The Otaki Community Board Meeting, February 2015

F_R_Otaki-community-boardThe Ōtaki Community Board held its first meeting of the year on February 3 in the Gertrude Atmore Supper Room. Chairman, James Cootes welcomed all present.

Public Speaking & Responses:

Barbara Franks, Otaki Village Promotions Group spokesperson, updated the Otaki Community Board members on the preparations for the third Otaki Kite Festival to be held February 28 and March 1. With two overseas kite flyers and 17 from around New Zealand “this is fast becoming THE kite festival to attend,” she told the Board.

Ann Lawler: Youth facilities at Otaki Beach – presented a map of Otaki showing colour coded sporting, educational and playgrounds in the district, with nothing at Otaki Beach other than the children’s playground on Tasman Road. “Otaki Beach has b….. all, we’re trying to get a basketball court.” Mr Cootes noted the Board had signed off the basketball court to be funded from the Otaki Reserves Fund, which will be a half court and be sited at the Tasman Road reserve.

Funding Application:

Te Iwi o Ngati Tukorehe Trust was approved $500 from the Community Grants Fund to assist expenses for a kaiako to teach taiaha. The Trust runs the Otaki Alternative Education programme through Otaki College, under Kaiako, Tipi Wehipeihana. Trust spokesperson, Yvonne Seng, was at the meeting to speak to their application. Through learning the use and disciplines of taiako students learn self-discipline, respect and self-confidence, she said.

Board member, Colin Pearce, asked if the students would be prepared to give a presentation at an event such as the arrival of the annual Otaki Scholar, “This would be an opportunity for them to give back to the community”.

General Business – members and others:

Since the final meeting of the Community Board in November 2014, members have been busy with various tasks, workshops and challenges.

James Cootes – noted the pedestrian crossing “hump” outside Otaki School has been a regular issue for the Board. It has still to be lowered and a softer approach installed and scheduled to be completed in March.

Waitohu School:

Waitohu School will have Red “boxes” painted on the road east and west of the school’s boundary at the Waitohu Valley Road entrance, but not a pedestrian crossing. There was no consultation for this decision. Mr Cootes appreciated the respect for members shown around the table.

Youth Employment:

The Youth Employment Scheme operating from Otaki College with students working alongside council, community and residents is working well.

Bus Workshops:

Successful workshops on the bus routes and bus shelters have been held, with strong input from residents. The bus stop outside the library will be moved further south and a bus shelter will be moved to outside Countdown for passengers. He also suggested they need a map of the bus routes and note which roads are priorities.

He noted Colin Davies, Te Horo Beach road safety spokesman, had not received a response from KCDC to submissions sent in before Christmas.

Rob Kofoed- noted his suggested plan for a footway/cycle clip-on to the Otaki River Bridge has been sent to the appropriate government minister. He reported the Greater Wellington Regional Council has sprayed the weeds at the former sanatorium site. The Otaki Food Bank gave out over 200 parcels over December-January, he thanked the local supermarkets, individuals and groups for their support.

Colin Pearce – noted he had been approached re an extension of the Lupin Road footpath from the new (Lake Karuwha) subdivision. Also there was no footpath on the southend of Aotaki Street at the KCDC depot “the untidiest frontage in Aotaki Street!” Mr Cootes reminded him the Community Board has the ability to view the footpath schedule from KCDC and request alterations to the planned schedule. There is a $300,000 district wide programme each year for new footpaths and maintenance.

Chris Papps- noted she had attended a meeting of the Save the Capital Connection group. They were very hopeful they can save the current train or gain another service.

Penny Gaylor-reminded the Board they should have the opportunity to make a submission on the future of the train service, “check the timing of submissions.”

Otaki iSite: will close on June 30, the Community Board members are involved in consultation as to the future of the heritage registered former courthouse. Issues raised are: Planning for future use of the former courthouse and who might take responsibility for the building, better information of the proximity of the three Otaki areas – railway, downtown and the beach, as well as the Otaki Gorge, digital sign boards and information maps needed to highlight playgrounds, swimming pool and toilets, skate-park, walkways and cycle routes.

An open tender will be operating seeking expressions of interest from parties to take over the building from July. All interested parties will need to be self-funded and sustainable.

There will be a weekend open day in March for potential parties to look through the building, with a report back to the Community Board in April. To date arrangements have been made for general information to be available at the KCDC service centre and library and bus and ferry bookings will be available at Otaki Travel in Otaki village.

KCDC Staff Papers

Rob MacIntyre from Destination Planning Ltd and KCDC staff member Darryl Lew attended the meeting to present these papers.

Representation Review: The Board moved that Mr Cootes work with other Kapiti community board chairs for representation on the Representation Review which KCDC will be undertaking this year. The Board could nominate a board member as a possible representative on the working party which will make decisions on how local governance should be – all boards, all district wide a mixed system as it is current. KCDC’s Democracy Services Manager, Vyvien Starbuck-Maffey presented the paper to the Board.

Local Government Commission:

reorganisation local government in Wellington region. The Board moved they would make a submission to the LGC proposal.

Long Term Development Plan: The timeline for the LTP hearings and briefings was released. Submissions open March 20 – April 24. There will be a public meeting in Otaki, date to be confirmed.

Matters Under Action: Christmas Lights in Memorial Park were vandalised over Christmas, as was the yarn tree which had some of the knitting pulled off. Mr Cootes is in consultation with Otaki police with hopes of a closed circuit camera in the area and at the beach.

The meeting closed at 10.27pm.

By Margaret Andrews