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On April 8, the Local Government Commission released their decision on the WBPDC Representation review.

In a word: Status quo. (Well, OK, two words)

The Commission’s “Determination of representation arrangements to apply for the election of Western Bay of Plenty District Council to be held on 12 October 2019” is a word for word cut and paste from the Commission’s “Determination of representation arrangements to apply for the election of the Western Bay of Plenty District Council to be held on 12 October 2013”

The only difference being the numbering of plans delineating boundaries to accommodate the minor boundary change between the Kaimai and Katikati Wards.

That means that the Council proposal to disestablish the Omokoroa Community Board has been overturned and the Omokoroa Community Board remains with its current membership structure and current boundary.

The mixed arrangement of community boards and community councillor committees that was proposed by Council was a messy compromise and thus this outcome is not unexpected.

The Commission stated:

The establishment of ward/community committees of any form, unlike community boards, is not a matter that comes within the scope of a representation review. Accordingly, we are not able to make any determination in respect of the council’s proposed ward councillor committees. These are matters for the council to consider further and on which to make recommendations to the incoming council following the October elections.

However, we note the appellants’ concerns about the committees and, while with one exception they are no longer proposed as replacements for the existing community boards, we are also unclear about their comparative status and role vis-à-vis the current community boards. We did seek some more information about the proposed committees from the council including such matters as proposed delegations. We remain unclear and, in the case of the proposed replacement of Omokoroa Community Board, unconvinced an all of Kaimai Ward committee would provide effective representation for the Omokoroa community.

Accordingly we have determined that the Omokoroa Community Board will be retained, with its current membership, alongside the other four existing community boards which will also retain their current membership.

We suggest the council gives further consideration to the matter of local community representation across Western Bay of Plenty District and what objectives it is wishing to achieve.


2018 ended with a bunch of “goodies” delivered to the peninsula in time for Christmas.

We finally got the Omokoroa Road upgrade between the railway and SH2 completed. The orange cones finally got collected after being a fixture for what seemed an eternity. In their place we got some white lines along the side of the road and a centre line.

As part of that upgrade we scored a smart new park and ride area by Prole Road. All we have to do now is convince Intercity to include it as a stop on the Auckland - Tauranga route. So far they have failed to respond to my emails.

Then there is the fantastic new playground at Western Ave. It has been buzzing with children and parents ever since the construction fence came down. Thanks to the contractors who put in the hard graft to ensure that this facility was ready before Christmas. “Children” of all ages are enjoying the flying-fox.

Also ready for the Christmas holiday season was the overflow parking at the Domain. It will be interesting to monitor what effect this has on the congestion in that area as people get used to accessing the waterfront from Harbour View Drive rather than just from The Esplanade.

And, finally, the cliff-top walkway from Bramley down past Ruamoana was returned to us in fantastic shape. Thanks to the engineers who came up with the idea for drainage in this area, to the contractors who have undertaken the work and replaced an ugly scar with a beautiful slope. But most of all, our grateful thanks to the three property owners who contributed $100,000 each to kickstart this project.


What a great time to be living in Omokoroa!

We have had the announcement of the new, albeit temporary, location of a bigger, brighter, better, library and service centre. Adding this facility on to the end of the proposed Sports and Recreational Society pavilion in Western Ave will be a fantastic asset, both in the short-term as the library and in the long-term as more community space in the pavilion.

A side benefit of the library move is that the urbanisation of Western Ave will be advanced which will mean the end of the muddy parking at the Skatepath and the construction of a footpath between the Skatepath/playground area and the new library.

In spite of all the bad weather that has conspired against them, the contractors have the road sealed, the friendly stop/go ladies have moved on to other projects, and access ways are formed and useable into two of the three new subdivisions. Currently, work is progressing on the new park-n-ride facility opposite Prole Road and the walkway/cycleway path between SH2 and the railway bridge.

Progress is underway on the plans for the upgrade to the Domain area and the public feedback on the various proposals was fantastic.

The new playground at the Skatepath should be underway before Christmas.

Over 400 rushes, reeds and flax were planted by the senior students from Omokoroa Point School in a wetland area near the Cooney Reserve carpark. This will improve the look of this area which will become a popular start/finish point once the cycleway reaches Tauranga. Controlling the weeds and replacing them with native species will also improve the habitat for our native fauna.

And a better bus service is coming later this year.

Isn’t is a shame, with all the great things happening that we cannot get the Government to put in the new interchange and a four-lane road to Tauranga?

As part of the required Representation Review the Western Bay of Plenty District Council proposed that the current five Community Boards disestablished and replaced with three Ward based Community Committees.

After considering the feedback received from the extensive public consultation the Council suggested five 5 different options to be considered and decided by the full Council at their meeting on 20th September.

Option 1: (The original proposal, no Community Boards, three Community Committees)
That the five current Community Boards are disestablished and replaced with three appointed Community Committees aligned to the three ward boundaries.

Option 2: (Four Community Boards and three Councillor Committees)
That the Waihi Beach, Maketu and Te Puke Community Boards be retained in their current boundaries, the Katikati Community Board be retained in the adjusted boundary and the Omokoroa Community Board be disestablished.

A Ward Councillor Committee consisting of all Ward Councillors be established for each of the following areas:
• Whole of Kaimai Ward
• Eastern end of the Maketu-Te Puke Ward i.e. all the areas not included in the Te Puke and Maketu Community Boards
• Matakana Island and Rangiwaea Island of the Katikati-Waihi Beach Ward i.e. all the areas not included in the Waihi Beach and Katikati Community Boards.

Option 3: (Three ward based Community Boards)
That the five current Community Boards are disestablished and replaced with three ward-based Community Boards, subdivided by communities of interest or with members elected at large across the three wards.

Option 4: (No Community Boards, no Community Committees - Councillors only)
That Community Boards are disestablished and elected representation for constituents of the Western Bay of Plenty District be provided by the 11 elected Councillors and the Mayor only.

Option 5: (Status quo)
That the five elected Community Boards using the current Community Board boundaries as directed by the Local Government Commission following the 2013 Representation Review be retained.

It is apparent that for equitable representation there needs to be some change to the current Community Board system that only covers 56% of the district and only 20% of the Kaimai Ward.

There was also concern that, even in areas that are covered by Community Boards, many groups did not have a “voice” around the table. Clearly there is nothing stopping anybody from seeking election under the current system.

The unanimous decision by Council was for Option 2; Four Community Boards (Waihi Beach, Katikati, Te Puke and Maketu) and three Councillor Committees covering all areas outside of those current Community Board boundaries.

It is a compromise conclusion and it will be interesting to follow the progress of this new system which will result in the Kaimai Ward having one elected committee looking after it’s interests and three committees each in the other two Wards the Katikati-Waihi Beach Wards.

The Council decision must be publicly notified by 2 October and then a month is allowed for appeals and objections to be filed by 2 November.

Picture from drone footage of new walkway

Western Bay of Plenty District Council have posted drone footage of the newly opened Tinopai to Lynley Park section of the Omokoroa to Tauranga Cycleway. 

The path was officially opened by the Hon Simon Bridges, Minister for Transport and Mayors Webber and Brownlees on Tuseday 11 July 2017

(The video link above is to a Facebook page but you do not need to be a Facebook member to watch the video)


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