The March meeting of the Ōtaki Community Board opened with tributes to ŌCB member Colin Pearce and acknowledgement of his service and commitment to the wider Ōtaki community.
Public Speaking and Responses
Ōtaki Beach resident, Ann Lawler, read a submission to the funding application for the Ōtaki Beach redevelopment, as written by Mr Pearce in January 2016 which epitomised his commitment to the beach.
Fred Macdonald noted submissions to New Zealand Transport Agency: he noted Ōtaki River Bridge and cyclist safety, the beach skating rink should stay where it is, Rangiuru by the Sea was a marketing name for the area in the mid1800’s – Rangiuru covers Old Coach Road to the sea, and finished with road safety issues. Mr Cootes said he would be in contact with Mr Macdonald as some issues were related to Kapiti Coast District Council and some to NZTA.
Three Sporting Activity fund grants were approved.
Twelve year old Aleisha Blakeley was granted $300 towards expensed to compete in the her category equestrian finals to be held in Masterton; currently ranked second in her grade she stands to finish the season at the top her grade. She has competed in 16 shows, during the July 2015 and February 2016 series, including NZ Horse of the Year.
The Ōtaki College waka ama team was granted $500 to assist with costs of sending two teams of six girls to attend the National Secondary Schools Waka Ama championships in Rotorua. Team member Erena spoke to the Board in support of their application.
Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Te Rito was granted $500 to assist with costs to take 19 young people to the National Secondary Schools Waka Ama Championships in Rotorua. A parent spoke to the application.
A grant application from Te Rau o te Rangi ki Ōtaki Charitable Trust was not heard as no one was present to speak to the application.
Following discussion after finalising grants from the March 15 meeting, Mr Kofoed moved that some of the unused funds be transferred to the Sporting Activities fund. There are only two further ŌCB meetings this financial year — July 2015–June 2016.
Rangiuru by the Sea, presentation
Rangiuru residents Dr Steve Lang and Mark Southcombe spoke on behalf of the south Kapiti Lane and south end Marine Parade residents’ group, (Rangiuru by the Sea), noting 65 residents work together on Saturdays to improve their part of the beach. They spoke of the concerns re the heavy traffic volumes in the area, noting most drivers were “good and considerate” others were not and suggested that traffic calming measures, such as judder bars, were needed with the need to keep the special character of the southern end of Ōtaki Beach. They outlined some of the group’s ideas — the designation of Rangiuru by the Sea as a “Shared Space” slow zone, sealing public roadways in unsealed areas to the south of Kapiti Lane, retaining the 25kph speed limit through Kapiti Lane and updating signage.
ŌCB chairman, James Cootes, complimented them on the presentation noting it was helpful when groups work within their community and their views. Mr Kofoed suggested they worked with the Friends of the Ōtaki River who were currently constructing a boardwalk south of the flood gates. Following Councillor Penny Gaylor’s suggestion, the group’s proposed work plans were added to the Matters under Action file of ŌCB works.
Cyclist safety on the Ōtaki River Bridge, presentation
Jessica Rattray, NZTA Senior Cycling Advisor, attended the meeting to discuss concerns re cyclist safety on the Ōtaki River Bridge. A “specialised” cycle safety lights system was installed at each end of the bridge with cyclist’s push button controls for the lights to enable southbound to cross the highway to the footpath on the western side, or as some, particularly tourists, do — ride over the bridge in front of traffic. The lights are installed at the southern end of the bridge but most cyclists walk or ride along the footpath.
Mr Kofoed spoke of two incidents he had observed — cyclists walking along the footpath from north and south, had to wait midway for traffic to clear before they could pass each other! Other incidents included risky vehicle overtaking cyclists on the bridge.
Ms Gaylor stated NZTA had completely “dropped the ball” on educating local people on using the lights system. Locals would know not to cycle across the bridge “but tourist would follow the green strips and suddenly be confronted with the bridge.” She asked how NZTA could put in a new safety system and not educate people how to operate it, 22,000 vehicles cross the bridge daily and commented on the inconsiderate and poor driving behaviour of many southbound, heavily laden trucks. Ms Rattray said there had been some publicity on how to use in local papers but “it probably not capturing wider users”. This system, including the heat sensors in the green pads, is used overseas and in several centres around NZ.
The good news: NZTA is looking at how it may be able to put something under the bridge, this needs consultation with KCDC as well as NZTA and would cost approximately $70,000. Mr Cootes said he hopes they (NZTA) would get good support from KCDC.
Playground Upgrades: Tasman Road and Haruatai Park, preseetation
Mark Hammond, KCDC Recreation Facilities Coordinator, updated ŌCB members on progress of the two playground revamps and progress on a basketball court. He said there will be workshops and public consultations prior to tenders being let. It is intended to remove all equipment from the Tasman Road playground as it is at “end of life” and all new equipment installed and older equipment at Haruatai will be removed and upgraded.
KCDC staff will be at Haruatai Park on April 4 at 10am and April 5 at 3.30pm to discuss possible ideas for equipment and use of lower playground area. They will be at Tasman Road on April 6 at 10am and April 7 at 3.30pm for public consultation on the playground there.
Mr Cootes asked whether the proposed cycle pump track was included in the $140,000 playground upgrade budget.
Ms Gaylor suggested notices in school newsletters and fliers to hand out at school galas. For further information go to kapiticoast.govt.nz/playgrounds.
Ōtaki basketball court: KCDC set aside a $20,000 budget for a new basketball court. Following consultation with Ōtaki’s young people, Haruatai Park is their preferred site but the current court is too small. The draft proposal approves construction of a keyhole basketball court on the lower level Haruatai Park. The exact location will be confirmed after further input from young people of Ōtaki and the neighbouring property. Those spoken to said they would use a larger court at Haruatai Park.
The old court at the beach, alongside the Ōtaki Surf Lifesaving Club, is still a popular option, but people understand the difficulties with seagulls dropping shells on the court to break them open. There is a possibility of nets to cover the area but these would require resource consent because of requisite height and were very expensive. Meantime, a hoop from another Kapiti court will be installed at the beach temporarily. Mr Pearce had completed a lot of time and work with young people at the beach “he’d be thrilled” Mr Kofoed said.
Annual Plan Submission
Stephen McArthur, KCDC council senior manager, commented to the Board on their submission the Long Term Plan, noting year two was always envisaged to be small on issues. He suggested some shortcuts and to keep some items “on the radar” not necessarily completed before July 1.
Mayor Ross Church noted one of the things he had learnt out of the Annual Plan process was “a lot changes very quickly and a lot of learning came out of that.” Mr Cootes said he had noticed with the NZTA presentation, the need to work with council on the cycleway over the Ōtaki River, their proposal was before the AP submission.
Both Mr Church and Mr McArthur thanked Mr Cootes for the time he has spent on the Ōtaki community projects.
Mr Cootes commented on another very successful Ōtaki Kite Festival, the 150 plus volunteers who helped over the weekend, the provision of the free bus from the Waikanae station to Ōtaki Beach — it will be booked again next year and complimented organiser Barbara Franks on a wonderful festival.
He noted the very disappointing response from Greater Wellington Kapiti representative, Nigel Wilson, re bus shelters for Ōtaki Beach and one at Peka Peka Beach Road no longer “happening”. “GW has reneged on its promises to us.”
Mr Kofoed spoke of consultations with the Friends of the Ōtaki River for their boardwalk, the work of the Kapiti Youth Services clinic in Ōtaki currently going from strength to strength.
Chris Papps and Ms Gaylor spoke of the highly successful national Children’s Day event at Haruatai Park and free swimming at the pool.
Ms Gaylor also commented on the kite festival, noting the buzz on the beach from locals and visitors. She queried the lease by Birthright Ōtaki of a council building at a peppercorn rental, are they carrying on and what is happening (following retrenchment of Birthright services)?
Matters Under Action
The NZTA owns the land at the highway used by the Ōtaki Women’s Community Club for the regular Sunday market days. Council staff to discuss issues with NZTA.
Waitohu Valley Road bridge and footpath: the footpath has been completed and final crossing signage is almost complete.
Main Street Footpath: sealing trials for the footpath have been completed with satisfactory results. Considering next steps.
New Northern entrance signs almost ready for installation.
The public meeting concluded at 9.37pm and was followed by a public-excluded time.