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?

 

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.