the 2019 Horse of the Year.
‘On the Road’ featuring comedy legends Michele A’Court and Jeremy Elwood
(in association with Arts On Tour). Limited tickets available from Ōpōtiki District Library.
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.