Councillor discusses School Closure, Manu Bay Breakwall and Freshwater Hui Update and More


In  this week’s catch up with Raglan Ward Councillor Lisa Thomson, she discusses Raglan Area School’s temporary closure, an update on the Manu Bay Breakwall and Freshwater Hui as well as some comments on the recent spate of crime in Whāingaroa.


(Listen to the full interview below:)



Raglan Area School Closed until Tuesday 7 June

The number of COVID-19 cases have been rising again in the Waikato and Raglan Area School have made the decision to close the school until after the long weekend. 

With 11 teaching staff isolating, and relief staff unavailable as well, the school leadership decided it was in everyone’s best interest to close the school until some of the teaching staff can return.

Raglan Area School is expected to open again on Tuesday 7 June.

Manu Bay Breakwall

A stakeholder hui for the Manu Bay Breakwall was held at the Town Hall Supper Room earlier this week. The upgraded Manu Bay breakwall was finished in 2016 and has since been causing a number of issues for those that use the boat ramp. Stakeholders met for the first time since 2018 to address the issues and coordinate a path forward. 

Stakeholders in attendance included the Raglan Sports Fishing Club, mana whenua, Point Boardriders, local residents, Waikato District Council staff as well as Deputy Mayor Aksel Bech and Lisa, Dennis and Gabriellle from the Raglan Community Board.

The main issues with the current breakwall are that sea water goes over the top of the wall, even in modest swell, and that rocks from the other side of the wall also move over the wall creating a safety issue for those that access the boat ramp.

There are a number of different positions that need to be considered and experts and specialists have been tasked with investigating the scope and options that could be feasible for the site.

Another hui is expected to be held in October once the specialists have completed the work.

Waikato Regional Council Freshwater Hui

On Friday 20 May, Waikato Regional Council held a one-day water workshop in Whāingaroa to collect feedback and perspectives ahead of their Freshwater Policy Review and development of a new regional plan which will be notified for public submission in 2024.

The National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management 2020 requires all freshwater planning documents to give effect to Te Mana o te Wai, a concept that refers to the vital importance of water by prioritising its health and wellbeing.

Te Mana o te Wai sets out a hierarchy of obligation that places the health and wellbeing of waterbodies and freshwater ecosystems as the first priority. The second priority is around the health needs of people (drinking water for example) and the third priority is about the ability for people and communities to provide for the social, cultural and economic wellbeing.

World Rally Championship in Raglan

Lisa understands that organisers from the World Rally Championship have last night submitted their proposal to hold a stage of the race in Raglan at the end of  September. The organisers have had high-level meetings with councillors and roading managers from council as well as a meeting detailing the event of the community  and have now submitted the details of their event. 

The proposal will be publicly notified for feedback once the council have processed their application.

Lisa says that if the event goes ahead, a survey of the existing road needs to be undertaken so that the road can be returned in the same or better condition than it was prior to the rally race.

Security Cameras in CBD

Senior Constable Andrew Murphy has come up with a proposal to address discussions around updating the security camera feed in the Raglan CBD. These discussions follow on from a recent spate of crime in Whāingaroa which has included car theft, burglary and willful damage of property.

Lisa says that police resources are limited and that we as a community need to take responsibility and volunteer, support, or participate in organisations like the community patrol and neighbourhood support, adding that we can work together as a community to come up with solutions.

For Neighbourhood Support please contact Co-ordinator Kathleen Gilbert on

A message from Senior Constable Andrew Murphy: 

In Raglan we are privileged to have a Community Patrol. This is serviced by a group of volunteers from within our community. The volunteers give up a small amount of their time each month and patrol in and around the community.  They have a direct line of communication with Police in Raglan during their patrols and are a valued resource. The more volunteers we have the more this resource will be able to be utilised. Please, if you are willing and able, help us, help you. If you are interested, give Const. Linda Renton a call on 0211911268.

Jacqui Church Declares Interest in Standing as Mayoral Candidate

Following current Waikato District Council Deputy Mayor Aksel Bech’s declaration to stand as mayoral candidate in the upcoming election, Awarao ki Tuakau Ward Councillor Jacqui Church has also expressed her interest in standing for the mayoral position.

Lisa also mentions that there will be a workshop held in Raglan on the 19th of June for anyone that is interested in getting involved with local government and wanting to know more information. Councillors and community board members will be considering their decision to stand again as elections loom.

Matariki Public Holiday

Aotearoa will be celebrating the first official Matariki public holiday on Friday 24 June. Locally in Whāingaroa there are a number of events planned. There will be events happening throughout the long weekend including one at Poihakena Marae, a series of events at the Old School Art Centre and a community event on Sunday 26 June on Bow Street.

Check out our what’s on guide for more information.

COVID-19 Update & Community Connector Role

As daily COVID-19 cases in the Waikato continue to reach 500-650 a day, Raglan Naturally, has taken over responsibility from Waikato DHB for the local distribution of rapid antigen tests (RATs) with support from the Ministry of Social Development ‘Community Connector Service’.


Starting last week, the local click & collect site has moved from the Raglan Rugby Sports Club in Cross St to the Raglan Food Bank at 36 Bow St and will operate from 9.30am – 11.30am every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  The site will be supplied directly by the Ministry of Health.


Lisa, says the new role is a natural step from the trust’s volunteer support for the work of local testing and vaccination sites, and the help it has provided for local whānau to isolate safely, since the start of the pandemic.


She says the trust has worked with the Council and community over a number of years to establish a local plan for community development with a focus in eleven areas from the environment to infrastructure and the arts, and wellbeing. It has now secured funding for a part-time ‘community connector’ role to work with a range of local groups “so that we can help fill gaps.”


She says the vision for the new role would include working with local iwi and others to support the work of the DHB and the Ministry of Social Development and to develop local health and welfare initiatives.


Waikato DHB’s COVID-19 Directorate Executive Lead Maree Munro says the DHB welcomed the move by Raglan Naturally to take over the distribution of RATs to the Raglan community.


“Raglan Naturally knows their local community well, and has proved it can provide consistent services in this area. We’d like to enable more community-led initiatives of this kind, and encourage more community groups, including iwi, to consider stepping forward to undertake these services,” she says.

The Raglan community isolation support service also  continues to operate with a free 0800 RAGLAN (724 526)  number available to call for anybody that needs help while they isolate at home with COVID-19.

Funding For Intra-Raglan Bus Service

A report around funding for an intra-Raglan bus service is expected to be presented to the Infrastructure committee to potentially find funding for a two-year trial of the service.

A bus service in Raglan would help to connect areas like Whale Bay to the town centre for more connectivity and accessibility with reduced pressure on local parking spaces. Lisa warns that while the service would be a great asset to the community, it will not be funded past its trial period if the service is not well used.

Local Alcohol Policy Review

Waikato District Council are currently reviewing their policy around the sale and supply of alcohol in the district.The last review changes came into effect in 2017 with the current policy including a cap on the number of stand alone bottle stores in Raglan limiting the number to two shops.

Visit and have your say on the local alcohol policy before 1 July 2022.

General Policies Reserves Management Review open for feedback: