A NIWA report confirms BAY OF PLENTY REGIONAL COUNCIL’s efforts to fence and plant stream banks are among the most effective measures it can take to help protect Tauranga Harbour.
The NIWA case study concludes at least 95 percent of the sediment that washes from the Kopurererua River catchment into the harbour comes from subsurface erosion off stream banks, landslides and earthworks. It identifies stream bank erosion as the single most important source. Sediment can cover over sandy areas, encourage mangrove growth and has the potential to smother kaimoana (shellfish). It can also increase the amount of phosphorous in the harbour which may contribute to the development of algal blooms. In the past two years council has helped landowners fence and plant more than 100 kilometres of river and stream margins on waterways that feed into Tauranga Harbour.
HUTT CITY says a recent region-wide survey shows over 75 percent of residents in Wellington City, Hutt City, Porirua, Upper Hutt, Kapiti and Wairarapa want council boundaries to remain unchanged. In Wellington City, only 18 percent supported a single council for the Wellington region while 76 percent wanted to keep the current council boundaries. Wellington mayor Celia Wade-Brown says the survey shows a lack of support for amalgamation of local government across the Wellington region indicating there is “little public appetite for one über-council from Miramar to Masterton”. The results are based on a total of around 1000 responses to two telephone surveys.
CHRISTCHURCH CITY COUNCIL launches a free app that tells users when to put out their wheelie bins. It also has a comprehensive list for people to check they are putting the right materials in the right bin. The app takes account of public holidays and lets users know of any changes in the collection schedule. This year council will spend about $43 million on rubbish minimisation and disposal.
Lyttelton’s Albion Square gets its official opening following a $2.8 million development programme. The result of close partnership between the CHRISTCHURCH CITY COUNCIL, Lyttelton-Mount Herbert Community Board and the local community, the new civic square features the repaired and restored Lyttelton War Memorial Cenotaph, a stage, terraces, play equipment, edible fruit trees and herb gardens.
The carved entrance way (Ohinehouroko) is under construction and will be installed early next year.
UPPER HUTT CITY COUNCIL releases concept drawings for a new iconic welcome sign to be erected on State Highway 2 at Silverstream in the first quarter of next year. The sculptural gateway acknowledges the identity of the city by showcasing the environment, a fantail, river and creative expression. Upper Hutt mayor Wayne Guppy says the gateway sign has been developed in response to requests from members of the public during consultation on council’s long-term plan.
AUCKLAND COUNCIL votes down a proposal to delay the start of work on its inner city rail link. Work is scheduled to begin in 2016. Councillors also vote 16-7 to lift the overall rates bill by 3.5 percent every year for the next 10 years. It is not yet clear how much extra householders will pay. The decision goes out for public consultation in January. The net debt of the council group, which includes council controlled organisations such as Watercare and Auckland Transport, is expected to hit $11 billion by 2025. Council also agrees to raise the cost of water and wastewater by 2.5 percent for the first two years of the long-term plan and 3.6 percent for the remaining eight years. The long-term plan budget will go out for public consultation in January and be formally adopted by council in June 2105.
WELLINGTON CITY COUNCIL votes 13-2 in favour of a deal to bring a new purpose-built five-star convention centre to the capital. The Wellington Convention Centre – tipped to become a key driver for the capital’s economy, jobs and international attractiveness − is expected to generate around $21 million a year net GDP benefit. Council will lease the facility from developer Mark Dunajtschik. It will be operated by the Hilton Corporation. Construction will begin within months with the centre − in a new building opposite Te Papa − opening its doors in 2017. The 4400 square-metre facility will be able to host up to 1200 conference delegates and have a banqueting capacity for up to 1450 people. In theatre style seating, it will be able to seat 2000 in its largest space.
NELSON CITY COUNCIL’s St Vincent Street two-way cycleway walks off with an award at the 2WALKandCYCLE 2014 Conference. The judges praise council for reshaping its urban area for the 21st century. They also commend council for acknowledging the need for people of all ages to be able to walk and cycle safely. The project wins the Cycle Advocates Network award for the Best Cycle Facility Project. Works and Infrastructure Committee chair Eric Davy says the cycleway is a work in progress and additional safety features are still to be added. “But it is being very well used, which is really encouraging.”
Whanganui is named as one of the world’s Smart21 Intelligent Communities for 2015. The Smart21 list, organised by the Intelligent Community Forum, recognises communities around the world which have taken steps to prosper in the broadband economy. This is the third year running the town has made the Smart21 list and it’s the only community in New Zealand ever to have been included. WANGANUI DISTRICT COUNCIL mayor Annette Main says the news “should kick any zombie town references to touch”. Whanganui now aims to join the list of top seven towns for 2015.
AUCKLAND COUNCIL gives its ratepayers more time to object to their new rating valuations. Acting CFO Kevin Ramsay says website issues have meant some people had difficulty accessing new values online when they were made available on Monday 10 November. He adds most property owners should have received their new values in the mail. People now have until 5pm Tuesday 23 December 2014 to object to their 2014 rating valuation. This year’s property revaluation shows an average capital value increase of 29 percent since 2011. The average residential capital value increase was 34.8 percent