Our May Community Board meeting was held on Wednesday 12th May, we had some lively discussion regarding the proposed airfield safety improvements and access.
Thanks to members of the community that came along to express their views on this and other topics, which took place in our extended public forum. We always appreciate when members of our community give us feedback on topics/issues. We also heard from people about the proposed Fees and Charges for boat ramp use that was out for consultation as part of Council’s Long Term Plan.
The airfield was then raised in the formal part of our meeting, where the questions/concerns raised in the open forum were also discussed by Board members and WDC staff. The Board recognized that safety was an issue with the airfield and agreed that action needed to be undertaken to mitigate risk.
It was agreed that members of the Board would work alongside WDC staff, who are the custodians of the airfield, to undertake a number of actions, which included; defining the runway zone, best options for fencing to allow runners and pedestrians to do a lap around the airfield. In the interim WDC would update signage, provide the Board with the risk and audit reports and were open to considering alternative options to address safety and continue safe access for all airfield users. Members of the board agreed to attend a community meeting on the subject planned for Wednesday 19th May.
Hikotron EV Chargers
Hikotron, a supplier of electrical vehicle chargers, provided an overview of their business and where they would like to install electrical vehicle chargers in Raglan. WDC advised they are also working with Hikotron on chargers in other locations within the Waikato. The appropriate location for chargers is to be considered by the Board.
Works and Issues Report
The Works and Issues Report covered work in progress, including Gilmour Street upgrade, Marine Parade to Papahua footpath, Raglan West shop to Marine Parade footpath, all of which are to be completed by the end of June.
Other works that will start mid-year include the Greenslade footpath and the two pedestrian splitter islands on Upper Bow Street and Main Road, these are due to be installed by the end of June.
Local Bus Service
WDC confirmed that there is support for a local bus service and that provisional funding has been included in the Long Term Plan should this proceed. Work is ongoing to develop a route and timetabling for Waikato Regional Council to consider and ensure connectivity is maintained with Hamilton buses. Board members to work with WDC staff.
Soundsplash report for the fifth year of the festival was tabled and it was noted that this was the final consented year for the festival and a new consent will be required for any further events.
Raglan Naturally, Stormwater, Solids Waste, Kerbside Foodwaste Collection
Updates were received from Raglan Naturally, the Stormwater Liaison Group and council wide Solid Waste review, which confirmed that Council is negotiating the renewal of contracts which will be in place by 1 July 2021.
Waikato District Council also advised that the Kerbside Foodwaste Collection will continue in Raglan for another year. This is funded from waste levy funding.
Places for People
We also had updates from Board members on the progress of ‘Places for People’ and the two parklets that are going to be installed. The parklets are presently being manufactured and will be installed by the end of June, one in front of Trade Aid and the other outside Ali’s Kebab shop. Each parklet will provide seating and cycle parking. The objective of the project is to assist to make Bow Street a more people and cyclist friendly space. While the trial is in place, the working group will be evaluating the success of the parklets with the community, local businesses and visitors via a number of platforms.
The working group for the Raglan Wharf Project, funded by the Provincial Growth Fund, has confirmed that they are out for tender on possible designs for a new pontoon to be installed east of the present slipway. Part two, a package of work for the design of the western walkway, and associated safety features around the wharf should be ready to go to tender in May. The final part of this project is the Whaingaroa Harbour study, and a scope for this study is presently being finalized by WDC and will be brought to the public shortly.
Some More from the Councillor:
The Waikato District Council Long Term Plan consultation period closed on the 7th May. We received over 610 submissions from across the district. Hearings start this week from Tuesday 25th May. Submissions from the Raglan Ward included our unsealed roading network, relocation of the soccer fields, community funding and the proposed rate increases.
Council has been undertaking the first stages of our representation review across the district. The next part of this process is to determine ward boundaries, should these remain as they are or should they change? Would there be councillors elected by ward or at large? How many councillors in total and now that Council have decided on Māori representation in the 2022 election, what would that look like? We will be working further on this over the coming weeks to determine what our district is likely to look like. This will then go out for public consultation and be adopted in September/October 2021 and will come into effect at the next elections in October 2022.
On Thursday 20th May Council determined to implement Māori Ward representation for the October 2022 elections. It was a momentous day in Council history, 9 voted for Māori Wards, 3 against and 1 abstained, the public gallery was full, I was proud to be a part of this decision and look forward to working on the representation review.
Road Safety Raglan Area School:
Earlier this year I met with the Raglan Area School PTA. We agreed that we needed to have a cohesive community wide strategy on road safety, which included the school, PTA, Council, Police and community. Following this we met on Monday 24th May with the new police ‘Community Connections’ officier, WDC senior transport engineer, Louisa Barham the principal and PTA members. We discussed a number of issues and opportunities; these included congestion at pick up/drop off times at school, Norrie Ave being used as a ‘rat run’ to avoid using Bankart Street, Main Road safety crossing concerns, possible pick up/drop off points outside of school and staggered pick up/drop off times to list some of what we discussed. We are meeting again next Monday to work through our strategy and we will be sharing this information with the community in the very near future.
Latest update on the Raglan Airfield
Following the Community Board meeting (12th May), the public meeting (19th)and through further discussion with Council (WDC) staff it has been agreed that before any major work is done, an independent review will be carried out by WDC which will take into consideration the suggestions put forward by the Community Board and community members over the last few weeks. This is to ensure we are all well informed and that the most balanced actions are taken. In the meantime, revised signage is being arranged and possible marking (on the grass) to highlight the operational/runway zone. The Board will continue to work closely with WDC staff and will keep the community updated.
Papahua Footpath, Marine Parade
Near the airfield and as part of a completely different project, construction works along Marine Parade for the Papahua footpath are underway, and there will be restrictions on access across airfield (near the bridge) during construction activities. Works will be continuing over the next couple of weeks. If you are walking or driving along Marine Parade take extra care, there are a lot of construction equipment and vehicles going about their businesses.
For updates on the Airfield project and other Community Board work please visit:
Facebook: Raglan Community Board
You are welcome to contact Community Board members direct for further info. All our contact details are found on our website.
Gabrielle Parson, Chair – 021 844 785