We’re only a few weeks away from Christmas and as I look back at the goals we set as a Community Board we’ve managed to achieve quite a lot this year.
- Strong comprehensive bid to Central Government for UFB.
- New toilets blocks at Haruatai Park and up the Ōtaki Gorge.
- Some positive meetings with NZTA around the bypass/expressway.
- Effectively stopped the ability to sell Psycho active Substances in Ōtaki.
- Initial work into improvements at Ōtaki beach and $250k funding to implement these improvements.
- Submitted opposing the Super City amalgamation.
- Pathways to Youth Employment pilot started to assist youth into some form of training, mentoring or employment.
- Completion of our SH1 signage showcasing Ōtaki.
- Higher online profile for Ōtaki.
- Assisting many locals on a one to one basis.
That’s certainly not everything and there’s also some other things I mentioned in my last column but I can say the Board has worked hard over the year to get some good outcomes for Ōtaki; whether that is at the Council table, in community meetings, or with external organizations. However some jobs are not done and we are looking forward to 2016 and ticking off things like improved public transport and more bus shelters. Next year we also have the Annual Plan process so if you missed getting something into the Long Term Plan you have another opportunity with the Annual Plan.
As I finish off for the year the tragic events around the world remind us all of the fragility of life. I love this short bible passage…. ‘What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.’ Over the Christmas break, take time to spend with friends and family, create memories that will last forever, crack some jokes around the BBQ, have fun and take care.
We live in a great place and here’s my top 5 must-do’s in Ōtaki over the summer break.
- Fly a kite at the world famous Ōtaki Kite Festival.
- Go swimming up the Ōtaki Gorge with friends and whanau.
- Get out and enjoy one of our great cycling tracks or walkways
- Catch some fresh Kahwai or Snapper to go with some local fresh produce.
- Fish and chips with the kids at the scooter/bike, skate park.
If you’re alone on Christmas Day we would love to see you at the free Community Lunch at the Ōtaki Memorial Hall at 12pm. See the Christmas calendar page for more details.
Merry Christmas everyone from the Ōtaki Community Board.
Hei konā rā — James Cootes