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NOTES FROM OMOKOROA FUTURE FOCUS MEETING 15 APRIL 2016

The Settlers' Hall was packed with more than 280 members of the public and the following noted people. Apologies to those omitted.

Simon Bridges MP, Minister of Transport; Todd Muller MP ;Scott Simpson MP Coromandel Environment Select Committee; Omokoroa Community Board members Woods; Palmer; Maurice and chair Cameron. Councillors Webber and Merriman. Western Bay Council - CEO Miriam Taris; Gary Allis Infrastructure Services; Mayor Paterson; Councillors Benge,Thwaites and Mackay. Mark Hasley NZTA (principal transport manager Tauranga) Kay Clark Transport Planner; Frank Begley Tauranga Council Communications and reporter from Katikati Advertiser. 

PQ = Question/statement or quote from member of the public

A = Answer or non answer from noted member

ITEM 1 - SH2 NORTHERN CORRIDOR

Powerpoint presentation by Mark Hasley

  • What transport agency does.
  • Bay of Plenty as part of the big picture routes Tauranga to Coromandel Corridor, Tauranga to Hamilton and Auckland to Pokeno.
  • Predicted population growth from 21,000 to 35,000 in corridor from Wahii to Tauranga in next 10 years.
  • Currently working on Roundabout at Te Puna/Minden start date May 2016.
  • $5 million road safety improvements along Wahii - Tauranga corridor.
  • Future projects - 1. 7km 4 lane road section Loop Road to Takitimu Drive. 2. Safety
  • improvements Athenree - Tanners Point 3. Omokoroa - Te Puna safety improvements of junctions at Omokoroa Road, Barrett Road and Snodgrass Road.

We are at Stage 1 of funding approval

PQ - You are planning 10 years ahead when we are 20 years behind

PQ - Te Puna roundabout is a waste of money, we need it at Omokoroa

PQ - Not safe at Pahoia junction despite recent safety improvements, need safety barriers and lower speed limit here. Transit take note

PQ -When is Omokoroa Road /SH2 happening?

A - Simon Bridges - I have no doubt of audiences concerns. Watch this space for Western Bay VERY SOON. SH2 and SH29 is critical to expansion of Port of Tauranga

PQ- I am concerned for road safety particularly junction of Omokoroa/SH2

PQ - Main concern should be the bridges between Katikati and Tauranga

PQ - What about the Wairoa Bridge?

PQ - If the Northern Link happens ( Loop Road to Takitimu Drive) then the Te Puna/Minden roundabout will be redundant.

A- Simon Bridges 'Goes for both'

PQ - Reject the safety barriers we need better driving. Some measures are not safer.

PQ - Do you consult with the Fire Brigade?

PQ - What happens if the train bridge(near Settlers Hall) collapses? We are stranded.

PQ - Any consideration given to tunnel through Kamai?

A- Simon Bridges 'Based on Auckland Waterview Tunnel cost at $1.5 billion a km and a Kaimai Tunnel being 9km then it is unlikely on today costs. SH29 is the focus.

PQ - Would you consider a partnership with private investors to take a route over Kamai at Thompson's Track?

A - Simon Bridges 'Yes I like this'

PQ - Promote more industrial rail traffic and passenger rail transport.

A - Simon Bridges 'this happens in Auckland - good idea but costs $$'

PQ - Why not an Omokoroa to Tauranga passenger rail link

PQ - What is the time line for the Omokoroa/SH2 improvement

A - SB - no reply..............then 'Very soon'

PQ - It's difficult to get out of Omokoroa Road

PQ - How many lives will be lost before there is action?

PQ - Slow down the house building until the roads are in place. Stop growth now.

A - SB 'We shouldn't stop growth as people want to come here'

Todd Muller MP then took the floor...........

'As MPs it is important to turn up. Omokoroa needs more support from government on roading. Complete my online survey.  https://toddmuller.national.org.nz/have-your-say

ITEM 2 - 2016-17 DRAFT ANNUAL PLAN

Mayor Patterson talked about the above plan. Stated that rate increase for 2016-17 would be 3.64% but Omokoroa would decrease by 3.1% due to spread out across other Western Bay ratepayers of water and sewage. So same charges for these for all. Then stated three areas council wanted to consult ratepayers on but quoted;

1. 'We are going to update animal shelters at a cost of $250,000'

2. 'We will contribute $100,000 to improve broadband connectivity'

3. 'We will delay by 1 year the Ongare Point waste water system'

NB - These 3 items are up for consultation as they are new projects in annual plan

QP - Are the developers funding infrastructure?

A - Patterson replied but did not answer the question, went off the subject

QP - Why are rates so high when inflation is at 0.1%

A - Paterson - replied but did not answer question ... at this point

A - Miriam Taris - 'We are using the rates to pay off debt' 'We have been working on a 30 year asset management plan as requested by government - to spread out the debt'

QP - We have high rates, the highest in the country. Why have my rates gone up more than what has been quoted? I pay $3,600.

The meeting then strayed from the agenda

Gary Ellis spoke on Kamai Reserves management plan He said council would sell off some reserves to purchase other land.

QP - Does this involve any Omokoroa reserves?

A - Yes Precious Reserve (loud reaction from public)

QP - mixed messages here - Are you selling reserves to fund debt? Is this a proper consultation?

A - Look at http://haveyoursay.westernbay.govt.nz/have-your-say-western-bay (Note there is nothing there about this as at 18 April - it is hard to find elsewhere so a quick link is here)

A - Council have already bought land at the junction of Omokoroa Road and Prole Road for a reserve

QP - Is there a school planned?

A - We have been encouraged by the Ministry of Education to buy land

QP - The Ministry have no plans

ITEM 3 - OMOKOROA HOUSING DEVELOPMENT

Council staff then gave the following information

In September, Classic Homes will begin the first phase of building on 30 sections, the first of a planned 300 home development of affordable housing. 25% of those houses built must

be affordable.(Housing Accord) It is likely they will be in excess of $400, 000 or even $450,000 not original $300,000 as quoted last year. The council have profited by $4 million

ITEM 4 - OMOKOROA ROAD IMPROVEMENTS AND CYCLEWAYS/WALKWAYS

Detailed by council staff member - Roads

1. We need to buy more land to allow widening of Omokoroa Road from SH2 to the railway bridge.The road needs to widened from 7.5m to 9.5 m. It will be completed by end of 2017 at a cost of $4.5 million. Half to be paid by the government.

2. There will be 3 new roundabouts at junction of Prole Road/Omokoroa carriers, near Goldstone's Farm and opposite Goldstone Road.

3. The Hamurana Road cycle/walkway will be completed within the next 4 months (end August)

4. Pavement upgrade near Anderley Avenue with sited bus stops both sides of the road.

5. The skate path will open on 7 May 2016

6. Pavement upgrade from Western Avenue to Tralee St.

QP - When is the town centre being built?

A - We are looking to start plan on October 1st 2016

A - Gary Ellis 'We are looking at Prole Road.'

QP - What has happened to the $10 town centre yearly levy we have paid via rates

A - You were going to pay it but it was never levied.

QP - Is there going to be a second exit from Omokoroa

Cycle/walkways

TECT will contribute $1million towards a statement bridge across Wairoa River for walkers/cyclists

The route from Tinopai to Lynley Park has already started with the whole route from Omokoroa to Tauranga being completed by mid 2018.

This was well supported by the public.

For more details and photos of the route see http://omokoroabeach.nz/news/147-new-walkway-cycleway

ITEM 5 - SPARK CELLPHONE EQUIPMENT

Don Cameron stated that the communications tower will not be outside 92 Hamurana Road(cheers) CEO wrote in support of not Hamurana Road but has yet to receive a reply from Spark. Written 6 weeks ago, seems they are reviewing the siting of the tower. Gary Webber suggested individuals use 'Netspark' which is satellite based.

Meeting ended at 2110.

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