GE TrainMountain

Your editors at Train Mountain in Oregon last year.

It has been an eventful year in both the political and sporting scenes — and with next year’s central government elections, not to mention the U.S. presidential election, and the Tokyo Summer Olympics, 2020 should be, too.

Normally we don’t say much about national level political issues, but considerable concern about some things the government has embarked on this year has required comment.

Locally, we had the council elections in October and while Geoffrey and Margaret of our team initially felt a little deprived after being elected to the Waikanae Community Board without Iride as Ward Councilor, that was quickly replaced with a feeling of camaraderie and unity once we had met with the others who were elected.  As James Westbury said at the first public meeting, the new board has much collective talent with energetic members and while there are different areas of interest, there are common attitudes about what the Waikanae Ward (which includes Peka Peka and Reikorangi) needs.

The unanimous top priority of the members is to get a new permanent library on the next Long Term Plan, and the work on achieving that is already underway. We want construction work to commence before the next three years are out.

There are several other matters being given board attention and at least a few should see action next year including the rebuilding of the Mahara Gallery which is likely to start in the second half of 2020, and the revocation of the Main Road from the NZTA to the council, with changes to the layout (as regular readers know, there has been opposition to some of the intended changes).

Other subjects being talked about include better amenities in parks and reserves, achieving the implementation of the Community Futures Plan (inclusive of a new community hall) for the Beach Zone and the non-visible but nevertheless important renovation of the numerous underground pipes for the ‘three waters’: to ensure tap water is top quality, waste water goes where it should unobstructed and stormwater drains properly without surface flooding.

Geoffrey intends to push for more beautification, involving street art, nice berms and nice frontages, including having another go at the Most Beautiful Medium Sized Town award for Waikanae which is run by Keep New Zealand Beautiful.

In the last couple of weeks members have made submissions to the Independent Organisation Review of the council being conducted by MartinJenkins and to the Mayor about delegations and the way we want management to interact with us.  That includes trying to get everyone – Mayor, staff, other government bodies and the public — to recognise the fundamental role that the District’s Community Boards should have in the scheme of things.

Once again thanks go to our supporters and contributors, in particular Roger Childs and Karl Webber. We wish readers happy and safe holidays and a prosperous new year.

Kirihimete mihi — kia pai, me whakapono ki a koe ano