Our AGM in January was well attended and it appeared this was due in part to the change of date to midweek (from the Sunday of previous years) and also the presence of the Lakes Harbour Master to report on Lake activities and in particular, the tragic jet ski accident in January.
- The Chairman’s report to the AGM and the minutes of the meeting printed at the back in this newsletter will bring you up-to-date with activities and developments in Okareka.
- Costs of the new reticulated sewerage scheme have now been finalised and by the time you read this report I hope we will all have received details from Council. I understand the cost is approximately 14% less than the original estimate, so there will be a credit or targeted rates adjustment in the new financial year. Both the Chairman & Secretary have details of the amended costs if anyone would like more information.
- DOC’s Lake Okareka Day Picnic Park on Millar Road continues to be well patronised by visitors and boaties and some nights there have been more than 20 campervans and tents. LOCA and Landcare Okareka have been providing volunteers to open & shut the gate at night and also assist with maintenance of toilets and rubbish etc to ensure there is no return to the unacceptable behaviour that has been a problem for many years. Road access to the beach during winter has still to be finalised with DOC.
- The annual XTERRA event will be held this year on Saturday April 9 and there will be a full Tarawera road closure between the Okareka Loop Rd North & South intersections from 6.30am till 5.30pm. This will result in all traffic to and from Tarawera having to come thru Okareka on Loop road.
- As part of a submission to RDC on its “Activities on Rotorua Lakes Open Spaces Policy” the Lakes Community Board has recommended there be no cycling events thru residential areas that require a full road closure and that the number of participants are capped so only a partial road closure is required. This is particularly necessary in Tarawera and Okareka where there is no alternative access during a road race. The inconvenience to both residents and visitors at Auckland Anniversary weekend highlighted how important it is to have regulations in place for events.
- We were confident that after submissions to Council from both LOCA and the Lakes Community Board, we could look forward to an upgrade and enlargement of the car park at the Okareka Community Hall in this year’s annual plan. However like many other worthwhile community projects the need for Council to keep rates below the level of inflation and pay the interest bill on the airport debt, the upgrade has been deferred.
- We had also been allocated two new bus shelters this year and our vintage fire engine is/was in the annual plan for replacement (subject to a suitable 2nd hand machine coming available) and we are awaiting advice from Council on these.
- Lake levels and possible Outlet Upgrade - LOCA needs feedback from the Okareka community about what concerns they have with lake levels and we will pass these comments onto BOPRC as they are doing a preliminary investigation of an upgrade of the outlet. Incidentally, anyone can follow lake levels live on the Bay of Plenty Regional Council website, Live monitoring, Lake Okareka at Acacia Bay.
- The 2011 Okareka Community Telephone Directory is being updated and will be circulated soon. LOCA are supplying this at no charge to all residents and ratepayers & some additional copies will be available if required.
- Also it is Subscription time and once again we are keeping these at $20.
- As we now have charitable status, any donations received may qualify for a tax rebate.
Donations are always welcome, as both Landcare & LOCA have ongoing projects to maintain & enhance Okareka as a great place to live and holiday.
We believe the Newsletter serves a very real purpose in keeping all property owners and residents informed of matters of interest to us all and your continued support will be much appreciated.
I had signalled at the AGM my intention to step down as Chairman and I look forward to doing so shortly.
As always we welcome suggestions on anything pertaining to Okareka.