Catch up with whats been going on in Rangitikei...
Catch up with whats been going on in Rangitikei…
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Planned works taking place during June includes: Pavement rehabilitation: Wanganui Road Bridge Replacement: Rata Bridge...
Planned works taking place during June includes:
It’s been a very busy few weeks again for the Parks and Reserves team. The regular rain has really been welcome and with...
It’s been a very busy few weeks again for the Parks and Reserves team. The regular rain has really been welcome and with the warmer weather we have seen good growth in our regions gardens and lawns.
The regions sports fields have recovered well following our dry summer. The recent fertiliser applications have resulted in good grass growth which will set the playing surfaces up well for the coming season.
The winter bedding displays are now planted in Bulls and Marton and have enjoyed the regular rain and the late autumn warmth.
Taihape Gumboot Park Drainage
A small project we worked on during the last few weeks was the installation of drainage to the gumboot throwing area at the outback Taihape.
This area has been very wet and was unusable during winter and spring. It is an area that is very well used by visitors to Taihape. Following an investigation on site, it appeared that the area was receiving a large amount of run-off from the neighbouring railway land.
A decision was made to install subsoil drains to aid the movement of this water into the storm water system. Once the excavations for the drains were underway it became apparent that the area had very heavy clay subsoil that impeded any water movement.
The new drainage system was installed by a registered drain layer. With recent rains the drains are coping well and no surface pooling of water can be seem.
Future Planting Memorial Park
Over the last month we have been collecting native tree and shrub seeds from Memorial Park with a view to replanting various areas that have had sycamores trees removed over the past few years. All seeds have been collected from naturally occurring vegetation within the reserve,
Planting will be undertaken in conjunction with Horizons Regional Council and Rangitikei Environment Group (REG) during 2017.
Any planting in the reserve will need to be ecosourced. Ecosouring involves propagating seeds of wild plant from local areas and planting them back within the same area.
A special tree of note during May in the reserve is Dacrycarpus dacrydioides or kahikatea. These trees are in full seed at present. Kahikatea is having a mast year in the region for seed production. The ripe bright orange seed is clearly visible from beneath the trees. Now that the wasps are diminishing the birds have come back to feast of the sweet fruit. The bird song is something to enjoy and is a highly recommended outing on a nice day. The fruit won’t last long so if you want to hear and see this amazing event make sure you visit in the next two weeks.
Mast seeding, also called masting, the production of many seeds by a plant every two or more years in regional synchrony with other plants of the same species.
Memorial Park also has some incredible native plants growing within this special reserve many of them highly sort after in the horticultural industry.
Other seeds collected:
During the visit I located a plant that I had never seen before. It was clearly a Carex of some description and only three plants where present. We collected a sample and sent it off to one of our leading New Zealand botanists for identification.
While it was identified as a Carex the species could not be fully identified. The sample was then sent to Landcare Research and again the botanists had difficulty with its precise identification. It has been give the name Carex muricata? and recorded as an unrecorded plant from Taihape.
It’s always exciting to locate something a bit different.
If you would like any question answered about the Parks and reserves please do not hesitate to contact the Rangitikei District Council.
from Athol Sanson
Review of the Gambling Venue and TAB Venue Policies Dog Owner Responsibility Policy and Control of Dogs Bylaw
Review of the Gambling Venue and TAB Venue Policies
Dog Owner Responsibility Policy and Control of Dogs Bylaw
Council received 233 submissions on “What’s new, what’s changed…?” - the consultation document for Council’s draft annua...
Council received 233 submissions on “What’s new, what’s changed…?” – the consultation document for Council’s draft annual plan for 2016/17, this was a much higher number from previous years. Nearly 40% of submissions were made online. Council’s decisions on the key choices for which views were specifically sought:
$60,000 – with the Council continuing to seek an equivalent contribution from external sources on a co-funded basis. The Policy/Planning Committee will develop a proposal outlining how this funding can be used to transition from its current provision to a Youth One Stop Shop in both Marton and Taihape.
New amenity block in Taihape Memorial Park
$500,000 – provided that this is supplemented by $100,000 raised by the community. The actual site on the Park will be a matter for consultation with the Taihape community.
Multi-sports turfs in Marton
The balance of the insurance payout for damaged turf on Centennial Park to be paid to Rangitikei College for its multi-sport turf, once the damaged area is cleaned up, and further payment of $100,000 in 2016/17, subject to total funding for the project being confirmed.
Payment of $100,000 (provisionally in 2017/18) to Nga Tawa Diocesan School for a full-sized multi-sport water turf, provided satisfactory provision is made for community access, and once the balance of funding is confirmed.
Site for new civic centre in Marton (including Council’s administration and library services)
$170,000 to purchase Cobbler/Davenport/Abraham & Williams Buildings and $50,000 for initial heritage assessment and development concept.
Amendment to rates remission policy
Remission for low-value properties where hardship can be demonstrated.
Other topics raised where Council approved actions include:
Fees and Charges
8 submissions were received.
Clarification was sought on applicability of volumetric wastewater charges. This has been added to the final schedule – it applies only to domestic institutions like nursing homes whose water consumption is greater than a residential dwelling.
Council did not accept the suggestion from two submitters for fees in libraries for overdue loans and out-of-District membership, but did accept the suggestion to introduce a fixed charge for rural boundary setback land use consents (in the interest of providing certainty of costs for applicants).
Adopted subject to confirmation of Schedule 1: building work for which building consent is not required.
Dog Owner Responsibility Policy and Control of Dogs bylaw
16 submissions were received.
A majority of submitters wanted mandatory neutering of dogs classified as menacing. Council accepted that it was preferable to retain discretion for Animal Control staff.
Most submitters supported regular inspections of properties of registered dog owners.
Submitters also requested more active monitoring of owners and compulsory training before people could own dogs, but such measures are of dubious enforceability and would bring more cost into the service.
Both the policy and bylaw were adopted without change from the documents issued for public consultation. The existing bylaw has been revoked.
Gambling Class 4 Venue Policy
A majority of submitters concerned with the consequences of problem gambling requested Council alter the policy to a sinking lid policy. This would not permit any machines to be replaced. As this is not the current policy, the Policy/Planning Committee will further consider and make a recommendation to Council’s meeting on 30 June 2016.
TAB Venue Policy
5 submissions were received.
There are currently no stand-alone TAB venues in the District. One submitter thought this should change, but the others did not. Adopted without amendment.
Speed Limit Bylaw – amendment for Parewanui Road
11 submissions were received.
Council proposed to reduce the speed limit on a section of Parewanui Road from 100 km/h to 80 km/h. While generally supported, Council accepted a recommendation from the Bulls Community Committee to reduce the affected area so that Brandon Hall Road was excluded. The bylaw amendment will be publicly notified and advice provided to the Minister of Transport.
Next Steps: everyone who made a submission will receive a detailed response outlining the decision Council made. A final Annual Plan for 2016/17 will be adopted by Council on 30 June 2016.
The seeds for this trip were “sown” in 2014 when Nga Tawa School hosted students from a matching school at Conty, a smal...
The seeds for this trip were “sown” in 2014 when Nga Tawa School hosted students from a matching school at Conty, a small village in the Somme in France. As part of that exchange I welcomed the Principal and school to our district. Subsequently I received an invitation from the Principal and Mayor of Conty to be part of a return exchange by Nga Tawa to coincide with the ANZAC celebrations this year.
The Somme district and associated front lines was the scene of some of the most terrible battles of World War I. The battle effectively became a stalemate for months and between 1 July and November in 1916; 1.5 million lives were lost, with very little territory gained. We associate ANZAC Day with the attacks at Gallipoli but it was at the Somme where the majority of New Zealanders either lost their lives or were wounded. More than 2000 New Zealanders lie buried on the Somme most of whom are identified as “known only unto God”, with a further 40% of soldiers wounded. For our size no other Nation suffered higher losses, it is no wonder that we as a country are held in such high respect by the French.
As it became nearer to the trip Beth and I received advice that we would be hosted by a number of French Mayors at the Somme and that I would be part of the New Zealand Military contingent along with the New Zealand Ambassador – James Kember, Foreign Affairs Minister – Murray McCully and the New Zealand Defence Force Maori Concert Party. The Marton RSA provided me with remembrance plaques to be presented to various Mayors, the New Zealand Military provided me with Battalion Insignias and I sourced a number of greenstone gifts for our hosts.
Beth and I self-funded our travel costs but I would like to thank the school and various mayors for their support with hotel accommodation in the Somme region and for making this such a memorable trip. We flew via Australia and Dubai direct to Paris then drove, by a rental car, the two hour trip on to Amiens where we would be based.
After settling in, and having had a tour of Notre Dame Cathedral in Amiens, which is twice the size of Notre Dame Paris, we were invited to a concert put on in the beautiful church in Conty featuring singers from Nga Tawa, French, British and German schools, accompanied at times by a world class orchestra. Before the concert started we attended a meal with the NZ Military attaché Shaun Fogarty and Air Vice Marshall Kevin Short.
The next few days were centred on attending various World War 1 cemeteries and ANZAC day commemorations and I will attempt to describe some of them, however it is impossible to portray the size and number of these cemeteries or to adequately portray the depth of emotion that I felt.
Caterpillar Valley Cemetery – this, for New Zealanders, will always be the focus of remembrance in France. It was here that New Zealand soldiers first launched their attack at the Somme. On a bitterly cold morning (accompanied at times by sleety snow) we attended two services with a full diplomatic presence and French military and Nga Tawa School. The Mayor of Longueval made sure that we were included and was thrilled to have us there. Engraved on the cenotaph at the cemetery are the names of 1200 New Zealanders who lost their lives at the Somme. One unknown New Zealand soldier was exhumed in 2004 and bought back to New Zealand to rest in the tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
Le Quesnoy is a town in the Somme surrounded by high fortification walls which was liberated by New Zealand soldiers near the end of World War 1. Here we met up with a party from Cambridge, New Zealand, which has a twin town association with the town. The service was followed by a civic reception with the singing of both nation anthems. For me the most moving ceremony was at the Bagneux British Cemetery where William Ingle, a soldier from Marton, lies buried. Here the Mayor had arranged for us to lay poppies at his grave and plant a rose on the behalf of his family. The year 10 class from Jules Ferry College (Conty school) joined with the Nga Tawa girls and ourselves to be part of the service. The Mayor had also arranged to have four large wicker baskets full of pigeons to be released over the grave. This ceremony again was in freezing weather with light rain falling.
Our final ANZAC service was in Paris at the Arc De Triomphe where a full military joint service was held around the eternal flame. Again we were part of the service and on this occasion we were joined by former All Blacks Daniel Carter and Joe Rokococo, who graciously posed for multiple photos with the girls.
During the trips around the Somme I was left with feelings of such a waste of human life; the scale of it sinks in, every couple of kilometres down the road there is another cemetery, most of which are vast and stunningly well maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. When we were there the spring cultivation had started and we were told that still today they find 700 tonnes of unexploded bombs a year, I saw examples of bombs put at the roadside for subsequent collection. There are areas of forest that have just been left with the bombs and bodies still entombed.
After the Nga Tawa School contingent left, Beth and I stayed on for a couple of days where we visited Napoleons tomb, museums and the crypts under Paris, where 7 million skeletons are stored. The flight home was broken by a day’s shopping in Dubai, a remarkable city.
I would like to thank Carol Coleman and June Jackson the teachers from Nga Tawa who organised and served as tour leaders on the trip. They, and the Nga Tawa girls, were fantastic ambassadors for our district and New Zealand.