Housing Still Key Issue Following Local Elections

In our first interview of the triennium with Raglan Community Board Chair Dennis Amoore, he says that while there wasn’t a lot of campaigning going on at community board level, the issues he heard during the election period were similar to national level issues: housing and the economy.

While housing is not an issue that the RCB can tackle on its own, past chair - the late Bob MaCleod, had pushed for a Raglan Structure Plan and Dennis agrees that a structure plan would be a tool to identify the needs of the community as the population grows. A plan could give Raglan a long term outlook on town planning rather than having an ad-hoc method of incorporating community needs into developments or growth areas.


(listen to the interview below:)


“We need to have a plan that looks out 20 to 30 years. Instead of a developer coming in and just putting in a subdivision, a structure plan could outline criteria needed for new development like incorporating parks and recreation areas,” said Dennis.

He also says that there needs to be pragmatism around meeting housing needs and that the typical expectation of a free-standing house on a 500 sqm section for a single family might need to be revisited. Looking at more affordable housing options such as multi dwelling buildings, apartments and flats could provide more housing when real estate is limited.

“There are places in Raglan where multi-storey buildings could go where it could still be aesthetically pleasing,” he says.

In response to the possibility of council-owned land being repurposed for housing, Dennis says that there is potential to develop affordable housing where council owns land that would suit housing and that they could still sell the properties at a price that is affordable at no cost to the ratepayer.

Ultimately, the housing issue will require collaboration and support from multiple ministries, agencies and organisations and is not an issue the RCB can address alone.

New Raglan Community Board

The RCB met last month to appoint the chair (Dennis Amoore) and deputy (Chris Rayner) and to welcome new members Ross Wallis and Tilly Turner.

With the RCB boundary being extended this triennium to include a much larger geographical area than it had covered previously, Dennis said, “It’s great to have Ross on board. He’s come in from a rural background - he’s a dairy farmer - so he’ll have different viewpoints,” highlighting the importance of advocating for the rural sector now that they were included in the board’s area.

He said that the rural sector had different needs to the Raglan urban area citing the example of developing a subdivision in Te Uku, saying that there would need to be significant infrastructure work completed for a project like this to go ahead.

Freedom Camping 

The RCB plan to get together prior to the end of the year to develop and publicise information around freedom camping spots over the busy summer period as we see the return of international tourists to our town.

Wharf Project Update

The RCB have been successful in obtaining $3.2 million from the Better Off funding scheme to complete the western walkway of the wharf project which had previously been put on hold due to budget issues.

Dennis says that the walkway is quite an extensive piece of work and that from a safety point of view, it would be great to have the walkway completed to get pedestrians off the road.

Work on the pontoon and the structural repairs have continued on with the pontoon piles hopefully getting put in by Christmas.

Cambrae Rd - Council are still in discussions with residents about a potential alternative or fix for the walkway connecting Cambrae Rd to Lorenzen Bay Rd. A petition started last year opposed the closing of the walkway due to high-tide flooding.

Coastal Reserves Stakeholders Meeting - A stakeholder meeting was held prior to the elections and Dennis said that there were various actions from individual groups that the new RCB intends to revisit to look at how they can address them.

While talk of a sub-committee for the reserves has been brought up, Dennis says that the group would need to be an action group to progress ideas rather than just a group that gets together for discussions for the group to be meaningful.