Mercury Bay Community Board ( MBCB) Public Forum Wednesday, 26 July.
People can come to the Public Forum of MBCB Community Board meetings every six weeks and speak to issues that are of concern to them or projects that they are working on of interest to the Board or of a proposal that they hope to get interest or support for from the Board. People need to notify if they are speaking beforehand or one can come to observe and not speak. These meetings are also recorded and are available for viewing at any time (TCDC website). The Community Board meeting comprises three TCDC Councillors elected from Mercury Bay - Rekha Giri- Percival, Deli Connell, and John Grant, and the four elected Community Board members - Peter Mackenzie, Bess Kingi, Caroline Hobman and Chrissie Robinson, and TCDC staff. At this meeting John Grant and Chrissie Robinson had sent their apologies.
A Summary of people’s matters
Peter Grant - Peter had already sent notes on Whitianga’s costal erosion history to all members of the Community Board and came to speak on two erosion issues that he saw needed urgent attention. This has been summarised in The Informer which featured an article, ‘On the Road Again - We Wish’ page 5 and 24, Tuesday,8 August)
Yvonne Franklin - Yvonne spoke on behalf of Mercury Bay Community Fund Trust, responsible for the management of pensioner housing. Yvonne had noticed in the Agenda under Works Programme - Whitianga Stormwater networking - The Lost Spring. Yvonne was aware of ongoing investigation re the stormwater at Lost Spring/School Road Reserve. ‘We have been in front of the CB many times about our commitment to pensioner housing and our interest in School Road. We are wanting to know if this stormwater work will enable a future for community housing there. She reminded the Board of the need for community low cost housing and that they are still looking for land. Discussions have been had with the Community Board for many years and we have always expressed in an interest in the School Road Reserve. She also reported that the Trust had expressed interest in the Bowling Club land as well, but to date, that has been unsuccessful.
Yvonne asked to be informed on matters to do with the School Road property. “This land has been sought after for community housing for a long time. ‘It is centrally located, easy walking to shops, already has facilities connected up. This is our number one choice.’
Hilton Reserve was suggested by Caroline Hobman,(CB) mentioning it was very soggy. Yvonne - “ If the TCDC could demonstrate to us that it is suitable land, then we are interested.”
Purangi Bus Shelter- Chelsea, a parent, presented a report on their bus shelter at Ferry Landing. “In the mornings, it is the Whenuakite kids and in the afternoon, the MBAS students. They get wet when it rains and it rains a lot. The cost is $4500. We have raised the money. We would appreciate fast approval. It has been in the pipeline for eighteen months. The Dads willing to erect this are qualified builders. We have everything in place. We hope you can fast- track this.”
(The bus shelter was later approved as a lot of work had bee done regarding consents by TCDC. There was discussion about the parking of buses and the possible interruption the children and buses could be to funerals. TCDC Councillor and Chair, Rekha Percival, outlined the potential damage to the Council if it didn’t support this stressing that the community has done the preparation and put up the money. It remains only for the Council to actually approve it and for the Parks and a recreation team to do the maintenance tasks, but these will be minimal. The vote was unanimous.
Dan Allen - A concerned citizen regarding the matter of rates
“As I understand it, a ratepayer sends their money in to pay their rates. The rates do not go to the Council but go to the Local Government Funding Agency.(LGFA)
Q: Is this true?? I’m not political.This is not good if it’s true.
“I’m not here in an adversarial role….. This Agency was set up in 2011 to provide affordable financing for Councils. A Council cannot borrow from a bank. It must borrow from LGFA ( this is a Council Controlled Organisation set up under the Local Government Act, 2002). What it seems to say is the ratepayers rateable obligation is to pay his/her rates. This is put up as collateral. All the property of the ratepayers is collateral in case the Council’s debt defaults? So, the property is all collateral? If things go bad, the properties of the ratepayers could be sold from underneath us?
Dan’s Question: Tell me please (asking of Mayor Len), is it true or not true? I hope it’s not true.”
The Chair response: "We are going to get the answers to your questions and we'll get back to you.”
Report re Storm Water issues effecting the different areas of the Mercury Bay Ward
From Brett Houston – TCDC staff engineer
Brett gave a quick rundown on what is being proposed. “We have set up a stake holder engagement team in Whangamata and we are using this as a template for Matarangi, Cooks Beach and Austin Drive (near Racecourse Road). These will be small teams with a focus on good discussion and on the issues at hand regarding storm water.
We have asked that these teams are endorsed by the Community Board (CB) and that the CB have a representative on each. We have asked for nominations from the Residents and Ratepayers for their part.We will look to starting these meetings Tuesday, 1 August - schedule them around the Whangamata meeting.” Storm water teams summary: There will be three groups with Community Board reps and members from the community plus the appropriate council staff on each of the three groups.
The Residents and Ratepayers groups have already set up their own storm water teams from which they will contribute three community members
At the meeting, the following was organised. Austin Drive - Peter MacKenzie (CB) and Deli Connell (TCDC councillor) plus Pete Hildreth. Cooks Beach – Caroline Hobman (CB) and Rekha Percival (TCDC councillor). Matarangi - only Grant Short at this stage.
MCCB Capital Expenditure (Cap Ex) work programme
Presented by Bruce Hinson, Group Manager of Operations
Bruce spoke of a much slimmer programme - the first one of the financial year.
“It’s small but perfectly formed.” Summarised that they are reducing the amount of work that is being undertaken for financial reasons and so focussing on doing the more high profile works.
He shared a list of projects and who is looking after them; rather than Mercury Bay getting a bigger slice. Above this were the operational updates. They were ongoing - they don’t stop and start.
Mercury Bay Boating Club – still on stilts. Boat Club and Ngati Hei in discussion. Location moved back at the moment. Q. Are we waiting for Heritage New Zealand? The process is that the archeologist will need to do a report. That will form part of the Heritage approval that goes alongside the building consent. Q.Time this will take? - How long is a piece of string?
Harbour strategy – Q. What is the timeline? (There is a major proposal being considered to rework the wharf and adjacent areas – Esplanade Development) Response: We don’t have a definitive answer on that.
Taputapuatea Spit - Forest and Bird - there is nothing advanced on that.??
Comments from CB members and staff regarding Cap ex matters
Poor Lighting at Mother Browns Creek raised by Caroline Hobman(CB) - either lights not working or not bright enough. Response: This will be looked at.
New playground at Moewai Park but nowhere to sit down - Rekha, in the Chair, affirmed that it is very good and popular but there is nowhere for parents to sit down, bench seat needed.
There were other matters including a report on Mercury Bay South Residents and Ratepayers meeting - this has been reported in 11 July issue page 22 of The Informer. The CB covered some important matters in the public forum most of which have been reported here.