Panui - Council Newsletter

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​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 83 - October 2020​

Tonnes of action in Ōpōtiki​

This year has been a huge challenge with ups and downs felt throughout the district. I know that many in our community are still feeling the impact of COVID-19 on their livelihoods and family life. We know that the economic impact will be felt for a long time to come. 

On the other side, this year has seen many of our long-standing aspirations becoming a reality. We are well-underway with the build of Te Tāhuhu o Te Rangi, the new technology hub and library facility. The harbour entrance is being built right now and the mussel processing factory is well-advanced. Government funding has allowed us to move ahead with improvements around town such as the town centre revitalisation, footpaths, park upgrades, improvements to club facilities, cycleways and horse trails. The kura at Te Kaha and accommodation buildings are also progressing really well. 

These projects are transforming our district and you’ll see updates on many of them in this ​Pānui. But if you want to know more about what the council has underway or just have a chat about council services like water, rubbish or cemeteries or parks, please pick up a phone and talk to your local councillor – that is what we are here for.​

With Long Term Planning just around the corner and some transformative projects underway on our doorstep, it is important that you talk to your councillors and let them know what you think our priorities should be for the next ten years. ​

Lyn Riesterer, Mayor

Te Tāhuhu o Te Rangi, the new technology hub and library facility​ is underway.


Work on the Snell Road access to the harbour development worksite is happening now.

The kura at Te Kaha and accommodation buildings are also progressing​ well.

And improve club facilities including at the Opotiki Golf Club.

Regulatory action

It has been a busy few months for the regulatory team. There have been a record number of requests for information, resource and building consents, inspections and audits as well. 

Horses continue to be an issue around town with too many roaming horses and all the risks to public safety that go with that. Thanks to responsible owners who make sure their horses are well-contained and have plenty of water and feed. Council continue to work with horse owners to reduce numbers in the town area. 

Work on the new pound is expected to start soon and that will provide better facilities for impounded animals and an undercover area for young puppies and work and storage areas for staff. ​

Ngā Whetu o Te Mangoroa

It is often the little things that make a big difference in an emergency situation. The neighbour who brings in your firewood or the cousin who picks up your groceries. Mask makers. Dog walkers. Community groups who create phone trees. All these things help us be a strong and united community.​

We are encouraging you to celebrate someone who has really helped out during the COVID pandemic by nominating them in the Ngā Whetu o Te Mangoroa / Stars of the Community promotion. 

They’ll go in the draw to win a New World grocery hamper worth $150 (sponsored by the Ōpōtiki Lions Club) and an emergency getaway kit. 

You can nominate someone online or pick up a form from Council offices, i-SITE or the library.​


Two-wheeled vehicles prohibited on beaches

The new consolidated bylaws adopted in August prohibit two-wheeled motorised vehicles on beaches in the district.

Discussion on the bylaw focussed on public feedback including concerns for children and other users on the beach at risk by fast-moving motorists and the damage that these vehicles do to nesting habitats and birdlife. Other submissions highlighted the importance of vehicle access to the beach to bring in small boats and fishing gear, allowing access for those less mobile. Most submissions agreed that the greatest risk was from two-wheeled vehicles in the dune areas and the bylaw change still allowed for responsible access for most users. ​

COVID QR Posters

All businesses and services must display the official NZ COVID Tracer QR code​ posters in a prominent place at or near the main entrances to each of their premises. This information will help contract tracers find people who may have been in the same place as an identified case of COVID-19 in the community. ​

Our newest citizens

Ōpōtiki has welcomed its newest citizens – Ellen Alvarez, Lorenzo Alvarez, Ann Funnell, and Satinder Singh.

All four received their Citizenship Certificates during lockdown when council was unable to host the normal celebration. But we didn’t want this important occasion to go unrecognised, so in September we had a small morning tea to acknowledge the official paperwork and the new perspectives and skills they bring to enrich our community.​

From left to right: Lorenzo Alvarez, Ōpōtiki ​District Mayor Lyn Riesterer, Ann Funnell, Ellen Alvarez (Mr Singh was unable to attend but we hope to have a personal acknowledgment at a later date).

Footpaths and cycleways

The three footpath crews have been incredibly busy around town and are making great progress. Ōpōtiki’s streets are looking better than ever. 

The Motu Trail Cycleway extension is well underway with a new section of gravel cycleway being completed on top of the stop bank between the Coastguard and Volkner reserve and some concrete cycle ways being completed in Volkner reserve itself.


PGF funding has allowed us to move ahead with footpaths.

Harbour progress

It has been a busy few months on the Harbour project with plenty of activity out at the river mouth now that contractors, HEB, have mobilised to site. Materials are being stockpiled and compaction testing of the ground is expected to start this month.

Snell Road has been extended out to the site and council are working closely with Ngati Ngahere hapū who have redevelopment plans for Te Roto urupa site to ensure the carvings are restored and the site has good facilities like signage and parking for future generations. 

A few big contracts have been announced including local firm C Hayes Engineering who will be making the large steel moulds for the concrete hanbars. The concrete hanbars are a vital component of the seawall design providing stable armouring to the seawalls to help them withstand wave action and tides over many years. ​

What are we building?​

First 5 tonne hanbar mould.

This illustration provides some concept of the size of the seawalls. These are full-size excavators and trucks working at the outer end of the seawalls. ​

To ensure the concrete armour units last 100 years, it is necessary to test different types of concrete to see how quickly the chloride-ions within the salt water penetrates the concrete to start to corrode the steel reinforcing. The results of this testing will be used to determine which concrete ‘recipe’ to use in the concrete armour and how close the steel reinforcing can be placed to the surface of the concrete.​

Making sure our workforce matches the jobs

With all these incredible projects underway, it is more important than ever to ensure that locals know what jobs will be coming online, the skills needed and how to get them. ​

That is the crucial role of our local Workforce Development Co-Ordinator, Barbara MacLennan. In close co-operation with Whakatōhea, she continues to link training and service providers, project leaders, businesses and the community. It is all about creating roadmaps to jobs, and ensuring locals can gain the support, information and skills they need to be ready for opportunities as they come online. Along with her assistant, Caitlin Papuni-McLellan, the workforce team have created new events, information, and training pathways, and have helped a number of people connect with potential employers. They’ve also made sure our local businesses know about government subsidies available to take on personnel, and to help them train up. ​

From left: Barbara MacLennan​ and Caitlin Papuni-McLellan

Te Tāhuhu​ o Te Rangi

Progress continues on the old Ōpōtiki library site with final demolition works on the foundations. With the site cleared for the first time in 60 years, the archaeological and heritage specialist has inspected the area for any evidence of historical use or artefacts. Very little of historical value has been found on the site, but this small glass bottle was found and photographed in September. ​

​Demolition site of old library.

Small glass bottle found on site of old library demolition.

It’s all happening at the library​

The library continues to be very busy in its temporary location as Te Tāhuhu o Te Rangi takes shape just down the road. The new resources are proving very popular including free movies, films and documentaries through Beamafilm, and PressReader providing full text coverage for over 7,000 newspapers and magazines from around the world.​

Arts on Tour events are back and busy with two big events to put in your diary before Christmas:

Jan Preston’s Boogie Woogie Trio on 15 October is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.
The library is also supporting a visit in October from Rob Mokaraka and his one man play, Shot Bro! about his struggle with depression, suicide, violence and abuse, and the bullet that changed his life.

The library also hosted Coffee with Matt Calman and the electric sound of Hopetoun Brown at the start of October. They were both really popular events and the community seems to be coming out in force now we have seen the back of most COVID restrictions.

DORA the mobile digital learning bus has been an incredible resource visiting the district earlier this month and gave library staff a sense of just how many people are struggling to keep up with the pace of change in the digital banking space.

Summer is just around the corner and with it our famous Summer Holiday Events programme. We expect to have another stellar year of events and activities for all the whānau so keep your eyes out for the events guide in the coming weeks.

Until then, get in touch with the Ōpōtiki i-SITE for all the details on new and regular events in the Ōpōtiki calendar. 


Saturday 10 October – 7am  Ōpōtiki War Memorial Pavilion


Saturday 10 October – 1.30pm

Thursday 15 October  – 7:00pm Ōpōtiki Senior Citizens Hall 

Date to be confirmed (17 or 19 October)

Wednesday 25 November – 7:30pm Ōpōtiki Senior Citizens Hall

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Page reviewed: 13 Oct 2020 3:35pm