19 June 2020
The monthly Operational Report provided for the Operations & Monitoring Committee is a great source of updates and information about Council services, projects and work programmes.
Due to the suspension of committee meetings during the COVID-19 lockdown, the June Operational Report covers the period from January to May 2020.
News in brief from the latest operational report
Playgrounds: The new playground and bike track at Sunset Primary School opened in February. Council owns the bike track as a community asset and worked closely with Sunset Primary school on these projects. Equipment at seven other playgrounds is also up for renewal this year and this work will happen during the coming months. Meanwhile, as part of the Lakefront redevelopment, Waiotahi Contractors are working on the new playground area to re-route services and pre-load the site for later construction. Delays occurred after the detection of 60DegC ground water, triggering resource consent requirements and the discovery of abandoned stormwater pipes. Work halted at Level 4 but resumed at Level 3.
Sports field works: Puketawhero Park No.4 field light installation was completed in February to enable increased winter use on these quality fields. Other field lights across the network are also being reviewed. Meanwhile, an irrigation system has been installed on Ray Boord Park (4 fields), and car park works have been completed at Smallbone and Puketawhero parks.
Tarawera Landing: Tourism Infrastructure funding of $293,056 has been secured for the upgrade of the Tarawera Landing. Council is working with Tuhourangi and consultants to refine the design and the planning requirements for the upgrade and work on the toilet block refurbishment is scheduled for completion in late July.
Te Ngae Road: Works are progressing on Stage 1 improvements from Sala St to Iles Rd and NZTA is progressing the finalisation of a Detailed Business Case for Stage 2 improvements – from Iles Rd to the airport. This work is essential to enable housing in this part of the city and the team working on the options for staging or full implementation includes representatives from Council, NZTA, the Ministry for Housing and Urban Development and landowners. The final assessment will be completed by September and from there either staged approach funding or full funding will be agreed by the NZTA Board.
Rural road works: Road “rehabilitation” (fixing underlying structural layers) has been completed on Nicholson, Settlers, Yankee and Whirinaki Valley roads and road seal extension has been completed on Galatos Road. Renewal of a culvert in Dalbeth Road, which will require road closure and significant excavation, has had to be delayed until September following the COVID-19 lockdown and the risks and challenges posed by doing the work during winter.
Wastewater network renewals: A number of significant renewals at the city’s wastewater treatment plant and within the reticulation system have proceeded and a major survey of gravity mains is underway to inform a replacement programme. The wastewater main from Victoria Street to the treatment plant is being considered for upgrade.
Water network renewals: Water renewals scheduled for this financial year include assets in Susan Street, Barnard Road, Leslie Avenue, View road, Sequoia Crescent, Tamatea Street, Elizabeth Street and Lytton Street. Most have been progressing since before the COVID-19 lockdown and work is expected to be largely completed by the end of June.
Stormwater upgrades and renewals: Work on renewals in Elizabeth Street and the upper Clayton Road area were due to start when the COVID-19 lockdown occurred so will now run into the following financial year.
Pensioner unit upgrades: Council has upgraded 11 of its 152 pensioner flats during this financial year and is in the process of tendering for another 11 to be refurbished during the 2020/21 financial year and a further 11 flats during 2021/22. The upgrades include double glazing, new carpet and vinyl, new showers, toilets and basins, new light and electrical fittings, repainting of kitchen and cupboards, new plumbing and hot water cylinders.
Cycleways and cycle education: Despite delays caused by COVID-19, construction of several more cycleways is progressing and expected to be finished by the end of June including the Utuhina Link, Taui Street link between the Reeme Street Reserve and Ngongotaha Trail paths and Pukuatua Street.
Safe Ways to School: Council is working with Lynmore Primary, which has more than 600 students, following a survey that provided an opportunity for the school community to have a collective voice and identify barriers on their local network that prevent them choosing alternate modes of transport for their daily commute to and from school.
Emergency Management: Councils are required to provide emergency management services under the Civil Defence Emergency Management Act. The trained/qualified capacity of Rotorua Lakes Council’s Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) team has almost tripled since April 2018, from about 30 staff to more than 90. The proportion of trained staff has increased from just over 30% to more than 90%. Rotorua Lakes Council is the only local authority in the Bay of Plenty to have met the KPI to have over 85% of all EOC staff trained to ‘intermediate’ level and over 85% of all EOC positions filled. The majority of EOC roles are filled by council staff who are rostered out of their normal duties when the EOC is required to be activated.
Consenting: The number of new dwellings consented for the financial year to date is 129. A total 110 residential and lifestyle lots have been consented as part of subdivision consents with more being processed at time of reporting, for a combined total of approximately 200 lots. Also underway are informal discussions with various landowners for potential subdivisions with up to a further 100 lots.
Plan Change 2 - Pukehangi Heights: This plan change proposes rezoning 160ha of farm land to the south west of Pukehangi Road to enable a mix of residential and rural residential development and is being processed using the Streamlined Plan Change provisions of the Resource Management Act. Public consultation resulted in 47 submissions and 8 further submissions. Issues raised by submitters included stormwater and flooding, water quality and traffic effects, the protection of cultural values and the request for the inclusion of additional land within the plan change area. Issues have been worked through with individual submitters as appropriate and there have been delays with stormwater modelling that is required prior to the hearing, which is expected to occur late August.
Virtual library services: The week prior to lockdown saw unprecedented levels of borrowing with an increase of 40% and a total of 20,000 physical books out on loan. E-material usage increased by 70% for the period from January to May, peaking in April with a 113% increase on April 2019. Online programmes attracted more than 1000 views during the reporting period and Facebook engagement increased by more than 100%.
Tikitapu/Rotokakahi lookout toilet: Funding has been secured from the Tourism Infrastructure Fund for a new toilet to be located at the lookout between Lakes Tikitapu and Rotokakahi. Design and planning requirements are progressing with construction scheduled to start before summer.
Forest Loop Great Ride: Work on all sections of the forest loop Great Ride started in February and sections have been opened as they are completed. Work stopped during Level 4 and once construction work is done, a cultural overlay for interpretation panels around the track will be installed. The aim is for an official opening of the forest loop in late October.
Where can I find the full Operational Report?
You can go directly to the Operations & Monitoring Committee agenda for June via THIS LINK.
THIS LINK on Council’s website is where all public agendas are uploaded ahead of committee and Full Council meetings every month. Scroll down to find the agendas you want.
The agendas contain all the public reports going to that committee or the Full Council.
Below the agendas you will find any presentations that are made during meetings and copies of additional documents that are presented/provided but are not contained within the agenda.
At this link you can also access livestreaming/recordings of committee and council meetings.
Or you can go directly to Council’s YouTube channel HERE to view meetings live or later. Click on the ‘videos’ tab and scroll to find the meeting you want to view.