Property Valuations. There are significant changes to our new valuations that will affect our rates in 2012 with land values in many cases increasing by 15-25 % and the improvements (house/buildings) declining by 30% plus. These changes over a 3 year period make no sense when building costs have increased in this period, so expect to see requests to Council to “please explain”.
Objections to valuations can be made to Council until Nov 14 and I would urge you to do so if you are unhappy with the changes.
Lake Weed Cordon. Off site construction of the cordon is now underway and as you will see from the Regional Council update, installation is scheduled for November. Fishing from the jetty will not be affected and the Council are keen to discourage swimming and diving from and around the jetty for safety reasons. To this end, RDC have been asked to improve the lake edge/beach to the left of the jetty to accommodate kayaks & children swimming.
DOC Millar Road Reserve. The Rugby World Cup has resulted in a steady stream of campervans using this facility and it is expected to be very popular over the summer holiday period. As reported in the last Newsletter, DOC is seeking “Expressions of Interest” in managing the camping ground and LOCA is currently discussing this with them. Whilst it is a DOC reserve, it has a ski lane and is a very popular beach for day picnickers . It will also be an integral part of the round the lake walkway (when - or if we finally get the approval of Tuhourangi), so the committee see it important we maintain a close association with DOC.
Sewerage Pump Station. The Landcare Okareka report details the substantial clearance of scrub and trees on the area at the corner of Loop & Summit Roads behind the Pump station and the recent plantings by Landcare and local volunteers of more than 1400 shrubs and trees. The community owes a very big thank you to local contractor Guy Gaddum & his staff for using his heavy machinery to facilitate the landscaping of the area at no charge to RDC or the Community. Thank you Guy
RDC had originally intended to plant along the front of the Station to discourage graffiti and “hide” it. However due to the need to have truck access to the gates the area was sealed. RDC staff suggested staining the fence. There have now been a number of suggestions from residents: to use it as a Mural that would blend with the plantings on the area behind, stain it (brown/green) or leave it as is. If you have any ideas about the fence please let us know.
Lake Events. With summer approaching we will once again be faced with some inconvenience as a result of Lake & Road closures at the Blue Lake. We continue to discuss with RDC and the Harbourmaster the need to give the community adequate notice of events. We are also encouraging them, where feasible, to involve our volunteer lake wardens. We also believe that the installation of signage at the bottom of Tarawera Road to alert the public to events and lake closures at Tikitapu is very important and would like to see this installed before this summer.
Over the next 6 months there are full lake closures at Tikitapu for 10 weekends and directly affecting Okareka will be partial road closures for cycle races on Nov 5 (Triathlon NZ) & Jan 29 (Rats Multisport).
Lakes Community Board. A meeting is scheduled to be held in the Okareka Hall on Thursday Nov 3 at 7.00 pm. This is a public meeting and there is a community forum from 7.00 to 7.30 pm with submissions on any topic concerning the Lakes and the residents being welcome. If you would like further information please phone me.
There is also the annual Councillors & senior staff bus trip to Tarawera & Okareka on Friday October 28.
Activities Coming up. There will be more information on all these sent out shortly – or you may find more information in this edition of “The Newsletter”.
Nov 2 – Regional Council and Rotorua District Council meeting with residents to discuss actions in & around houses to reduce nutrients entering the lakes. Okareka Hall.
Nov 5 “Spring into Spring” party at Playnes Farm.
Nov 5 Partial Road closure Loop Road 8am to 1pm.
Nov 12 “Flying Trout” fun day at Playnes Farm.
Dec 2 Carols & Father Christmas Okareka Hall.
Website. We are in need of help to sort out problems with our website and the on-going update of information. If there is anyone in the community with time & the expertise, Mike Bannister would love to hear from you.
Volunteers. Okareka has a great reputation for its volunteers which I’m sure we are all proud off but its great that it extends to the younger generation.
The following was written by Hunter Potter (age 9 years old).
On Saturday the 1st of October a bunch of (great) kids from Okareka did their own community clean up along Millar road and down at the Lake Okareka picnic park. Sam & Maya Weir, Lucy & Emma Phibbs, Hunter, Maddie & Connor Potter, Mathew Veitch & Anais Lawson.
We were astounded by how much rubbish we found walking out to the point at the beach. We even recovered a broken washing machine which has been there ever since we lived here which was ten years ago. We also filled three and a quarter bags of rubbish and also found a big metal cylinder about seven meters long, it was great fun and we appreciated the parents helping too!
As always we welcome feedback from the community and in particular we are keen to receive any photos and information relating to early Okareka and it’s residents.