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Door-to-Door Research for Ohura Water Tank Referendum

Door-to-Door Research for Ohura Water Tank Referendum

Council staff has been busy going door-to-door in Ohura gathering information for the up-coming referendum on the future of the Ohura water scheme scheduled for the end of November.

It has been recognised for some time that the current Ohura drinking water scheme is unsustainable in its current form and the referendum is part of making a final decision on its future and whether the community supports the proposal to install roof fed water tanks in its place.

Ruapehu District Council (RDC) Group Manager Customer Services, Pauline Welch, said that council staff has been around visiting every property connected to the current water scheme as part of estimating the cost of installing water tanks.

“Council is developing an estimated cost of installing a water tank on every property.”

“The costs can vary quite markedly depending on such things as location, quality of the roof and guttering, etc,” she said.

“This research and analysis is critically important to enabling Ohura residents to make an informed decision prior to voting in the referendum.”

“Once this process is complete Council will organise a community meeting to discuss the findings.”

Ms Welch noted that Council was concerned that all residents eligible to vote in the referendum are able to do so.

“The rules around the referendum are governed by the Local Government Act (LGA) which states that to be able to vote you need to be over the age of 18 and on the electoral roll.”

“All residents who meet these criteria get to vote as do non-resident ratepayers.”

“Everybody only gets one vote no matter how many properties they may own,” she said.

“Council will be writing to all residents and non-resident ratepayers clarifying who can take part in the referendum.”

“We are also advising people to hold-off doing anything, such as buying a water tank now, until after the referendum is held.

“To be binding 75% of everyone who casts a vote in the referendum must support the resolution either for, or against, closing the water treatment plant and installing water tanks.”

Ms Welch added that Council has organised a working group made up of three Ohura residents (John Howard, Bruce Stevenson, Janet Hughes), Mayor Don Cameron, Ward Councillor Marion Gillard and myself to discuss and resolve issues as they arise.

If any Ohura residents of other affected parties have any queries about the process they are welcome to contact me here directly at Council on 07 895 8188.


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