Considering our achievements

Published on 25 June 2020

Ann Court (Deputy Mayor)

It’s hard to believe we’re halfway through the year. And what a year it’s been! We have confronted the worst drought in decades and disruption of an unprecedented global pandemic. We have another six months before the end of the calendar year, but the new financial year is days away. Before it begins on 1 July, I want to look back on what we have achieved.

We have completed a number of significant infrastructure projects. In September we finished the $2.8 million Rawene-Omanaia treatment plant. This will provide safe drinking water to Omanaia residents, who have had to boil their drinking water for decades. The drought prevented us from commissioning the new plant because we needed large volumes of water to flush the network. That will be completed once water levels in the Petaka Stream are high enough. Nearby, Opononi and Omapere also have better water security since completion of a bore at Smoothy Road that is supplementing water from the Waiotemarama Stream.

On the east coast, we have completed a $6 million upgrade to Paihia’s failing wastewater treatment plant two months ahead of schedule. We installed 552 bioshell reactors and a microfiltration system to the oxidation pond. These reduced ammonia levels so the facility now complies with resource consents. Contractors completed this work in March, ahead of a deadline set by the Environment Court.

Sixteen years after being initiated, work on the new boat ramp at Rangitoto-Windsor Landing is now going ahead following approval of a construction contract. This project will transform a once private ramp, jetty and pontoon into the only public boat access on the southern side of the Kerikeri Inlet.

In Maromaku, residents can play tennis and netball year-round on AstroTurf courts, thanks to a $260,000 upgrade of Maromaku Domain. Council contractors started work in January after the community pitched in to prepare the site. Work was completed this month.

Over the past 12 months, the Council has built nearly 3km of new footpaths, part of a $2 million capital works and renewals programme. New paths costing a total of $767,500 were built in Kaikohe (over 1km), Kerikeri (1.2km), Russell (68m) and Kaitaia (395m). Work has also begun on a new path in Kaitaia (795m) and another at Waitangi (477m). In 2020-21, footpath funding for Te Hiku will be increased by $130,000 to complete a loop footpath joining Te Ahu and Te Hiku Sports Hub.

During the drought, we quickly built two supplementary supplies for Kaikohe and Kaitaia and we are now focused on providing permanent alternative water supplies. In Kaitaia, we are working on a new aquifer-based water source, while a second bore at Monument Hill will boost supplies to Kaikohe. A new reservoir is also planned for Kaikohe and the Government will fast-track consents for this. We expect to learn about funding for several major infrastructure projects soon. Building more resilient water supplies is top of mind, but we also aim to improve roading, wastewater and tourism infrastructure. Watch this space.