Dennis Amoore: council comment

Raglan Community Board Chair Dennis Amoore gives his regular round-up of board activities and what’s happening around town.

The Raglan Community Board met on Wednesday 14 February to catch up on local projects and concerns. 

The next meeting will be on Wednesday 27 March in in the Te Mata hall

Greenslade Road playground 

Waikato District Council has presented a couple of options for the new playground to be constructed on Greenslade Road. 

However, some residents have asked for something a bit more eco-friendly looking, to suit the community’s vibe.

Dennis says there’ll now be discussions with residents on what’s achievable, within the space and budget.

“There’s a lot of private land around there that's planned to be developed, and the playground area is not very big. It seems what’s being proposed is quite a bit larger, so we’ll have to go back and have a look at the space.”

Privet no longer quite so noxious

Queries continue to be asked about the council’s policy on privet.

“Years ago, everyone got rid of privet and the council sprayed it on the roadside edges, and it was actually classed as a noxious weed. Apparently, it's been taken off the noxious weed list now, so it just grows merrily,” says Dennis.

“However, the council still sprays it and many of the contractors doing the weeding and maintenance around town do remove it. It’s just not a noxious weed at this stage.”

That means that if there are privet trees growing on private property there’s no obligation to remove them, and landowners won’t be receiving notices to remove privet trees from their properties.

Boat ramp fees still on the agenda

A proposal was made last year to introduce boat ramps fees in Raglan as a means of covering maintenance costs. 

Dennis says it’s an idea that’s been mooted before, but at present does not have council support. 

“We did previously put an application in for boat room fees and the boaties were happy to pay as long as the fee was reasonable and all the money went back into the assets. But my understanding is the within council it was decided it was too hard to monitor and manage the process for the return we'd get, so the application was put on hold.”

The community board was originally in favour of ramp fees, and Dennis thinks that although the proposal was not discussed at the meeting, the board is still likely to be in favour.

“You’d just have a kiosk down there to pay your fee. If you're a casual boatie, you just pay your fee there, and if you're a regular, you could buy a year's licence for a hundred dollars or so.”

The community board is likely to revisit the proposal at its March meeting when it will be looking at its planned agenda for the coming 18 months. In the meantime, Dennis says occasional high demand and congestion at the ramps is at times inevitable. 

Council services coped well with summer demand

Reflecting on the summer, Dennis says that – other than the usual challenges associated with finding a car park and how busy town was – generally, things went reasonably well. 

“There were a few issues around rubbish collection at one stage, but nothing really major.”

On the parking issue, Dennis thinks Raglan residents have now got used to walking that bit further to do their shopping, although he acknowledges the challenges the elderly or people with limited mobility face. His personal strategy is to come into town early in the morning, and avoid it altogether at peak times.

Manu Bay break wall now at peer review stage

After years of discussion, the options for the Manu Bay break wall are now being peer reviewed, and the community board has asked for more information on how long the process will take. 

Consultants have developed the current proposal, although the board has yet to see any documentation.

“That’s where the real delay was,” says Dennis.

He’s hopeful that the peer review process will only take a couple of weeks and that the proposal can then be put to stakeholders associated with the area. 

In the meantime, the wall is still included in the Long Term Plan’s budget, and Dennis is hopeful that funding will remain.

“It is a safety issue and it needs to be addressed,” he says.

Car parks to receive facelift

Car parks at Wainui Beach and Papahua are due to be refurbished soon.

Works at Wainui Beach will involve tidying the whole area up, including fixing potholes and resealing the entire area.

Papahua is also receiving a tidy up and reseal, and parking spaces on the seaward side that currently get muddy in winter will be sealed. 

Wi Neera walkway moves to next stage

On the other side of the estuary, the wall beneath the Wi Neera walkway has been shot creted  to make it structurally waterproof and sound. 

Final consent is now being sought to construct a 1.8m wide walkway from the jetty to the bridge. A hand rail alongside the walkway will be cantilevered from the seawall.This should be completed before mid year.

New format for Community Board plans

The council has launched a new format for all of its community boards plans.

Dennis says the Raglan board has always developed plans for the issues and projects it intends to tackle, and doesn’t think the  new approach will  be much different.

“We'll push on with what we've done in the past, which aligns pretty much with what the council is proposing,” he says, although the Raglan board will focus more on hard structural issues, rather than the “myriad of soft issues” covered by the example plans provided.  

The community board has an in-house meeting scheduled for March where it will be setting its work agenda for the coming year, alongside any long-term planning matters that need to be considered. 

CCTV locations identified

Seven locations have been identified for installing CCTV cameras in and around Raglan, and the decision on where they will go is now back with the council. 

“We've identified the key areas and prioritised those, and now we're just waiting for them to come back and tell us how many we can have and when they'll be going up,” says Dennis.

Council funding for CCTV cameras covers the whole district, and Raglan’s proposed sites must be weighed against those in other communities.

Wastewater issues around museum remain unresolved

A report has just been released about the issues experienced with water quality in the inlet near the museum  last year. 

This issues included “crazy readings around the museum”, the cause of which have yet to be established. Council sewage lines in the area have been checked, and do not appear to be the cause. 

Dennis says the readings spiked after heavy rain, suggesting the contamination had run off from somewhere. 

“The question is where exactly it’s seeping out of the bank into the harbour. That has yet to be identified.”

In a similar vein, the regional council has announced it will not be fining Waikato District Council for the incorrect wastewater releases made on the incoming tide last year.

New approach required for freedom camping

Freedom camping continues to be an issue for the community, especially around James and John streets.

Dennis says part of the issue is how the regulations work and are communicated to visitors. Under the legislation, it is not possible to impose a wholesale ban on freedom camping. Instead bans are applied street by street.

Rather than directing people that it is OK to camp on particular streets, such as James Street, Dennis thinks it would better to tell them where they can’t camp, then leave them to find a suitable spot themselves.

“That way, they would park in separate places, rather than having 20 all in one spot, which just causes frustration for residents,” Dennis says. 

Soundsplash successful but still a topic for discussion

Dennis says that the organisation for Soundsplash was definitely better this year, both for people waiting at the airfield and in terms of congestion on the one-way bridge and in town.

“They did make a huge improvement . Most of the discussion now is around fees and charges, and what’s a fair fee to charge them, so there'll be ongoing discussion on that and we'll be looking for formal feedback to the community board meeting in the next month or so, on what went well and what didn't go well and what improvements are being looked at for next year.”

Catering for future traffic over the one-way bridge 

The one-way bridge on Wainui Road has featured in the council’s long-term plan for over 10 years, although the work to add an extra lane to the bridge keeps getting put back. 

Dennis says the question of whether another lane is required is an interesting one as, in practice, the delays people experience are short.

“I know there are weekends when people come out to Raglan and are heading out to the beach and they say they’ve had to wait quite a long time. But actually, they're probably only waiting a couple of minutes at the most.

“So, it's a question of what the priorities are. Do you alleviate the traffic congestion by spending millions or do you spend that money on all the other priorities that we've got in town, such as wastewater?

“My gut feeling is that it's going to get worse, and there's going to be a point when it has to be done. But I think we've still got five years or so before it's really going to be frustrating.”

One of the alternatives to creating double-lanes on the bridge is a bypass road, skirting the back of Rangitahi and coming out near Xtreme Zero Waste’s site on Te Hutewai Road. Dennis says that will also have to happen one day, and planners are already looking at where they can put roads through. 

“Once Rangitahi is fully developed, and you’ve got 500 odd houses there, there’ll need to be a back entrance into it through Mangatawhiri Road, or somewhere.”

Developers make a roading contribution to cover the cost of future roads needed due to their developments, although Dennis says the contribution is not large, and a bypass road is likely to cost more.

Dennis also reminds people that there are going to be closures and delays on State Highway 23 over the coming month, as the NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi carries out upgrades. 

These are the details of the closures.

Closure dates and times   



Road status 

Mon 12 to Sat 24 Feb 

7am to 5pm 

Open with stop/go traffic management  

Sun 25 Feb to Fri 1 Mar 

9pm to 5am 


Fri 1 Mar to Sun 3 Mar 

From 6am Friday until 9pm Sunday 


Sun 3 Mar to Fri 8 March 

9pm to 6am 


Fri 8 Mar onward 

From 6am Friday 


* Vehicles will be allowed through the worksite at 9.45pm, 11pm, 1am and 3am.