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Connecting with our communities

Tena kotou katoa and hello to you all

It’s been another incredibly busy month dealing with difficult issues, but on a more positive note, also getting out and about in our wonderful district connecting with our people.

Council held 19 engagement events about our Annual Plan across all parts of the district during April.

While these were all about rates, many constructive discussions took place, and I really want to thank the people who came along to talk with us.

Rate increases are never easy, but the simple fact is that if we continue to provide the services we do in the same way, our proposed 13.75% rate increase for 2024/25 barely covers the cost of that.

Many will know that ours is similar situation to the rest of the country, in fact our proposed rate is below the national average, it doesn’t disguise the fact that it’s a bitter pill for our communities to swallow.

So, thanks again for your involvement both in our discussions that took place and through your submissions.

Anzac Day saw my usual mad dash around the district to be present at as many services as possible.

I started the day at dawn in Huntly, shot through to Pookeno for their 9am commemoration, then down to my civic service in Ngaaruawaahia and then back up to Otaua for the unveiling of their honours board.

The excellence attendance levels at all these events confirmed the strength in our communities and significance of this special day to our country.

A huge thank-you to all those involved in running Anzac commemorations throughout our district – such an important contribution to such an important day.

In terms of our Council projects, it was awesome to witness the celebration of the latest piece of the upgrade to the Pookeno Tennis Courts. The installation of hi-tech floodlights marks the completion of a fantastic recreation facility for this growing community.

During this past month we’ve also seen the completion of upgrades to the courts at Tuakau and Pukekawa, as well as the completion of stage one of the walkway at Te Kauwhata Domain, to name a few.

This morning, I was back in Pookeno to mark the completion of the latest stage of the Munro Sports Park development.

With more earthworks for sports fields and the car park complete, next up is continued work on the masterplan for sports and play facilities, like a skate park, playground and fitness trail for example, to be built here is underway with the community.

And finally, I’m at Raglan tomorrow for the official opening of the Whaaingaroa Wharf. This is one of our district’s most prized assets, for locals and visitors alike.

Largely funded by the previous government’s Provincial Growth Fund, the wharf, including the new pontoon and walkways, is looking spectacular.

It’s been a hugely collaborative effort between us, the local community and other agencies to get to his point and I congratulate everyone involved.

If you haven’t been there for a while, get over there and check it out.


Ngaa mihi nui and warmest regards, 
Mayor Jacqui