Successful Meet the Candidates evening

The Meet the Candidates evening was a great success so a big thank you from the Committee to the candidates and to those residents who attended. Under level 2.5 we were limited to 52 seated with the candidates on stage and we were full. In fact we set up an extra 7 in the hallway.

The candidates spoke well and we had a good variety of questions that kept the evening alive for 90 minutes. The candidates were most appreciative of the opportunity and we hope that those residents who attended found it informative. Happy voting.

Restricted Level 2 from Monday 31st August

The Waiatarua Library

The library will reopen Monday 31 August and normal opening times will apply.

All volunteers and visitors must follow the restricted level 2 guidelines of no more than 10 in any one space

Everyone must check in using the QR code on the front door, maintain physical distancing and anyone who is sick should not enter the venue.

All surfaces, tables and chairs must be wiped down after use.  You are encouraged to wear a mask but it is not mandatory at this time.

The Waiatarua Community Hall

Our hall will also open from Monday 31 August and be available to groups of 10 or less.

Those wishing to use the hall must first contact the Hall custodian who will register the group or individuals.

All those entering the hall must follow the restricted level 2 guidelines of no more than 10 in any one space. Everyone must check in using the QR code on the front door, maintain physical distancing and anyone who is sick should not enter the venue.

All surfaces, tables and chairs must be wiped down after use.

You are encouraged to wear a mask but it is not mandatory at this time.

Here is the latest update from Council on for reference.

We will post a further update following the Government’s decision on 6th September.

Auckland remains at Level 3

Latest Covid Update 14/08/20

The Prime Minister has announced that in Auckland we will remain in Level lockdown until midnight Wednesday 26th August.

For your information and guidance here is a summary of the planned approach to be taken by our Council each alert level.

Alert Level 3

All Auckland Council venues across the Auckland region will remain closed to the public.

During this time, we will reprioritise the use of our venues to support community services like health agencies and food banks.

 

This time, there are some key changes in the measures and restrictions we need to follow, which are:

  • From 11:59am on Wednesday 19 August, under Alert Levels 3 , all businesses and services are required to display the official NZ COVID Tracer QR code posters in a prominent place at or near the main entrances to each of their premises. Click here to learn more and to get your poster.
  • At Alert Level 3, people are strongly encouraged to wear a face covering when you’re out and about.
  • Further details are available from the Unite against COVID-19 website.

Venue Hire

If you operate a venue for hire, we recommend you include a statement about COVID-19 in your hire agreement terms and conditions. Here is an example from our Venue Hire terms and conditions:

COVID-19 ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

By entering this Agreement, the Hirer warrants and confirms to abide by all rules and directives published and updated by the government from time to time at https://covid19.govt.nz/. The Hirer understands and accepts that Auckland Council may immediately terminate this Agreement if the Hirer breaches any of the government rules or directives.

 

Looking ahead

The coming weeks will obviously be impacted by the alert level strategy announced this afternoon. We will continue to keep in touch with you, meanwhile if you have any questions or concerns, please contact your relationship advisor.

For more information regarding COVID-19 restrictions please visit https://covid19.govt.nz/covid-19/restrictions/auckland/ and https://ourauckland.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/news/covid19/

Auckland Region Moves To Alert Level 3

In line with Auckland’s move to Alert Level 3, Auckland Council has closed all of its community facilities, effective immediately.

This includes all playgrounds and other facilities within our parks, like park benches and basketball courts, as well as non-essential services such as libraries, pools and leisure centres, service centres, visitor centres, our network of community venues and our early childhood education centres.

 This means that the Waiatarua Hall and Library are closed until further notice.  


Auckland Mayor Phil Goff asks everyone to remain calm and follow the Alert Level 3 rules.


“Auckland Council is closing all its community facilities and non-essential services to help prevent any further spread of COVID-19 in the community,” he said.

“However, essential council services will continue, and supermarkets, pharmacies, and petrol stations will remain open. Please stay calm, shop as normal and follow Ministry of Health advice around good hygiene practices and social distancing. Those who can work from home should do so.

“We’ve beaten COVID-19 once already by working together, and we will do so again by working together as a team. Please look out for yourself and others, stay safe and follow the Ministry of Health guidelines.”

Acting Auckland Council Chief Executive Patricia Reade says that, in line with guidance from the government, the council will continue to provide essential services during Alert Level 3.

“Over the coming days, we’ll continue to pick up and dispose of rubbish and recycling, but other non-essential open space maintenance will be stopped until Friday. Around 100 of our public toilets will remain open for essential workers and members of the rough sleeper community, and our public transport system will continue to operate,” says Ms Reade.

While people must stay home unless it is essential, the council encourages people to make use of its online tools – Aucklanders will still be able to borrow an electronic book, magazine or audiobooks from the library, lodge a consent or register their dog.

For up to date information on council services, visit aucklandcouncil.govt.nz or phone 09-301-0101.

For the most up-to-date government response information please go to covid19.govt.nz.

Contact tracing is an essential to stopping the spread. All New Zealanders need to keep a record of where they have been to allow faster contact tracing. Use the government’s COVID tracer app if you can, or make a note.

Government advises Auckland move to Alert Level 3

As of midday Wednesday 12 August, the Auckland region (Auckland Council area) will move to Alert Level 3 for 3 days until midnight on Friday 14 August. The rest of New Zealand will move to Alert Level 2.

Important information for people in the Auckland region

  • Travel in and out of Auckland will be restricted to essential travel only, with roadblocks in place
  • Work from home unless you are an essential worker
  • All schools and childcare facilities will be closed except for children of essential service workers.
  • All public facilities, bars, restaurants and businesses should close.
  • Supermarkets, pharmacies, and petrol stations remain open – shop as normal. Food delivery will be available
  • Keep a 2 metre physical distance and wear a mask when in public when you can’t distance
  • Stay home if you’re sick, wash your hands, cough or sneeze into your elbow, clean surfaces
  • Keep a record of where you have been, use the NZ COVID app
  • If you have cold or flu like symptoms call your GP or Healthline to book a free COVID-19 test, and get tested if asked

The latest information can be found on covid19.govt.nz or the Unite Against COVID social media channels

For more information on testing visit this page.

For more information on the Alert Levels, see this Unite Against COVID PDF guide.

Important information for people outside of Auckland

  • Auckland has a new case of COVID-19 and moves to Alert Level 3
  • The rest of New Zealand moves to Alert Level 2
  • There will only be essential travel to/from Auckland
  • Don’t panic buy, all businesses outside Auckland are open with social distancing in place.
  • Keep a 2 metre physical distance and wear a mask when in public when you can’t distance.
  • Stay home if you’re sick, wash your hands, cough or sneeze into your elbow, clean surfaces
  • If you are sick call your GP or Healthline to book a free COVID-19 test, and get tested if asked
  • Keep a record of where you have been, use NZ COVID app.
  • The latest information can be found on covid19.govt.nz or the Unite Against Covid social media channels

These measures are temporary to stop the spread of COVID-19 and will apply for the next three days while information is gathered and contact tracing and testing is underway.

We will update you all again when more news comes to hand.

Waiatarua Library Re-opening

The Waiatarua Library will be open for business from this Thursday 21 May 2020. Normal hours will resume.

Thursday 10am – 12 noon

Friday 7pm – 8pm

Saturday and Sunday 11am – 12 noon

All Covid19 Level 2 precautions will be taken.

Look forward to seeing you there!

May 2020 Newsletter out now!

Newsletter is out!

The May 2020 Issue is out!

The May newsletter is out now!

It’s a massive issue and you can read it online here.

We’d love it if you know anyone that would normally get the newsletter in their letterbox but for some reason does not have a computer to print a copy for them.  Of course, make sure you wash your hands well before touching the paper and delivering it to make sure it is delivered safely.

This is allowed under the NZ Goverment Covid-19 rules so that people who do not have access to the internet are still able to receive their local printed news media.

NOTE: Since going to print there are two corrections advised to us:

  1. The Fire Service has advised there won’t be any sounding of the siren at 11am at Waiatarua on ANZAC day.  Instead please observe within your bubble at 6am.
  2. The piece on what the WRRA mistakenly assumed Pat Cole was male.  Tony Bacon provides helpful correction:
    •  I have to correct you on one thing – Pat Cole was Mrs Patricia Cole. Known as “Coley”, she was before my time, but an absolute pillar of the community apparently. There is an obituary for in the May 1988 newsletter – see, the archive is useful!

Helpful links for COVID-19

Some COVID-19 links for you

The WRRA have put together these links for you so you don’t have to go searching for them.

If you’re not sure what assistance may be available, don’t know who to contact for help, call the free government helpline on 0800 779 997 (8am–1am, 7 days a week).

For advice and support for essential businesses please contact 0800 22 66 57 (9am–5pm, Monday–Friday).

New Zealand Government

The #1 site for information is covid19.govt.nz/

Health

Health concerns, information and advice about coronavirus is available from the Ministry of Health.

https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/diseases-and-conditions/covid-19-novel-coronavirus

Financial Assistance

Wage subsidy available to support employers affected by COVID-19

https://www.workandincome.govt.nz/products/a-z-benefits/covid-19-support.html

Tax relief and income assistance is available to people affected by the downturn in business.

https://www.ird.govt.nz/Updates/News-Folder/tax-relief-coronavirus

Business Continuity Package to assist businesses struggling due to the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak

https://www.ird.govt.nz/Updates/News-Folder/covid-19-business-continuity-package

Government guidance and support to the public to help you stay informed.

  • workplace preparedness, getting ready for an emergency, and sick leave entitlements
  • information for importers and exporters, tax obligations, travel and a number of links to key information being provided by other government agencies
  • for tenants and landlords about your rights and responsibilities under the Residential Tenancies Act 1986.

Think you have COVID-19?

What to do if you think you have COVID-19 (PDF, 800 KB)

COVID-19 information for people coming into NZ from overseas (PDF, 1.2 MB)

Looking after yourself

How to look after your own welfare.

Native parrot spotted in Oratia

Parker Rd resident Penelope Sparks was lucky enough to have this beautiful kaka visit recently, contentedly feeding on kowhai flowers in her garden. Thank you for the photo Penny, he or she is certainly a very fine specimen!

 

New Pest Free Alliance Formed

Pest free groups working in the Waitakere Ranges heritage area have formed an alliance to support and facilitate their work. Called Pest Free Waitakere Ranges, the alliance seeks to improve the impact and effectiveness of biodiversity conservation in the Waitakere Ranges by supporting the efforts of groups and networks working here, which number at least a hundred.

PFWR does not profess to represent these groups; rather, its role is to provide support and facilitation. These groups are working hard in innovative and committed ways but their potential impact can be increased with collective advantage. PFWR plan to identify gaps where restoration activities can be enhanced and to support all these groups to contribute to Waitakere Ranges wide initiatives.

A committee has been formed to guide the Alliance’s work, a member of which is ex-WRRA President, Peter Casey. Accountability to Waitakere Ranges groups and networks working in the Waitakere Ranges will be via quarterly meeting, the first of which will be held on Sunday 10 November at a venue yet to be fixed.

Contact pestfreewaitakereranges@gmail.com for more information.

 

Future of Waitakere rural sewerage targeted rate

Andrew Duncan, Manager Financial Policy at Auckland Council has provided some clarification regarding the council’s decisions on the future of the Waitakere rural sewerage targeted rate.

The council has decided to retain the Waitakere rural sewerage targeted rate until June 2021. Decisions on the future of the service, and rate, will be made in May 2020 as part of development of the Annual Budget 2020/2021, to be implemented in June 2021. This will allow time to negotiate any changes to contracts that would come into effect from July 2021 and  aligns with the pump-out cycle and the current service provision contract timeframe.

Options that council will assess include:

  • Reducing the pump out scheme to the Waitakere Ranges Local Board Area to streamline governance and in anticipation of a reticulated sewerage scheme going into the Whenuapai area as part of its redevelopment;
  • Aligning the pump out service with compliance and monitoring of all onsite systems (to minimise disruption to land owners and hopefully be more efficient);
  • Incorporating all onsite systems and all elements of the systems, not just septic tanks; and
  • Reviewing the costs of the scheme and the targeted rate following renegotiation of the contracts for the service.

 

Council adopts changes for managing dogs

Auckland Council’s Policy on Dogs and Dog Management Bylaw is changing, following consultation from 1 April to 10 May 2019, where more than 8000 submissions were made.  The Governing Body decided to adopt the proposed changes to the policy and bylaw at their meeting on 25 July 2019.

The new Policy on Dogs and Dog Management Bylaw will come into effect from 1 November 2019 and the key changes are:

  • removing duplications from the bylaw, simplifying future amendments to local dog access rules;
  • reorganising Schedule 2 (list of local dog access rules);
  • requiring dog owners to obtain a multiple dog ownership licence for more than two dogs in areas zoned as urban under the Unitary Plan;
  • applying a standard time and season definition of 10am to 5pm from 1 December to 1 March (in places where there is already a time and season rule);
  • extending Council’s ability to protect vulnerable native plantlife from dogs;
  • encouraging responsible dog ownership for owners with dogs classified as menacing because of their behaviour;
  • applying a standard lambing season rule in regional parks with stock; and
  • amending dog access rules at Glenfern Sanctuary, Muriwai, Long Bay and Whatipū to protect wildlife.

 

Cats eye installation at Piha Rd intersection

Residents may have noticed that, in an effort to improve road safety, in-road red flashing LED lights (cats eyes) have been installed in the road surface leading to the STOP sign on Piha Road where it meets Scenic Drive. These lights flash when drivers approach the STOP sign on Piha Road.

It is hoped the flashing cats eyes will raise drivers’ awareness of the STOP sign. This is a New Zealand first at a STOP sign and AT say that, if successful, it will allow use in similar situations across the country.

In addition, yellow, non-flashing cats eyes have been installed in the road surface on Scenic Drive to highlight the centre line for road users. With a number of incidents involving drivers on the wrong side of the road at this location, highlighting the centre of the road will encourage drivers to stay on the correct side.

Although it is not the much needed roundabout, any improvement to this notorious intersection is beneficial. However, it begs the question: where was the consultation with the community on this matter?

 

Fibre broadband update

We have asked Chorus to give Waiatarua residents an update on the fibre install that is being carried out in our region.  They have replied with the following:

For West Coast Road, fibre will also be available in January 2020. The build work for this area will be completed mid-November 2019 and the reinstatements should be completed by December 2019.

There are some parts of Scenic Drive which will have fibre before the other area of Scenic Drive.

Houses at 505 to 459 Scenic Drive will be able to get access to fibre from December 2019. The build work for this area will be completed in mid-October 2019 and the reinstatements should be completed by November 2019.

Houses from around 548 Scenic Drive will not be able to access fibre until about October 2021.  We are unable to provide further information regarding when the build work will start/finish for this area.

They have attached a map which shows the areas that the fibre rollout will be completed in. The white outline shows the separate areas which are included in the rollout. Click the map below to expand.

 

New trial Weed Bin location 3-4 November

For 3-4 November the weed bins have been relocated as a trial to the Waiatarua Community Centre at 911 West Coast Road.

We have guests hiring the hall on Sunday morning, so please be considerate around parked vehicles.

Care around entering and exiting the site is required; it is safest to enter the site with your trailer coming down the hill from Scenic Drive.

Safe turning with trailers is available at the Fire Station 2 minutes uphill on Scenic Drive.

 

 

Community Centre now has heat pumps!!

Great news!

Waiatarua Community Centre now has heat pumps in the hall and library; two separate systems!

This has been provided by the building owner, Auckland City Council.

Thanks to the community facilities team and our Waitakere Local Board for the support.

This helps with the climate control for our book collection and much better heat control in the hall, not to mention lower power bills!

 

Broadband Fibre IS COMING to Waiatarua!

We received great news last week that the national Ultra Fast Broadband fibre rollout had been extended to an additional 202 communities.

You may remember the WRRA reporting that when the UFB Phase 2 rollout was announced that Waiatarua didn’t make the final cut.

But now, as well as adding Waiatarua and other communities to the UFB network  Chorus will also bring forward the UFB2 and UFB2+ build by two years, to have the build completed by the end of 2022.  Chorus hope to update us in November on the the timing for the Waiatarua fibre installs.

However, the current plan has a black spot.  Supposedly the area of Waiatarua on Scenic drive between Rose Hellaby House and the Waitakere Estate entrance (around Parkinson’s Lookout) falls below the population density guidelines Chorus has been given relating to property density under its contract with the government.  The WRRA will seek to demonstrate why this area is as important as any other part of Waiatarua to get fibre to.

We want the black spot removed.

A huge thanks to Michael DCosta for representing Waiatarua to Chorus and the UFB project on this issue.