5 April 2019

Media: Rotorua Daily Post
Topic: Green Corridor

Enquiry

Reporter sought response/information as follows:

Where can we find the most up to date map of the Green Corridor as it is?

What did it cost to build the corridor?

Does the council know what it will cost to remove?

Was it always the intention that it would be temporary?

When did council staff realise that it would no longer be the best option for safe travel for all users in the CBD?

How long does the council expect it will be before there is a definite decision on the corridor?

How long does the council believe the removal will take?

Response

The following information/facts and quotes were provided:

Where can we find the most up to date map of the Green Corridor as it is?

You’ll find a map showing Green Corridor HERE

 

What did it cost to build the corridor?

Please see background info below.
 

Does the council know what it will cost to remove?

No final decision has yet been made. The Full Council has yet to consider the recommendation which was yesterday moved and approved by the Operations & Monitoring Committee. The recommendation came from the committee, not from staff so costs and timeframes have yet to be determined.
 

Was it always the intention that it would be temporary?

The project was part of the Rotorua 2030 Inner City Revitalisation strategy and inner city revitalisation was one of the 4 priority areas which were determined following the creation of the 2030 vision.

The concept for the Green Corridor has its roots in the Rotorua Cycling Strategy that was first adopted in 2005, and a CBD development report by Opus Consultants, adopted in 2006.

It was designed to provide another, safe, way for people to come into the inner city and link people to as many places in the CBD as possible, as well as linking with the Government Gardens and Kuirau Park. It also provided a connection with existing cycleways (at that time) such as along Fenton Street and to/from Ngongotaha which had previously ended on the outskirts of the central city.

Work on developing the Green Corridor proposal was a collaboration between Rotorua Lakes Council, Rotorua Cycle Action group and the (former) Inner City Focus Group representing CBD retailers and other businesses.

 

When did council staff realise that it would no longer be the best option for safe travel for all users in the CBD?

There was no recommendation to the Committee from staff yesterday to remove the Green Corridor and staff did not say – as you have put it – that “it would no longer be the best option for safe travel for all users in the CBD”.

Staff presented an update on the progress to date of the CyWay network, the urban biking/shared path network in Rotorua and said that following an intensive period of construction due to tight timeframes relating to NZTA funding of the network, there was now time to step back, reflect on what had been done so far, look at what existed prior to the CyWay programme and apply any learnings along the way to ensure we continue to improve and progress forward successfully.

The presenter said that when Council started the CyWay programme there were existing parts of the network and projects that don’t align to current design principles (ie things have changed), and she said this needed to be addressed to ensure they did not become barriers for people.

As you’ll see/hear on the livestream recording of yesterday’s hui, the Green Corridor was not mentioned during the presentation but following the presentation Cr Kent asked whether, given the connectedness that would be achieved on completion of the network, the Green Corridor was still going to be necessary.

Infrastructure Group Manager Stavros Michael replied that as a result of emerging new best practice the CBD would need some attention to soften the level of risk and the way to do that would be to embark on a speed reduction proposal – something that was consistent with elsewhere in NZ and was consistent with best practice for CBDs. He explained that lowering speeds in the CBD would make sharing the carriageway (ie roadway) much safer and that improved safety, in conjunction with the completed connected CyWay network, would mean the Green Corridor would no longer be necessary.

There were then questions and discussion and a vote on a motion which was moved by the mayor and seconded by committee chair Cr Sturt “That the committee recommend to Council that the general functionality of the CBD transport network be reviewed and that the green corridor be de-mobilised as soon as practicable”.

The motion was carried and the recommendation will now go to the Full Council for its consideration later in the month. If that is approved, work will start to plan the Green Corridor removal and to review the CBD transport network.

 

How long does the council expect it will be before there is a definite decision on the corridor?

How long does the council believe the removal will take?

From Infrastructure Group Manager Stavros Michael (re the 2 questions above):

“We first need a decision from the Full Council and if they approve the recommendation from the committee we will then start planning the work that needs to be done.

“This is not work that was already programmed so if Full Council approves it, there will be considerable planning to be done and conversations to be had with the CBD community. The planning alone would likely take several months but we haven’t set a timeframe as yet because we are awaiting the Full Council’s decision.

“Speed limit changes require a set process, will require approval from Council and will require consultation and there is then another piece of work that would need to be done around CBD transport functionality. That is about the movement of traffic and ensuring that the CBD remains easy and safe to access and functional in a way that enables people to do what they need to do.”

Background and other information (not quotes)

  • The Green Corridor was a project recommended as part of a 2006 CBD revitalisation strategy which also included establishing Eat Streat and refreshing the City Focus (now Te Manawa) and aligns with Rotorua's urban cycling strategy.  

  • These projects were incorporated into an updated strategy following the establishment of portfolios which were set up to deliver Rotorua's 2030 vision.

  • Work on developing the Green Corridor proposal was a collaboration between Rotorua Lakes Council, Rotorua Cycle Action and the Inner City Focus Group representing CBD retailers and businesses.

  • The public was invited to give feedback, through development of the inner city revitalisation strategy, the Ideas Store and again as part of development of the 2015-25 Long-term Plan and the project was incorporated into the Long-term Plan.  

  • Construction took about six months. The project was finished in September 2015 and there was an official opening in early October 2015.  

  • 50 carparks (of more than 3000 available in the inner city) were removed to make way for the Green Corridor. 29 of these were in Hinemoa Street and were in use 35% of the time.
     

The project cost $442,000 with New Zealand Transport Agency committing to funding 57% ($252,000) and Council funding the remainder ($190,000) from existing budgets. Due to changes requested by businesses in Haupapa Street, the final cost was $72,000 higher than originally budgeted.

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Media: Rotorua Daily Post
Topic: Damage to Te Arawa Memorial

Enquiry

I've heard there was a minor incident where a car crashed into the recently refurbished Te Arawa Memorial and by the looks of it, one of the tekoteko has been taken away.

  • Could you confirm what has happened to the tekoteko?

  •  When did this happen?

  • What is the process to fix it now?

  • How much will that cost?

  • What is the message to motorists to ensure this does not happen again?

Response

From Arts & Culture Manager Stewart Brown:

“Years of work has gone into restoring this important Rotorua memorial so it is disappointing to see it damaged just over a month after it was unveiled but thankfully the damage was minimal.

Tyre marks show it was a vehicle that hit one of the bronze tekoteko guardians surrounding the memorial, pushing it out of the ground.

The tekoteko has been removed and is now with the staff from the New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute to be repaired.

We do not know how long repairs will take and cost has yet to be determined.

The project to restore this significant piece of Te Arawa military history was commissioned by the Rotorua World War One Committee in 2016 after receiving funding from the Lotteries World War One Commemorations, Environment and Heritage Fund, New Zealand Community Trust, the Rotorua Energy Charitable Trust and New Zealand Māori Arts & Crafts Institute (NZMACI).”

We confirmed this happened overnight Tuesday.

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Media: Rotorua Daily Post
Topic: Central/Amohau roading corridor

Enquiry

I'm working on a bit of an update in relation to plans for Amohau St and saw in [the Operations & Monitoring Committee] agenda (p31) a short council update saying:

The Central Corridor, Amohau Street (current state highway status to be revoked), is progressing through to local engagement and design finalisation 2019 with tenders anticipated for the $11m project in mid to late 2019. RLC are accessing the asset condition to ensure that the corridor condition will meet the demands going forward.

Is the council able to provide two things:

- An attributable update on the project from a council perspective, and;

- An explanation as to what that second sentence means.

Response

From Infrastructure General Manager Stavros Michael:

“Council is continuing to work with NZ Transport Agency which is leading the Amohau Street upgrade project as part of the district’s Connect Rotorua programme. The next steps in this project will be to update key stakeholders and the wider community and work towards final designs. Timing for tenders has yet to be finalised. 

Currently designated as a state highway (SH30A) and under The Transport Agency ownership, the state highway designation is to be revoked and the road returned to the ownership of Council so it will become a local road. 

This means that Council must assess the state of the current assets (pavement, footpaths etc) and determine what work needs to take place as part of the upgrade to ensure that we are receiving an asset that is up to standard and fit for purpose for the expected lifespan of the assets.”

If you need any more details contact Corrie.Taylor@nzta.govt.nz who may be able to provide more information from NZTA as lead for the project.

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Media: Rotorua Daily Post
Topic: Firewood

Enquiry

Just been working on a story about the firewood stocks and one stockist has made a comment that council need to alert residents to get their firewood sooner i.e. in the summer months to ensure their wood is dry for burning but said there hasn't been much mention of it anywhere. 

I want to give you the opportunity to respond.

Response

Clarification was sought from the reporter to check if the person who made the comment mean Rotorua Lakes Council or the BOP Regional Council (given their responsibility for clean air/air pollution). The reporter said the person had specified Lakes Council but the person had not explained, and the reporter had not asked, why she considered it an RLC responsibility to alert residents to the need to get firewood early to ensure it was dry for burning in winter.

The reporter was encouraged to contact the BOP Regional Council, explaining their responsibility in terms of clean air/air pollution, suggesting they might be keen to talk about why it’s important for people to have dry firewood. RLC notes this was something the regional council had promoted in the past in conjunction with its Clean Air Rotorua initiatives and rules and promotions relating to wood burners.

 

Page reviewed: 14 May 2019 4:01pm