Once again Lake Okareka has been a great place to visit and holiday over the summer school holidays with good weather and increases in tourist numbers putting pressure on the roads, lakes, parking and campgrounds. There have been times when the Top 10 Motorcamp at Tikitapu and the DOC and Boyes Beach
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.
As the incoming Chair, I first want to acknowledge the incredible work of Geoff Palmer and other departing Committee members. Local communities rely enormously on the efforts of volunteers and for this group of individuals to give so selflessly over such a long time deserves our big thanks (plus I fully expect they will continue to put in many hours behind the scenes for Okareka!).
Just a very small bit about me – our family came to Okareka from Wellington about 15 years ago – and our three children Jack, Paddy and Stella have grown up, and are still growing up, here. Claire, my partner is an ex-law lecturer, creative writer and PhD student, and a leader in developing swimming skills in the Rotorua community. I’m an ex-lawyer, public servant, consultant type who’s worked in private practice, in the Treaty settlement process and for both the Department of Conservation and Rotorua Lakes Council.
We look like we’ve got a hugely talented Committee to carry on the work for the Okareka community. For me, the focus should be pretty simple – it’s about doing what we can to look after our people (including our visitors) and our place. To do this well, we’ll be wanting to work positively and constructively with all those others who also care about Okareka – including Tuhourangi, Te Arawa Lakes Trust, local councils and the Department of Conservation. We’ll also be wanting to do what we can to support our local entities – the fire brigade, Landcare and Forest and Bird groups, the pre-school, the Waka Ama club and many others.
We’ll make sure we talk a lot to you about what you want.
Boyes Beach Camp Ground
Department of Conservation Campground
Department of Conservation Lake Okareka Community Walking Track
NB - The camp grounds and the walking track are managed by LOCA with volunteers from LOCA, Landcare Okareka and the Okareka and Rotorua communities.
Geoff Palmer, February 2017
An additional defibrillator is located at 15 Steep Street. The defibrillator (AED) is located externally behind the timber screen adjacent to the front door. In the case of an emergency, help yourself – don’t ask for permission! This is in addition to the unit that is already available at the Fire Station and can be accessed by calling 111.
The number of people who die from sudden cardiac arrest in New Zealand is three times greater than the national road toll.
Remember those movie scenes where paddles are stuck to the chest of an unresponsive character and then someone shouts, “Clear!” – that’s an AED.
AED stands for Automated External Defibrillator, but it’s also commonly referred to as a defib. Without getting too technical here, an AED is a portable medical device that can automatically assess a patient’s heart rhythm. It judges whether defibrillation is needed and, if required, administers an electric shock through the chest wall to heart. AEDs are very clever machines – they do all the grunt work and use voice or visual prompts to guide the user through the rescue process. Anyone can use an AED – you don’t have to be medically qualified.
Performing first aid in an emergency situation is a scary scenario for anyone, but knowing you have an AED on hand to use in such an instance is a massive relief. It’s kind of like a spare key for your home – you don’t realise how much it means to have one until you really, really need it.
We need to consider having other AED units in our community – perhaps located near to the boat ramp and near to Boyes Beach.
Martyn Norrie - 021 991313
Acknowledgement of material from: www.heartsaver.co.nz
Thanks to Martyn and Marg Norrie for their very generous and thoughtful contribution to the Lake Okareka community.
Greetings from the LOCA committee and our best wishes to all for a great Christmas and New Year.
Community Survey This has now been completed and included in this newsletter is the executive summary and a link to the full report. 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. It is pleasing to note that there is excellent 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).
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 LOCA committee in the New Year. 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 $8000). In my view we now have much valuable information (the raw data covered more than 100 pages) and it is an investment in the future.
Mobile Phone Coverage 2016 has seen the introduction of Mobile phone coverage and improved broadband reception at Okareka. This has been a very real asset to locals, visitors and tradesmen etc working in the area.
Waste Strategy The recent appointment of a new Waste contractor has resulted in major changes and improvements in reducing litter and rubbish in Rotorua. Smart Environmental have a 15 year contract with RCL and the introduction of wheelie bins for rubbish and recycling together with crates for bottles should result in a substantial reduction in rubbish going to the landfill. As you will see in the photos in the Newsletter the replacement of the 44 gallon drums at the public reserves with smart containers is a great improvement. There has also been an upgrade of the Tarawera recycling facility with an undercover drive thru drop off option.
End of Year With another year nearly gone I would like to record our appreciation to the many volunteers in the community who 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, volunteer camp wardens, walking track volunteers, the LOCA committee, the LOCA Officers Sandra and Bryan, Maria our Newsletter editor and all the others I’ve missed out. THANK YOU. Take Care and look after each other.
Lake Okareka Community Association AGM
Sunday 12th February 2017 from 10 am
Lake Okareka Community Hall
All property owners and people living at Lake Okareka are welcome to attend
We are encouraging nominations from the Lake Okareka community for the positions of Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer or as one of the 10 Committee members. We would like these nominations to be in the hands of the LOCA Secretary by Friday 10th February 2017, as required by the LOCA Constitution.
Nominees and their nominator and seconder must all be financial members of LOCA at the date of the AGM. If you have a matter that you would like discussed at the LOCA AGM, please feel welcome to come along and raise it at the AGM. Alternatively, if you are unable to attend the meeting, please contact the Chairman Geoff Palmer 362 8379 or any of the Committee members – names and contact details are inside front cover of “The Newsletter” and pass on the matter(s) you would like raised.
Lake Okareka Community Association Inc.(LOCA)
Nomination Form for LOCA Committee 2016
Name of Person Nominated for LOCA Committee
(this person must be a current financial member of LOCA)
Position nominated for: Chairperson/Secretary/Treasurer/Committee member
(this person must be a current financial member of LOCA)
(this person must be a current financial member of LOCA)
Please post or hand form to the Secretary by the 10th February 2017 to:
2 Pryce Road
Lake Okareka RD5
LOCA is planning to print a new edition of the Lake Okareka Phone Book in early 2017. Carol Christian-Price manages this large project, assisted by other LOCA volunteers. Many people living at Lake Okareka did update their contact details with LOCA earlier this year. Thank you for that. However, if you do not think we have your most up-to-date phone numbers and other contact details, please let Carol know.
There will be space in this new phone book for:
Name Address Phone No. Mobile No. Email
Jo Bloggs 24 Benn Rd 3628 000 0274000000 firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have disconnected your land line phone number since the current phone book was published, please let Carol know.
To make updates and changes for new edition of the Lake Okareka Phone Book please email Carol: email@example.com or phone Carol (07) 362 8702.
The short summary of the report prepared by APR Consultants is shown below. The report will be available on the Lake Okareka Community website at: www.lakeokareka.org/loca-apr-survey. If you would prefer a hard copy please contact Geoff Palmer 3628 379 or Sandra Goodwin 3628 865.
In 2016, Lake Okareka Community Association contacted APR Consultants Ltd (APR) to enquire about undertaking a survey programme to gauge the opinions of Lake Okareka residents regarding current issues before the committee.
At the January 2016 AGM of the Lake Okareka Community Association (LOCA), a resolution was passed that a ten-year plan should be developed by LOCA. In order to undertake this, it was decided that the views of Lake Okareka residents needed to be taken into consideration.
APR was commissioned to develop and administer this survey programme on an anonymous basis. The analysis and reporting of the survey results was also undertaken by APR.
This survey was issued to the Lake Okareka community in mid-October 2016 and sampling finished in early November 2016. The results of the survey were to be available at the 2017 AGM of LOCA.
APR worked with LOCA to develop the survey protocols, the survey form and survey questions. It was decided that the survey would be open to all Lake Okareka residents, and that multiple surveys could be received from each household if required. It was decided that physical copies of the survey would be required along with an internet based web survey.
LOCA provided APR with a list of questions that they wanted covered in the research. APR used this to create a draft questionnaire. The questions were checked and refined by LOCA to ensure the survey met LOCA requirements. Once the paper version of the survey was agreed upon, an electronic version of the survey was produced.
LOCA provided APR with a database of householders that was used solely for the distribution of surveys. This consisted of a mixture of email addresses and postal addresses.
All households with email addresses were sent an email inviting the residents and holiday home owners to undertake a survey with an electronic link to the survey. All households without email addresses were sent a printed copy via snail mail. All physical survey forms contained a Freepost Authority and could be folded and posted in any mail box for return to APR.
Any email bounce backs were checked, and subsequently, a printed copy was sent to them. Physical copies of the survey form were kept at the Lake Okareka Preschool. Posters were placed in the township advertising the survey and explaining how to get a copy.
A total of 277 surveys were distributed to the Lake Okareka community. Out of these, 227 surveys were received from at least 147 different Lake Okareka households. The results of these surveys are reported upon in this report.
3.0 SURVEY RESULTS
A total of 227 surveys were received from Lake Okareka residents. These were made up from 147 unique households along with 24 surveys who did not specify their residential address. A further 56 surveys were from other members of households (ie, were not unique).
Most respondents owned a house at Lake Okareka (84.6%) followed by having a family interest in a property at Lake Okareka that they regularly stayed at (10.6%).
The survey received a relatively even mix of responses, with 51.7% of respondents identifying their gender as male and 48.3% as female. A total of 7.0% of respondents did not specify their gender.
Responses were received from a range of age groups. From the 92.5% of the sample who specified their age, the largest grouping (68.1%) were aged between 35 and 64. A further 23.8% were aged 65 and over and 8.1% were aged under 35.
3.1 Survey Summary
Most questions asked used a five point Likert scale or yes/no responses to questions. These were used to create an index showing support vs non-support for the question being commented upon. In order to make recommendations, all questions were converted to an index. The benefit of an index is that it allows questions to be directly compared to each other and also allows for comparisons to be made with any future occurrences of this survey.
To create an index, percentages were calculated from respondents whom had supplied an answer (giving a total of 100%). The negative percentage rating(s) were subtracted from the positive ratings. The neutral percentage is not used in the calculation, but is still reflected in the index as it contributed to the 100% total. The result of this calculation is shown as the index. An index can have a maximum score of 100 (indicating maximum satisfaction) and a minimum score of -100 (indicating maximum dissatisfaction). A score of 0 is the middle point and indicates an even mix of positive and negative experiences (or a neutral rating).
The table below shows all the questions that could be converted to an index sorted by that index. Questions at the top of the table are the ones that are most supported by survey respondents. Those at the bottom are the ones that are opposed or not supported.
The top five supported questions are to do with lake quality improvement and environmental issues (index of 95.0), having a pest free environment (87.4) protection of lake shore habitat (76.1), undergrounding of power lines (72.8) and introduction of access bike and walking track up to Tarawera Road (61.3).
The least liked element affecting respondents was freedom camping (index of -39.7), followed by the expansion of DoC camp ground (-20.3) and support for proposed water ski slalom course for the Silver Beach area (-14.0).
Greetings from the LOCA committee as we look forward to spring.
New walking track from Boyes Beach to the DOC Camp
Whilst not yet finished, the great response we are now receiving from the many locals and visitors who have and are walking/running the track has made it all worthwhile for the many volunteers working on the Lake Okareka walking track project. In some cases some volunteers have spent years making a contribution.
The community management of the Millar Road DOC camp that has funded much of this project has been significant. It was pleasing to hear recently from senior DOC staff that the Lake Okareka DOC campground rates very highly as one of their most popular camp sites. The track is not yet open for wheelchair or mobility scooter use. We will advise the public when this is the case.
Bay of Plenty Regional Navigation Safety Bylaw
The Bay of Plenty Regional Council have announced the new Regional Navigation Safety Bylaw will not now be operative until October 2017 and not this year as originally planned. All rules relating to the use of lakes and coastal harbours and waters by people and water craft remain the same as in previous years.
New Rubbish Collection
This is scheduled to become operative on 31 October 2016, with the wheelie bins and plastic bags being distributed progressively during September and October. Details of recycling items and the operation of the Tarawera Transfer station will be advised shortly. If you have stock of the existing paper rubbish bags you can continue to use these as they have been paid for. The plan is for smart rubbish and recycling containers to be installed at the public reserves at Lakes Tarawera, Tikitapu and Okareka, but these may not be available until November 2016.
Lake Water Quality at Lake Okareka
The 2004 Action Plan for Lake Okareka catchment set a TLI target of 3.00 and this was to be met by the reticulated sewerage system in the catchment and land use change of 200ha from pasture and livestock to trees. The ratepayers at the time part funded the seweage installation at a cost of more than $12,000 per property. But the land use change target of 200 ha was not achieved.
The water in Lake Okareka has never met the TLI target of 3.0. The TLI has varied between 3.15 and 3.35 per annum, and currently the TLI is 3.20. This is not satisfactory and this fact is acknowledged by the Bay of Plenty Regional Council and by Professor David Hamilton, from the University of Waikato, who with the students undertakes a lot of scientific work on the Rotorua lakes for BOPRC. Professor Hamilton has stressed the importance of reducing the Nitrogen and Phosphorus entering into the lake.
As a result the land use change target has now been increased to a further 100 to 130 ha and the Bay of Plenty Council budget has been set at $785,000 spread over 3 years to achieve this reduction. The 26 eligible larger land owners in the Lake Okareka catchment will be approached individually to reach agreements with the BOPRC on a voluntary basis.
Lakes A Zone
The Rotorua Lakes Council A Zone Plan is now more than 10 years old and under the Resource Management Act this plan is subject to a statutory review in 2017. Some rural landowners in Lake Okareka catchment area have expressed some interest in subdivision and development and are wanting certainty of what the new Lakes A Zone may look like for this catchment before making any land use change decisions. This review is likely to take at least two years and will create a lot of interest as further subdivision could also provide an added incentive to change land use.
The LOCA Committee is currently preparing a survey of a number of issues that have already and will in the future, impact on residents and ratepayers at Lake Okareka. It is important we receive comments back from as many as possible. Continuing pressure on the lakes from events, tourism, etc over the summer holidays is one obvious issue. We will have details on how we plan to manage the survey shortly.
As always we welcome comments, suggestions and photos on any issues of interest to our residents and property owners.
Definition of TLI - Trophic Level Index
The TLI or Trophic Level Index is an indicator of the environmental quality of the water of a lake. It is composed of two biological and two chemical components. Each of the 12 Rotorua lakes receive an annual Trophic Level Index (TLI) reading, which measures total nitrogen, total phosphorus, clarity and Chlorophyll a. The lower the TLI figure, the better the water quality of that particular lake. The TLI is calculated annually for each Rotorua district lake. Bay of Plenty Regional Council use data collected from the testing results from monthly water samples taken from each of the 12 Rotorua lakes.