Upgrade of the Outlet This was completed earlier this year with replacement of the old piping and installation of a new control valve. There has also been a pro-active improvement from Council staff to better control the lake level taking into account seasonal weather patterns and water evaporation. Hopefully this will result in a stable water level over summer.
Visitors to the Lakes There has been an increase in tourists and visitors to Rotorua and the Lakes in recent months and we can expect traffic congestion at times over the holidays. Many of the vehicles coming to the lakes are campervans and the like driven by tourists unfamiliar with the area. We can also expect the usual influx of boaties and picnickers on Wellington and Auckland Anniversary weekends resulting from events at the Blue Lake. So please drive with care.
Walking track from Boyes beach to DOC camp Volunteer work on this project is continuing and a builder‘s contract for the board walks and bridges is being finalized. Completion of this stage of the round the lake walkway will be our major project in 2016. The contract will be over $100,000 with $85,000 coming from trusts and the balance from camp revenue. The volunteer contribution has been significant over recent years and a very special thank you to all who are involved, in particular Mike and Sandra Goodwin and Brian Law.
Management of DOC camp and Boyes Beach LOCA has now been managing the DOC camp for three years and the Boyes Beach overnight campers for one year. We have a roster system of volunteers that works well and the net revenue we receive is significant. At this stage the priority is funding the round the lake walkway and also working with RLC and DOC on upgrades to parking areas, improvements to toilets and the recycling facility at Tarawera etc.
Public Litter Bin Review Council‘s review of Waste options is well underway and it is pleasing to note that special attention is being given to the requirements at the lake front reserves at Tarawera, Tikitapu and Okareka. Aesthetically pleasing bins and recycling in key locations is a priority. Final decisions are expected at the end of March next year.
Lake Okareka Pre School It is pleasing to note the Pre School continues to be well patronized and they recently had another successful end of year concert together with the Salvation Army band, Father Christmas and a picnic on the adjacent property of Robin and Karin Trewin. Special thanks to Robin and Karin and the teachers ―A‖ team, Debbie, Lesley and Davina.
Cell Phone Coverage At long last cell phone coverage of Tarawera, Tikitapu
and Okareka has now been confirmed and the application from the Vodafone/ Chorus consortium is with Council. The consent is expected shortly and we
should have coverage by the middle of 2016.
Lake Okareka Water Quality This is currently under review and a monitoring report is due from the University of Waikato looking at how the completed interventions for nutrient reduction in the catchment, e.g. reticulated sewerage have impacted on water quality. The water quality has remained stable in recent years but has not met the 3.0 TLI target for the lake. Further information will be available in the New Year and we are hoping to have a presentation from the University/Regional Council staff at our AGM which is being held at the Okareka Hall on Sunday 31 January at 10am.
Rotorua Lakes Community Board Included in this Newsletter (page 24) is a submission made recently to Council on its proposed Recreation and Events strategy for Rotorua. We feel it is important for the lakes communities to be represented when events are being considered that involve lake/road closures and traffic congestion etc that could impact on lake residents.
The three year term for both elected Councillors and the Community Board members ends next October and changes are likely to the Boards catchment (include Hamurana) and delegations from Council.
OKAREKA is a special place to live and holiday and this is enhanced by all the volunteers who make a contribution in so many ways either as individuals, team members or lobby on our behalf when required. I also want to acknowledge the support I receive from the LOCA committee and make special mention of Maria our Newsletter editor. Thank You. Take care and look after one another.