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 80 - January 2020

From the Mayor

Photo of Mayor Lyn Riesterer

Welcome to 2020! I hope you are enjoying a wonderful summer season in our beautiful district. This is my first opportunity to say Happy New Year and nga mihi nui mo te tau hou! 

It is also a chance to acknowledge the year that has past. Last year was another big year for the district and for the Council. I acknowledge the tragedy on Whakaari / White Island that marked a sad end to 2019 last month. We also farewelled many friends and family, ‘community kaumātua’ who have contributed so much to their communities through acts of service big and small.

But it was also a year of progress. We have pressed go on the rebuild of our library and community hub and you will start to see  activity on the old library site (on the corner of King and Church streets) soon.

We submitted our business case to government for funding of the harbour development. We have seen our sister project, Whakatōhea’s mussel farm and factory, going ahead in leaps and bounds and we eagerly await a decision from Cabinet in the coming weeks.

It has been fantastic to see the community come together in recent times and some great new initiatives. I will continue to work with agencies across the board, NZTA, BOPDHB, NZ Police, schools, central and local government for the best outcomes for our communities.
Several big projects are going very well – our sewer rehabilitation project is on track and below budget and we are already seeing benefits with fewer overflows and better service. The stormwater project will add to those benefits and ensure a healthier and less flood-prone township.
To both locals and visitors, please continue to enjoy our little corner of paradise, travel safe and keep well. All the best for an outstanding 2020. 

Lyn Riesterer, Mayor

Summer Festival 2019/20

Our events team have again delivered and supported an outstanding collection of family-friendly events for an action-packed summer!

Thousands of locals and visitors alike have enjoyed the Gourmet Food Market, the Ōpōtiki Rodeo, fishing competitions, outdoor movies, live music, beach games and races and even a Scary Night Out. 
If you haven’t already been making the most of these events, it is not too late! As this goes to print, final preparations are being made for the hugely popular Ōpōtiki Lantern Festival and O-Mazing Race. Grab a full calendar of events at the i-SITE or view on our website​.

Photos from some of this years hugely popular events including The Gourmet Food Market and Race the Tide events.

A fond farewell 

Following the local government elections last October, we said farewell to several councillors including John Forbes, Ken Young and Arihia Tuoro who all retired from their roles at the end of the Triennium. 

The first Coast Community Board meeting of the new councillors was a moving occasion to farewell long-serving Coast member Haki McRoberts in recognition of 21 years of service to the Ōpōtiki district. During that time, Haki has been the Coast Ward representative on Council, Coast Community Board Chair and served two terms as Deputy Mayor. ​

A presentation was made to Haki by Deputy Mayor Shona Browne.

New councillors welcomed

We have a very engaged and active council who started their term in 2019. You will have already seen them out and about working for the community. Welcome to all our new councillors, new mayor and deputy mayor!​

From left to right are Councillor Louis Rāpihana, Deputy Mayor Shona Browne, Councillor Steve Nelson, Councillor Debi Hocart,  Councillor Barry Howe, Councillor David Moore, Mayor Lyn Riesterer.​

Keeping Safe over Summer - Be a good neighbour, keep the noise down. If you're away ensure animals have food water and exercise.

In brief...

​Customer survey

Every three years, Council commissions an independent Customer Satisfaction Survey of Ōpōtiki residents to check how we are going in a few key areas. If you receive a phone call from the survey company, we’d appreciate your time and honest feedback. While you cannot opt-in to do the survey (it must be a random selection of people), if you have any feedback for Council, you are always welcome to fill in the feedback form​​ on the website directly.

Ōpōtiki District​

​Opotiki District will officially become Ōpōtiki District on 17 January 2020 following a request we put in to the New Zealand Geographic Board last year. The spelling with macrons is now OFFICIAL and matches the town name changed in 2018 and all the many places we use the macronised spelling. The name now reflects the pronunciation in Te Reo Māori and the history of tipuna Tarawa who released his pet tanahanaha (fish) into a spring that became known as 'Ōpōtiki-Mai- Tawhiti' meaning 'the pets from afar'.​


Download the free mobile app, Antenno, to receive notifications and alerts about places you care about – things like community events, changes to rubbish collections, road works and more. Antenno also 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. So if your phone is never far out of your reach, neither is Council!​

Ōpōtiki Library

With thanks to Kōtui and the Department of Internal Affairs, Ōpōtiki Library now has a new mobile app that can be downloaded onto your phone. It is a really neat tool to help navigate the library’s catalogues and collections and to manage your own library account – renew, reserve and even borrow eAudio and eBooks without leaving your deck chair! You can find it in the Apple App Store​ and Google Playstore​.​

Earthquake-prone buildings

Changes in national legislation mean that some building owners in the Ōpōtiki district will need to have their buildings assessed and seismic strengthening work carried out in the coming seven years. If your building has been identified as a ‘priority building’ under Earthquakeprone buildings legislation, you will have received a letter from Council outlining next steps. We encourage you to take some time to read more about the legislation and what it may mean for you. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment website has some excellent information and if you want to know more, you can also speak to Council’s Policy Planner on 07 315 3030.​

Pop-up-shop - community open days

On 30 and 31 January, we will be holding our annual community open days. These pop-up shops are always popular and a chance to see what council is up to, chat to staff and provide feedback. This year you can find out more about how to Be Prepared in an emergency, find out about current engineering activities, talk to your councillors, the next steps for Te Tahuhu o Te Rangi and plenty more.​

Staff member Tina Gedson at the 2018 Pop up shop.

Town Centre Revitalisation​

We had some great feedback on our Town Centre Revitalisation project​ last year. People shared their thoughts on how we want the town centre to look and feel and how it can reflect our shared histories. We expect to be able to share a draft Structure Plan and Design Guidelines shortly and there will be another opportunity to give feedback before those documents are finalised.​

Arts on tour

Following a very successful 2019 Arts on Tour year, planning is already well underway to bring even more quality performances to Ōpōtiki in 2020. There’s guaranteed to be something for everyone, with some well-known names in Kiwi music, theatre, and even a magic show! Make sure you keep up to date by joining the library mailing list - or keep an eye on Facebook @opotikidistrictlibrary​.​

Te Tāhuhu o Te Rangi works about to start​

This year is going to see some exciting changes in the town centre and building Ōpōtiki’s new research and technology centre is leading the way. The new building promises to be a real community hub, providing new facilities along with the library’s current wide range of services. A Project Manager is being recruited, significant grant funding has been awarded, the concept drawings have now been finalised with the architects and a building consent will be lodged shortly. We can’t wait to see the first activity on the old library site on the corner of King and Church Streets soon!​

Te Tāhuhu o Te Rangi Architects conceptual drawings

15 January, 10.00am – 1.00pm
Ōpōtiki New World O-Mazing Race

16-19 January - Slim’s Bar Family
Fishing Competition

18 January, 3.00pm – 9.30pm
Ōpōtiki Lantern Festival
Ōpōtiki’s Lantern Festival is so big and
famous it now has its own Facebook
page – make sure you keep up with
the latest news each year, share pics
and vids and know before everyone
else who will be performing in 2021!

25 January, 9:30am
Fun Day Fancy Dress Mixed Pairs
Darts & Speedball Competition

30 and 31 January
Council Community Open Days
18 King Street.

6-7 February – Mataatua Regionals

More information on these events is available on our Ōpōtiki Summer Festival 2020 calendar page.​

Keep up with the news at​ or follow us on facebook @OpotikiDistrictCouncil

Page reviewed: 14 Jan 2020 4:04pm