Firstly congratulations to Francis and James Blakely who have won Forest and Bird’s PestBuster award for controlling pest animals at Lake Tikatapu. Francis took over as coordinator of the care group in 2004 and together with James is responsible for coordinating the volunteer team of approximately 20 people. James has been responsible for bait line maintenance and the setting up of two walking tracks in the reserve to allow the public to make the most of the regenerating bush.
Secondly congratulations to Landcare Okareka for winning a “Weedbuster” award for a community group working on weeds (removal & planting) on Public lands in the BOP region. Weedbuster NZ was established in 2003 by DOC to ensure the native plant life of NZ is protected. Landcare Okareka continues to make a significant contribution to the pleasure of living at Okareka and we all owe a very big thank you to Sandra & Mike Goodwin and their great team of volunteers.
The not so good news is the recent discovery by the Regional Council of the aquatic weed Hornwort in Okareka just 3 months after the installation of the weed cordon at the boat launch jetty to protect against Hornwort and other weed pests. Please note the report from the Regional Council and also the pamphlet in the newsletter with photos of the aquatic weeds.
Not unexpectedly the Rotorua District Council have once again rejected/deferred our submission to the annual plan for an upgrade to the car park at the Community Hall and also any improvements to Boyes Beach and the Lake front boat launch/jetty area will have to be funded out of maintenance budgets.
However the most disappointing result from our submission to Council (and the Rotorua Lakes Community Board’s) for a replacement Fire Engine for Okareka is spelt out very clearly in the letter in the Newsletter from Phil Muldoon. The 1979 Dodge has finally got to the stage where Council is no longer prepared to pay for the continuing maintenance and a suitable replacement is urgently required. With only limited money available from RDC ($60,000) Phil has approached 11 trusts for a contribution and to also find a suitable replacement even if only on a temporary basis.
The fire engine has been a valuable asset for Okareka for nearly 30 years and any financial assistance from the community to help with the funding of a replacement engine will be very welcome. The volunteer rural fire force is a registered charitable trust and has an excellent website (www.okarekaruralfire.com).
Phil Muldoon can be contacted at 362 8874.
The District Council is planning to attract more events to Rotorua and they have a proposed “Major Events Strategy” available for public comment. Unfortunately we have only a short period of time to do this as submissions close at the end of June.
If any residents have interest in the impact more events are likely to have on the environment and the lakes communities please contact Sandra for a copy together with the submission from The Rotorua Lakes Community Board.
As always we welcome your comments on any issues affecting Okareka and its residents.