Raglan Community Board meeting in-brief

The Raglan Community Board meets on the 2nd Tuesday of the Month. Follow RCB on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ragcombd.

August 2017 meeting in-brief:

Raglan’s one-lane Wainui Bridge is scheduled for replacement in 2024, according to works programme tabled in the community board meeting agenda.

A Waikato District Council spokesperson said the upgrade was linked to the rate of growth in the town.

“It is too early to have designs and the like in place but we can say that if the rate of growth in Raglan causes the demand for an upgrade to increase then the project will be moved forward to an earlier date to accommodate that demand. Likewise, if growth in Raglan is slower than we expect then the project will be moved back to a later date.”

The Whaingaroa-Raglan Destination Management Organisation (WRDMO) has asked the Raglan Community Board and Waikato District Council to support its plans to establish a cycle/walking trail that runs from the wharf to the beach car park and for a summer shuttle operation between Manu Bay and town.

Karamea Puriri, from WRDMO, told the community board that the organisation – made up of representatives from local organisations and businesses – sought to apply for funding for the two projects from the Tourism Infrastructure Fund.

Round one of the Government fund, that provides up to $25 million per year for the development of tourism-related infrastructure, closes on September 2017.

Karamea said a cycle-walking trail and electric shuttle would help ease congestion and parking issues in town and at the beach. Waikato District Council Clive Morgan told her he had twice applied to previous tourism funds for similar projects in Raglan in the past and had failed on both counts.

He suggested the council and WRDMO instead ask for funding for a comprehensive feasibility study to help ease Raglan’s tourism infrastructure-related woes, “incorporating these ideas and some others”. “There are some hurdles and we don’t need a third failed application.”

Raglan Area School head boy Liam Dingle is the youth advisor on the Raglan Comummunity Board.

Liam attended his first meeting on Tuesday last week and will be given speaking rights.

St John Waikato district operational manager Stuart Cockburn told the Raglan Community Board that it is rolling out a four-year plan to end single crewing of its ambulances in New Zealand, however the Raglan station was not a high priority in immediacy because it had a good number of volunteers and the PRIME service would return to 24/7.

A review of the need at the Raglan station was unlikely to happen until about year three or four, he said. St John received an extra $100 million in Government funding to provide double crewing of all emergency ambulance responses over the next four years.

The Raglan Community Board has recommended that the time limits of 10 car park spaces outside Raglan House be increased from 60 minutes to 120 minutes because of the “negative impact” on the community organisation – however, not all board members agree.

Raglan House manager Mike Rarere, who asked for an extension to 180 minutes for 18 car parks, including those across the road, told the community board that volunteers and visitors needed longer than one hour, many had health or age issues that meant they couldn’t park a distance away and the organisation was losing hire revenue because clients couldn’t park for more than 60 minutes right outside.

Community board member Alan Vink said he disagreed with the decision to extend the parking time limits and it only exacerbated problems with parking in Raglan in summer.

“We have just aggravated the car parking situation in summer by having cars park there for longer. Other cars will use those parks so you still can’t park there.”

The Raglan Community Board has approved funding of $2000 towards the cost of upgrading the interior working space of the Whaingaroa Environment Centre.

The full upgrade includes new furniture, a repaint, design panels, computer upgrades and new customer service work stations, and is expected to cost about $35,000.

The Raglan Naturally steering group is running out of steam, it was heard at the Raglan Community Board meeting last week.

Gabrielle Parsons told the other members of the board that if they did not give the group more support it “might just come to a halt”. There had been resignations of members and people were not turning up to meetings.

Initially, the interim steering group was set up to have a life of its own, separate from the community board and Waikato District Council.

The group was formed to update the original Raglan Naturally plan that acts as a blueprint for future development. Gabrielle said a lot of good work had been done so far, including getting funding, setting up focus groups, but the board had to take a more active part to keep things rolling along.

The Raglan Community Board approved proposed new handrails for the Dolphin Pier and Raglan Wharf.

The pier handrail is to be same as the handrail on the walk bridge in Raglan, while the wharf handrail is to be of stainless steel. The Waikato District Council will now undertake engagement with tenants and surrounding businesses.

The Raglan Sport Fishing Club has voiced an objection to an extension of the handrails along the eastern side of the wharf. Soul Shoes owner Rob Galloway said he supported the plans and they had been a longtime coming.

Inger Vos