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Boat trailer parking fees signed off by TCDC

Thursday 12 November 2009
Media Release

Boat trailer parking fees signed off by TCDC

Revenue to help cover some of the $3.2 million costs for harbour facilities over next 10 years

Trailer boat owners will be required to pay parking fees at all Council-owned all-tide boat ramps after a change to Council bylaws was confirmed at the November Thames-Coromandel District Council meeting.

Seven of eight submitters who appeared before Council called for the proposed fees to be dropped, but councillors were reminded that more than $1.4 million was programmed to upgrade the Whitianga boat ramp, with $1.1 million required to upgrade harbour facilities at Tairua.

In all some $3.2 million has been programmed in the 2009-2019 Ten Year Plan to maintain or develop new harbour facilities and there had been a clear message from submitters to the Ten Year Plan that these costs should be met by users.

The new bylaw introduces a $6 per launch or $65 annual fee. Details of how the fees will be collected are still being finalised but it is expected that trailer boat owners will be required to purchase and display a parking permit from the coming Christmas holiday period.

CAPEX cuts first as TCDC looks to limit annual
average rate increase to 4-5%

Decision needed now to lock in savings next year

More than $3.7 million of capital works have been cut from the Thames-Coromandel District Council's current year's work programme as councillors work towards reducing the proposed annual average rate increase from 7.57 per cent to under five per cent for 2010-2011.

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Some of the work has been removed completely from the programme while other projects have been pushed out a year to reduce the impacts of depreciation and interest costs on rates next year.

The changes signed off at the November Council meeting will only lower next year's rates by an average one per cent but it was expected that other proposals to be put to a Council workshop on November 27 would generate the extra savings being sought.

Councillors were told that the CAPEX cuts suggested at the November meeting had been tabled at this meeting because of timing issues. Some of the projects were due to go out for tender and staff also needed to know what cuts Council was endorsing so this could be factored into the 2010-2011 budgets which were currently being worked on.

Waikawau reserve land ownership resolution to be subject to a public consultation programme

Three options to be put out for public comment next year

Thames-Coromandel District councillors have signed off on a proposal to consult with the public over plans to return ownership of Waikawau Reserve land that was taken from the original landowners as the result of a surveying error in the late 1800s.

The November Council meeting considered a paper that recommended a Local Bill process be used to effect the return of the land to the descendants of the original owners, but Councillors also want public views on whether a revocation of the reserve status using section 24 of the Reserves Act, or simply advocating to the Crown that the land should be returned via a Reserves and Other Lands Disposal (ROLD) Bill would be better options.

The matter triggers an amendment to the confirmed 2009-2019 Ten Year Plan because reserve land is considered a strategic asset.

Council will consider the formal programme and wording of consultation documents at its December meeting and the actual consultation exercise will take place early in the New Year.

Whitianga wastewater disposal consent option
signed off for lodgement

Council supports disposal to Ngaruhutunoa Stream with some land-based irrigation options

Approval has been given for a resource consent application to be lodged with Environment Waikato for disposal of the treated wastewater from the Whitianga plant to replace the current consent that expires in December 2010.

The November Council meeting was told that there has been extensive public consultation and general agreement that the most cost effective option was for the treated wastewater to be disposed of into the Ngaruhutunoa Stream but retaining the option of providing for some land-based disposal.

The consent application will allow future irrigation into the existing nine hectare eucalyptus forest, as well as a connection point at the plant for other beneficial re-use, such as irrigating the nearby golf course or the proposed Moewai Road sports grounds.

The expected cost is around $2.7 million.

Whangamata wharf walkway replacement approved

Work to be done when suitable lifting gear is available

Thames-Coromandel District Council has signed off on an unbudgeted $25,000 repair bill for the rusting pontoon walkway at the Whangamata wharf.

The November Council meeting was told that current state of the walkway was causing concern with a number of queries raised about its safety. While there were no current safety issues the walkway would become unusable if it collapsed and it may not be able to be immediately replaced.

It was estimated that the walkway had about a year and a half of remaining life and approving its replacement at this time would allow the walkway to be replaced when suitable lifting gear was available in the harbour, rather than have to bring in this capability especially for the job if the walkway did collapse unexpectedly.

Staff report called for on the options for
dealing with 1080 issue

Matter to be considered at December TCDC meeting

Thames-Coromandel District Councillors have pushed back a decision on whether to become involved in an advocacy role over the use of 1080 on the Coromandel Peninsula to allow a staff report to be presented at the December meeting on the implications of such a move.

They agreed to table a notice of motion calling for the Council to research the issue and then seek the views of the five community boards on the topic prior to the policy and planning committee making a recommendation to the full council on the issue.

Bright future seen for aquaculture industry

Mussel production expected to treble to 60,000 tonnes annually

Huge opportunities are being created for the aquaculture industry and the Coromandel Peninsula is in line to receive a major share of the benefits, the Thames-Coromandel District Council (TCDC) has been told.

HDCG aquaculture sub committee chairman John Tregidga told the November Council meeting that recent developments provided major potential for creating jobs and economic development in the Hauraki-Coromandel area.

He said legislative changes already made and expected would allow the Coromandel mussel industry to treble in size from its current 20,000 tonnes a year and opens up the possibilities of fin fish farming, but other areas were also developing their own aquaculture industries.

However, there was an urgent need to deal with current infrastructural issues as well as consider future needs and also for someone to take charge of ensuring that this region gains its share of aquaculture growth benefits.

Mr Tregdiga said the way forward was to appoint a dedicated Aquaculture Development Project Manager with responsibility for ensuring the potential benefits were realised in the Hauraki-Coromandel region and the TCDC councillors agreed to provide funding for such a role.

TCDC's contribution to the costs would be $15,000 in the current year and $100,000 in the next two years. Hauraki District Council had agreed to commit $5000 this year and $20,000 per year for the next two years and the balance of the $270,000 would be picked up by HCDG to be funded from central government.

Mr Tregidga said an approach would also be made to Environment Waikato for support in kind in the form of office accommodation and contributions would be sought from the aquaculture industry.

Independent commissioner appointed to head Wharekaho private plan change hearing

Hearings Panel given delegated authority to make a decision

Alan Watson has been appointed by Thames-Coromandel District Council to chair a hearing panel to consider a private plan change request from Wharekaho Beach Developments Ltd for a structure plan that will permit 111 lots to be developed at Wharekaho.

The November Council meeting decided that Mr Watson will be joined by two members of Council's Judicial Committee on the hearings panel and that the panel will have delegated authority to make a decision on the proposed private plan change, rather than make recommendations to the full Council as has been the custom in the past.

The hearing is to be held in Thames on November 30.


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