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Port Waikato local area blueprint

We invite you to participate by sharing your knowledge and providing your ideas at a public workshop!


Background  

We are creating the Port Waikato Local Area Blueprint and we want to hear what is important to you and your village! 

The Waikato District Blueprint (Blueprint) aims to achieve the overall vision established by Council for the district to create Liveable, Thriving and Connected Communities. The aim of the Blueprint is to provide a high-level ‘spatial picture’ of how the district could progress over the next 30 years, address the community’s social, economic and environmental needs, and respond to its regional context. 

In 2018 we visited a number of towns and villages around the district to hear what was important to these communities and what they wanted to see in their community in the future. During these workshops we heard lots of great ideas. 

In June 2019, the Blueprint was adopted by Waikato District Council. 

We will work with the community to achieve and prioritize the projects or initiatives identified in the Council-led and Community-led Blueprints. In some instances, there may be perfect opportunities for the community to drive a project, with some assistance and/or funding from Waikato District Council and other agencies.  

We began working in your community to develop the Port Waikato Local Area Blueprint with a questionnaire seeking your community’s ideas over November 2021 to January 2022, due to COVID-19 restrictions.  

Residents and community groups responded to the questionnaire. They provided their concerns, knowledge and ideas to achieve the community’s wants and needs, now and in the future, to inform the Local Area Blueprint. 

We now look forward to meeting you in person to discuss opportunities and ideas for your community. 

We invite you to participate by sharing your knowledge and providing your ideas at a public workshop! 

Questionnaire  

We have reviewed the questionnaire responses and note that there are currently projects being undertaken to address many of the issues and progress opportunities raised by the community.  

Port Waikato Questionnaire Responses 

Identity/Culture 

  • Address the lack of identity
    In regard to the lack of identity, We can work with and facilitate discussions amongst the community to determine how to better represent the identity of Port Waikato.  
  • Recognise mana whenua/cultural issues
    Waikato District Council is currently working with local mana whenua to ensure the appropriate recognition of mana whenua lands and public reserve land, as well as resolve any potential issues. 

Social/Community Facilities 

  • Address the lack of policing and safety
    Our Community Advisors can assist in facilitating a conversation between community residents/groups and the local police to improve policing and safety within the community. 
  • Address the need for a permanent medical centre
    Waikato District Council cannot initiate the development of a permanent medical centre, however it can encourage providers when approached.  
  • Grow our amenities, e.g. playground/community hub/library
    Waikato District Council is planning to deliver a new playground at Maraetai Bay in the next year (2022/2023). 
    In regard to the community hub, there is currently a Memorandum of Understanding that requires that the Sunset Beach Community Hub is accessible to all community members. It was also previously discussed that Waikato District Council would assist and help to facilitate the establishment of a community library within Port Waikato. This may occur within the Sunset Beach Community Hub, however further discussions are required.
    There is currently no provision for a skatepark within the Long Term Plan. This could be added as a future project that may be community funded. 
  • Community and health services may be held at local Marae 
    Waikato District Council cannot initiate the provision of community and health services at the local Marae, however it can encourage providers when approached.  
  • Recognise and celebrate local mana whenua and pakeha history Waikato District Council can continue to work with the local community to workshop how best to recognise and celebrate local mana whenua and pakeha history, e.g. through signage.
    At present, the Proposed Waikato District Plan (Decisions Version) identifies Sites of Significance to Mana Whenua and Historic Heritage Items, however this does not necessarily celebrate the history of Port Waikato. 
    It is important to note that any community or social aspirations may be facilitated by the Council. It can support community activities/facilities through growing the community’s capabilities and capacity, and create connections with key persons and groups to enable the provision of funding and social uplifting.  

Growth/Land Use 

  • Control residential development/expansion
    The Proposed Waikato District Plan (Decision Version) does not identify any additional residential development/expansion. 
  • Promote the campground and other attractions
    Waikato District Council can help to facilitate the promotion of the campground and other attractions within Port Waikato.
  • Allow for more commercial activities, e.g. restaurants, a general store and other shops
    Waikato District Council acknowledges that there may be a lack of commercial activities within Port Waikato. Appropriate evidence and justification is needed before any additional provision for commercial activities within Port Waikato can be made.  
  • Ensure the state of housing is improved
    Potential health and safety concerns related to housing may be addressed via the Building and Environmental Health teams within Waikato District Council. 

Transport 

  • Stop vehicle use on sand dunes
    Bollards have been placed to stop people from accessing the reserve, however further measures could be considered.  
  • Improve traffic safety  within the village
    Waikato District Council will investigate reducing the speed limit within the village to 40km/h to improve safety for all.  We agree that some additional measures are required to better control speed and traffic movements within Waikato District Council. 
    Further investigations will be undertaken to ensure the appropriate provision of public footpaths. 

  • Increase the frequency of public transport
    There is currently one weekly public bus from Pukekohe to Port Waikato. Public transport connections with Port Waikato may be increased through working with Waikato Regional Council and Auckland Council.  

  • Improve street lighting
    Waikato District Council will investigate and confirm whether the street lighting within Port Waikato meets the street lighting standards.   

  • Improve the maintenance of roadsMaintenance queries have been forwarded to the Waikato District Alliance, whom are responsible for road maintenance. This can be addressed by the community being proactive in reporting issues.

Infrastructure 

  • Upgrade and provide stormwater management
    There are currently no immediate plans to upgrade the pump station in the short term. 

  • Increase the frequency of rubbish collection
    Kerbside rubbish collection and recycling pick up is currently available on Mondays within Port Waikato. There are currently no plans to increase frequency, as this will impact rates. 

Nature/Open Space

  • Protect and enhance the natural environment The Proposed Waikato District Plan (Decision Version) protects the natural environment within Port Waikato with the application of:
    • Significant Natural Areas (SNAs);
    • Outstanding Natural Features (ONFs); and
    • Outstanding Natural Landscape (ONLs).  

We are able to connect the community to organisations and community groups that can assist in funding and enhancing the natural environment. 

  • Better demarcatie public reserve land Waikato District Council is currently in conversations with local Mana Whenua with regards to the management of land. 

Coastal Erosion & Sand Dune Recovery 

Waikato District Council, Waikato Regional Council, local iwi and community representatives have formed the Port Waikato Resilience Group (PWRP). This group has been working together over the last two years to undertake short term actions aimed at slowing erosion and to enable the provision of a long term adaptive management planning approach.  

PWRG have undertaken the following to address coastal erosion within Port Waikato: 

  • A literature review and recommendations have been completed and peer reviewed. This is used as the basis for the PWRG’s work into the future. The report is available. 

  • Some short-term small-scale sand transfer trials have taken place at Sunset Beach, and more are investigated from a consenting and funding perspective. Signage has also been installed to discourage climbing on the sand cliffs, and carpark drainage has been improved to reduce any contribution of stormwater runoff to coastal erosion. 

  • Long term planning work is temporarily on hold, pending the production of the Port Waikato Local Area Blueprint. This is to avoid any confusion within the two processes and to potentially bring in new perspectives.  

Blueprint examples

Lake Kainui

The Horotiu Local Area Blueprint identified the need to “Extend routes around the peat lakes for recreation”. A full loop recreational pathway around Lake Kainui was completed in 2021 . This project enabled public access to the peat lakes and is a blueprint win! 

Lake Kainui track

Tamahere Community Hub

The Tamahere Local Area Blueprint identified the need to “Support the activation of the Hub Development”. As a result, Waikato District Council has delivered an office and community space within Tamahere’s hub. The various spaces available can be booked by residents. The office and community space promotes activation within the Tamahere Hub and is a blueprint win! 

Tamahere Community Hub

Meremere

The Meremere Local Area Blueprint identified the need to “Provide support to beautification initiatives, assisting with community pride in the place. Consider streetscape, entrance signs, house numbers.” 

Houses in Meremere now have a very distinguishing feature – house numbers. House numbers are important to Meremere as the township doesn’t have letterboxes. This means emergency services rely on house numbers for location. Toi Ako Artspace from nearby Te Kauwhata led the Meremere Street Number Project in partnership with Meremere local artist, Melysa Tapiata. The project was funded by a donation from the Te Kauwhata Community Committee, and Meremere residents were able to attend one of six offered workshops where they would create their own painted or mosaic street number. Alternatively, residents were able to order a mosaic kit and design their own number at home.  

Almost 100 residents participated in some way, producing 80 colour creative and inspiring home numbers for the village. This is a blueprint win! 

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