James’s Piece March 2016

Community Board Chair, JAMES COOTES  364 3234 | 0274 572 346 | james.cootes@kapiti.govt.nz
Community Board Chair, JAMES COOTES 364 3234 | 0274 572 346 | james.cootes@kapiti.govt.nz

Once again an army of passionate volunteers pull together to put on two internationally renowned events – The Ōtaki Kite Festival and the Maoriland Film Festival. Partially funded through KCDC’s Major Events fund, these both help raise the profile of Ōtaki, boost our local economy, inspire and educate our Rangatahi and have a great social wellbeing aspect…慭瀻 that’s council talk for “an awesome day out with friends and whanau”.

In one of my previous columns I talked about working with NZTA to achieve the best cycleway we could on the Ōtaki section of the Expressway. This prompted an invitation from Liz and her group to cycle their proposed route from Ōtaki to Peka Peka and see it for myself. Cr Gaylor and Cr Welsh also came along for the ride and it’s certainly helped us understand the environment and challenges and see it from a cyclist’s perspective. I firmly believe in saying it how it is and due to the nature of the contract and the available land to do a cycling route this was always going to be a challenge to achieve something even close to what has been done on the M2PP section. However we have a good working relationship with the NZTA staff and are committed to getting the best route we can for our community.

In the last Long Term Plan there was a number of submissions from youth on the need for a basketball court. The ŌCB supported this initiative and funds to construct one were put aside. Council staff has been consulting with youth in Ōtaki and have come back to the ŌCB with some options. More investigation needs to be done on the proposed sites, as it’s important that we do it once and do it right. It’s a significant investment and we want to get it right, in a location where it will get well used. Any option will involve consultation with affected property owners and to be frank it’s a challenging task for the Board having to consider the pros and cons of each site and the affects on the surrounding community. However the Board is taking the time to consider all the relevant information with desire to choose the best option.

Lastly, a few weeks ago we got to see a sneak peek of the draft plans for the Ōtaki Pool refurbishment and Splash Pad, and I have to say it was flippen impressive! There’s more to come on that as we involve the community so watch this space.

Hei konā rā — James Cootes