camps have all been at capacity.
Events at Tikitapu have also resulted in large numbers of day picnickers diverting to Okareka. Revenue for the month of January from overnight parking at Boyes Beach and camping at the DOC camp was well above previous years at $10,000 and $26,000 respectively. The DOC figures were boosted by a 30% price increase in camp fees at the end of last year.
Community Survey This has now been completed and the executive summary and a link to the full report was circulated in the December newsletter. The response from the residents and property owners has been excellent with 227 responses and a very wide range of comments and suggestions. APR Consultants’ initial expectation of a response to a survey of this nature was approximately 150 replies so a very big thank you to all those who made the effort to respond.
The committee has not had time to discuss the results in detail but it is pleasing to note that there is ongoing support for the three partnership projects we have with DOC (Management of the DOC campground and new walking track from Boyes Beach to the outlet) and RLC (Management of the Boyes Beach overnight campground). LOCA Partnership Agreements For the record details of these 3 Partnership. Agreements are attached to this report (page 5 of the newsletter).
Lake Okareka 10 year plan This was requested at last year ’s AGM and resulted in the commissioning of the survey which will form the basis of any long term plans and will be a priority for the new LOCA committee. LOCA is fortunate in having the Boyes Beach camp revenue available for projects such as the survey and the committee felt it most important it be independent and professionally managed which came at a cost (approx $10,000). In my view we now have much valuable information (the raw data covered more than 100 pages) and is an investment in the future.
Mobile Phone Coverage The availability at long last during 2016 of mobile phone coverage and improved broadband reception at Okareka has proved a very real asset to locals, visitors and tradesmen etc working in the area.
Waste Strategy The major change from paper rubbish bags to the wheelie bins and crates for bottles is resulting in a substantial reduction in rubbish going to the landfill. The smart new containers on the public reserves are also a great improvement although some fine tuning of containers and public education will further improve their usage.
Health and Safety Change The introduction in April last year of major changes to the Health and Safety regulations affecting volunteer groups were important to Landcare Okareka and key people attended a number of training meetings to ensure workers on the new walking track and working bees etc complied with the requirements.
The Boyes Beach walking track We are grateful to DOC for naming this track The Lake Okareka Community Walking Track so it is not confused with the RLC track on the eastern side of the lake. The Historical Importance of Boyes Beach to Iwi Attached to this report are 3 pages from the Te Arawa Lakes deed of settlement pertaining to the Boyes Beach recreation reserve and Tuhourangi and their many hapu. In particular I would draw your attention on page 377 to Principle One : Use and Enjoyment.
LOCA Management Structure For some time now the committee has been concerned at the workload on our Secretary Sandra Goodwin and it is now timely to review the structure to ensure LOCA is efficiently managed and the key people are adequately reimbursed. This will be a priority for the incoming committee.
Newsletter Our editor of the Newsletter for the past five years Maria Haines will not be continuing after the next issue (March) and she will be a real loss. It was Maria who persuaded us to go to full colour and we get many compliments on the high standard of the publication. Thank you Maria. If any of our residents are interested in taking over or are aware of someone who maybe interested please contact Sandra.
Treasurer Bryan Walford our treasurer is standing down from this position but has been nominated to stand for the committee. Over the past twenty years Bryan has made a significant contribution to LOCA as treasurer, newsletter editor and chairman. Thank you Bryan.
End of Year With another year now gone I would like to record our appreciation to the many volunteers in the community who in many different ways contribute to ensuring Okareka is a special place to live and holiday. At the top of the list is Landcare Okareka, Okareka volunteer rural fire force, LOCA volunteer camp wardens, LOCA walking track volunteers, the LOCA committee and the officers.