Westland District, Hokitika

20 hours ago

Poll: Is it okay to take fruit from a neighbour's tree?

The Team from Neighbourly.co.nz

This week we are wondering about some neighbour etiquette that can cause conflict. If your neighbour has a tree overflowing with fruit that is visible from the road, is it okay to help yourself? Share your thoughts below.

Type 'Not For Print' if you wish your comments to be excluded … View more
This week we are wondering about some neighbour etiquette that can cause conflict. If your neighbour has a tree overflowing with fruit that is visible from the road, is it okay to help yourself? Share your thoughts below.

Type 'Not For Print' if you wish your comments to be excluded from the Conversations column of your local paper.

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Is it okay to take fruit from a neighbour's tree?
  • 16% Yes
    16% Complete
  • 78.2% No
    78.2% Complete
  • 5.8% Other - I'll share below
    5.8% Complete
1233 votes
20 hours ago

Last week to enter neighbours!

Prospa

Have you nominated a small business in your community yet? The Prospa Local Business Hero Awards close this week!

Whether you know a great plumber, supermarket, mechanic, bookstore, hairdresser, gardener, pharmacy, builder, shoe store, cafe or electrician - show some love to a small business and… View more
Have you nominated a small business in your community yet? The Prospa Local Business Hero Awards close this week!

Whether you know a great plumber, supermarket, mechanic, bookstore, hairdresser, gardener, pharmacy, builder, shoe store, cafe or electrician - show some love to a small business and make a nomination today.

You'll not only help drum up some support for them in your community, you could also help them win a $10,000 prize package. Plus if your nomination is a regional finalist you'll win a $100 Prezzy® card too!
Nominate now

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10 hours ago

What should happen with the Thames pool?

Libby Totton Reporter from Hauraki Herald

The removal of Thames Centennial Pool from its current site of 50 years will cost $3 million with the land eventually returned to mana whenua.

The ailing and aging Thames Centennial Pool facility, which sits on a sacred urupā, is set to be returned in 2027 as the district looks to establish a … View more
The removal of Thames Centennial Pool from its current site of 50 years will cost $3 million with the land eventually returned to mana whenua.

The ailing and aging Thames Centennial Pool facility, which sits on a sacred urupā, is set to be returned in 2027 as the district looks to establish a replacement facility elsewhere.

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20 hours ago

Want chocolate this Easter?

NZ House & Garden

The sweetest time of the year is just around the corner, and we’ve put together a great deal that will make it even sweeter.

Bennetto Chocolate has helped us put together an amazing chocolate box that’ll be the perfect addition to an NZ House & Garden subscription this Easter. Simply … View more
The sweetest time of the year is just around the corner, and we’ve put together a great deal that will make it even sweeter.

Bennetto Chocolate has helped us put together an amazing chocolate box that’ll be the perfect addition to an NZ House & Garden subscription this Easter. Simply purchase a 1 or 2-year subscription to NZ House & Garden and the Easter Bunny will deliver you a Bennetto Chocolate Box worth $50 for FREE! T&Cs Apply.

Enjoy,
The team at NZ House & Garden
Find out more

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10 hours ago

What do you think of the changes this principal is making?

The Team Reporter from Hamilton Press

Matua Hone Waudby has only been Bankwood Primary’s principal for around 18 months, and in that time he’s been slowly working on turning the school around.

That includes changing when the school year starts and finishes, in a bid to make it easier on families.

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10 hours ago

Are you following the council's talks - and disputes - on the long-term plan?

Libby Totton Reporter from South Waikato News

Two South Waikato councillors unhappy with a perceived lack of information coming from council staff have had their “formal request for members information” quashed by their council colleagues.

In the “notice of motion - formal request for members information”, penned by first term … View more
Two South Waikato councillors unhappy with a perceived lack of information coming from council staff have had their “formal request for members information” quashed by their council colleagues.

In the “notice of motion - formal request for members information”, penned by first term councillor Marie Farrell and co-signed by councillor Sandra Wallace, Farrell said she had several requests for financial information declined by council chief executive Susan Law

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10 hours ago

Do you think Waiuku could get a wind farm?

Libby Totton Reporter from Waikato Times

A proposal to build 13 giant wind turbines up to 190m high on north Waikato coastal land has shocked locals who said they had been blind-sided by the plans which were “fast tracked“ under the Covid-19 Recovery Act.

The Waiuku Wind Farm proposal is being assessed by an independent panel of … View more
A proposal to build 13 giant wind turbines up to 190m high on north Waikato coastal land has shocked locals who said they had been blind-sided by the plans which were “fast tracked“ under the Covid-19 Recovery Act.

The Waiuku Wind Farm proposal is being assessed by an independent panel of experts after it was cleared for fast-tracking by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) in December last year.

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20 hours ago

Instant winners this week!

The Team from Neighbourly.co.nz

The winners of the $100 Farmers gift cards are:

Loretta Ann from Dunedin

Tony Dickason from Te Rapa

Shamaiah Pupualii from Somerville

View more
The winners of the $100 Farmers gift cards are:

Loretta Ann from Dunedin

Tony Dickason from Te Rapa

Shamaiah Pupualii from Somerville

Nancy Power from Whanganui

Get in touch with our Helpdesk team before the 12th of March to claim your prize by heading here.

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1 day ago

Have you got your tickets yet?

Heart Foundation Lotteries

Don’t miss out! For only $15 a ticket, you could be in to win this brand-new, fully furnished Jennian home in Pegasus, Christchurch worth almost $1 million dollars.

Featuring three bedrooms, two bathrooms and an open-plan kitchen, living and dining area, this home is waiting for its new owner.… View more
Don’t miss out! For only $15 a ticket, you could be in to win this brand-new, fully furnished Jennian home in Pegasus, Christchurch worth almost $1 million dollars.

Featuring three bedrooms, two bathrooms and an open-plan kitchen, living and dining area, this home is waiting for its new owner.

Make this property your permanent residence, a holiday home, rent it or even sell it! Get your tickets today at heartlottery.org.nz.
Buy tickets now

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3 days ago

Free Bowel Cancer Screening

Mid Central

In MidCentral, free bowel screening is now available for Māori and Pacific people aged 50-74 and from 60 years old for everyone else.

Around your birthday, you will receive an invitation, followed by a bowel screening test kit.

The bowel screening test is quick and simple to do by yourself… View more
In MidCentral, free bowel screening is now available for Māori and Pacific people aged 50-74 and from 60 years old for everyone else.

Around your birthday, you will receive an invitation, followed by a bowel screening test kit.

The bowel screening test is quick and simple to do by yourself at home. Make sure you do the test as soon as possible and send it back.

For further information, see the Time to Screen website, call 0800 924 432, or talk to your doctor.
Find out more

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3 days ago

PGGWRE property guide is here📖

Stephen from Ashburton District

🙋‍♂️Welcome to the 1st day of Autumn! 🍂 Check out our latest listings in this month's Digimag! From Ashburton to Oamaru and everywhere in between, you're sure to find your next dream property here!🏡

www.pggwre.co.nz...

4 days ago

Enjoy Financial Certainty...

The Team from Ryman Healthcare

When you move to a Ryman village, the last thing you need to think about are unexpected costs. We offer financial security with rates, home insurance, exterior maintenance and gardening all covered under one fixed base weekly fee*, meaning once you’ve moved in you can focus on the things you … View moreWhen you move to a Ryman village, the last thing you need to think about are unexpected costs. We offer financial security with rates, home insurance, exterior maintenance and gardening all covered under one fixed base weekly fee*, meaning once you’ve moved in you can focus on the things you enjoy.

Find out more about our living options today and get ready for a new lifestyle.

*Weekly fee’s only increase if you change from independent living to serviced apartment living, or you add extra care options.
Find out more

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3 days ago

Local health initiative rollout paused, but West Coast work continues

Nicole Mathewson Reporter from The Press

By local democracy reporter:

The Government has paused work on the rollout of health localities, but the West Coast pilot Takiwā Poutini will continue for now.

Takiwā Poutini chairperson Kevin Hague said the move was "not surprising" as Health Minister Shane Reti had indicated he … View more
By local democracy reporter:

The Government has paused work on the rollout of health localities, but the West Coast pilot Takiwā Poutini will continue for now.

Takiwā Poutini chairperson Kevin Hague said the move was "not surprising" as Health Minister Shane Reti had indicated he "wasn't convinced by localities" during the election campaign.

"But on the other hand, he talked up the need for community involvement in planning and decision making - which is exactly what localities provide," Hague said.

"What he has done ... is pushed out the deadlines for locality plans and establishment of geographic boundaries. Clearly that is to allow the development of an alternative."

A Cabinet paper presented by the health minister on the abolishment of the Māori Health Authority also called a stop to further work on the rollout of up to 80 health localities across the country by June.

Introduced as part of the health reforms in 2022, it was to support localism and promote work between sectors as the local decision making of district health boards were scrapped.

However, Reti said their implementation had been slow "and there is a lack of clarity for communities and the health workforce", the NZ Herald reported.

The West Coast was in the initial rollout of 12 pilot areas in May 2022.

The locality Takiwā Poutini has engaged with local government, iwi, community groups and the education sector to gauge priorities to determine future health services across the region.

Hague said he did not see the locality rollout pause as the end but an opportunity to build on the model.

"Clearly, that is to allow the development of an alternative. In the meantime we've been told to keep working."

The West Coast locality would continue to be supported by Health New Zealand-Te Whatu Ora as it continued its work, Hague said.

Hague said he foresaw their work already being tapped into in the formulation of a new structure rather than "throwing the baby out with the bathwater".

Two key aspects were important to continue, he said:
* The evolving partnership to plan services between local government, central government and iwi via Takiwā Poutini.
* Incorporating the key focus of wellbeing "in a broader sense".

"It's encouraging that [Reti] hasn't said stop work on this - he's kind of slowing down the process," Hague said.

The Takiwā locality formalised its charter in March 2023, partnering with the region's councils and two rūnanga.

Greymouth mayor Tania Gibson, who is on the Takiwa Poutini governance board, said they had been left questioning its future.

"The last couple of meetings have been the uncertainty about what the Government will be doing … we'll see where that goes."

Gibson said the locality's purpose had seemed "very confusing" at times, including local government being pulled into its mandate but there had been some positive gains for the region.

This included the provision of new mobile health units in the region and the gathering of "good information" through consultation on community wellbeing, Gibson said.

Those wellbeing aims were to be incorporated through her council's long-term plan, as one example of an integrated approach.

Tony Kokshoorn, the former West Coast DHB deputy chairperson until 2022, said while he had agreed with the health reforms, there still needed to be "a go-between" so a small region like the West Coast could be heard in the new centralised system.

He said he understood the locality idea was supposed to do that in lieu of the former boards.

"We still need a link. We need some type of link into the central system -- we need some way there to make sure we're not overlooked here on the West Coast."

Reti said: "During the process which moved through Parliament this week, I consistently reiterated this Government’s commitment to delivering healthcare close to home and to hapu – and that includes on the West Coast."

He said the pausing of localities gave time to consider how to ensure health agencies deliver this commitment on the ground.

"There will be more to say and more thinking to be done. The legislation provides for a pause while we work out how to ensure genuine local influence on local service design and delivery happens."

Reti said he agreed that ways of working that identify and support local solutions to local health challenges are needed.

"That means using data, measuring progress, and working with people who know their communities best.

"When we get this right, we'll be supporting New Zealanders to stay in good health for longer wherever they are, whoever they are, and whatever their health needs are."

He said primary and community healthcare is the gateway to the health system for most people, particularly on the West Coast. In this space, Iwi Māori Partnership Boards would be "an increased local voice for all", as will the existing Primary Health Organisations.

"I thank the teams such as West Coast Takiwā Poutini as we take the time to pause, and consider the way ahead," Reti said.

4 days ago

Happy Leap Year for 2024!

Remuera Gardens

Make your new year plans come true. If you’re looking at your retirement options this summer, you should check out Remuera Gardens - a community in the heart of Auckland.

Our two bedroom apartments and serviced apartments are beautifully renovated, with garden views from your own deck or … View more
Make your new year plans come true. If you’re looking at your retirement options this summer, you should check out Remuera Gardens - a community in the heart of Auckland.

Our two bedroom apartments and serviced apartments are beautifully renovated, with garden views from your own deck or balcony. Sunny and spacious, these homes are perfect for privacy and independence, while household help can also be available to make day-to-day life a little easier.

Why not jump at this chance and come and see us this week!
Call Lyn on 021 845 524 or email lyn.ellis@realliving.co.nz
Learn More

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8 days ago

What would The School of Life teach?

The Team from Neighbourly.co.nz

The National Party introduced their policy called 'teaching the basics brilliantly' last year regarding changing school curriculums. They are referring to reading, writing and maths.

However, some people believe school should actually be more practical, teaching kids to change tyres … View more
The National Party introduced their policy called 'teaching the basics brilliantly' last year regarding changing school curriculums. They are referring to reading, writing and maths.

However, some people believe school should actually be more practical, teaching kids to change tyres and balance their finances. Thinking about all the skills that have benefited you over the years, tell us what would be taught at your School of Life?

Type 'Not For Print' if you wish your comments to be excluded from the Conversations column of your local paper.

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4 days ago

St Andrew’s Village Market Day, March 2nd

St. Andrew's Village

Join us tomorrow, Saturday, March 2nd, for St. Andrew's Village Autumn Market Day, starting at 10 a.m.

Discover a delightful array of offerings, including crafts, beauty products, clothing, and exquisite jewellery. As you explore the stalls, savour delectable food and refreshing beverages,… View more
Join us tomorrow, Saturday, March 2nd, for St. Andrew's Village Autumn Market Day, starting at 10 a.m.

Discover a delightful array of offerings, including crafts, beauty products, clothing, and exquisite jewellery. As you explore the stalls, savour delectable food and refreshing beverages, all while being serenaded by local musicians.

It's a perfect day to indulge in shopping, culinary delights, and live music at our Market Day at 207 Riddell Road, Glendowie
Find out more

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4 days ago

Colour your summer

The Team from Resene ColorShop Timaru

Get creative with colour with these art projects using Resene paints.

Find out how to get creative with these easy ideas.

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6 days ago
4 days ago

Environmental watchdog considers next steps for Greymouth landfill

Nicole Mathewson Reporter from The Press

By local democracy reporter Brendon McMajon

An investigation by an environmental watchdog has carried out interviews and gathered evidence from a controversial private landfill near Greymouth.

The West Coast Regional Council announced on January 12 it had asked the Environmental Protection … View more
By local democracy reporter Brendon McMajon

An investigation by an environmental watchdog has carried out interviews and gathered evidence from a controversial private landfill near Greymouth.

The West Coast Regional Council announced on January 12 it had asked the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) to take over the compliance investigation of TaylorvilLe Resource Park at Coal Creek, 5km east of Greymouth.

A team of up to six people from the EPA in Wellington had visited the landfill site to gather evidence by the end of January.

EPA investigations manager Jackie Adams said they were reviewing and considering all the information and consents they had gathered "to inform our next steps".

"Since the EPA started the investigation, we have visited the site, conducted interviews, and have been gathering other evidence to inform the investigation," he said.

"As part of this process, we have also collected multiple water samples during different weather conditions and had these analysed."

Adams did not say what the next steps would be, but EPA would make a statement in due course.

West Coast Regional Council chief executive Darryl Lew told councillors on January 29 it would be for the EPA to determine a final resolution, pending the investigation.

He said the EPA's investigation on the site's compliance was "the most complex" under council's watch.

The council called in the organisation after a string of environmental complaints about the site in 2023.

Allegations included water from landfill pits leaching into a roadside drain, dust allegedly containing asbestos, and an obnoxious pong emanating from the site. The later forced nearby residents to stay indoors and keep their windows closed.

The Grey District Council and local residents also raised concerns with the regional council not considering them affected parties to the original non-notified consents process in 2021-22.

The district council was primarily worried by a potential risk of the landfill compromising the adjoining Greymouth water treatment plant.
WorkSafe is also investigating the landfill after two workers were injured at the site.

On August 3, two landfill workers were also overcome by noxious gas within one of the dump cells.

One man was airlifted to Christchurch Hospital in a serious condition.
The site was cleared by WorkSafe later in August to allow work to resume on the site, pending its ongoing investigation.

On February 27, WorkSafe said its investigation remained ongoing and could take up to 12 months to complete.

WorkSafe said its own investigation did not cross over with that of the EPA.

Lew on January 29 also noted council's own reassessment of the consents for the site is ongoing.

In mid-2023 independent reviewer Enviser slammed council's approach to resource consenting as reliant on "a tick box exercise".

LDR has approached Taylorville Resource Park several times offering it the opportunity to respond.

The site was consented amid a genuine call in the area for landfill space to take demolition material after new seismic requirements anticipated increased demolitions.

6 days ago

Seeking a dependable vehicle dismantler?

Auckland Kiwi Car Parts

Auckland Kiwi Car Parts Ltd offers several advantages.

We provide immediate cash payments of up to $5000 for cars.

We purchase cars of all makes and models, regardless of their age or condition.

Most importantly, our service includes complimentary removal, saving you hundreds of dollarsView more
Auckland Kiwi Car Parts Ltd offers several advantages.

We provide immediate cash payments of up to $5000 for cars.

We purchase cars of all makes and models, regardless of their age or condition.

Most importantly, our service includes complimentary removal, saving you hundreds of dollars in removal costs.
Find out more

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4 days ago

No plans yet to shift Franz Josef poo ponds

Nicole Mathewson Reporter from The Press

By local democracy reporter Brendon McMahon:

A short-term fix to protect Franz Josef's vulnerable poo ponds has been finished.

But there is no plan yet to shift the tourist hotspot's wastewater infrastructure away from the Waiho (Waiau) River.

The nearby river previously … View more
By local democracy reporter Brendon McMahon:

A short-term fix to protect Franz Josef's vulnerable poo ponds has been finished.

But there is no plan yet to shift the tourist hotspot's wastewater infrastructure away from the Waiho (Waiau) River.

The nearby river previously destroyed the ponds eight years ago, and local council authorities are again worried by its changing course.

Westland District Council announced Tuesday the completion of "unbudgeted" emergency work to extend and shore-up stopbanks at the Franz Josef sewerage treatment site, as the Waiho River begins to encroach.

The council authorised the new protection banks after a storm on January 20 saw the river radically change course, with 95% of its main flow running into the Tatare Stream northwest of the ponds.

Since then the main Waiho channel has been running hard against the Havill Wall stopbank immediately in front of the ponds.

The council has now lengthened its stopbank off the end of the Havill Wall and curved it around the end of the sewerage ponds site amid West Coast Regional Council concerns about the rapid avulsion in the area.

Chief executive Simon Bastion said the council's contractor Westroads and South Westland's Campbell Agriculture and Contracting "shored up" protection to the west of the ponds site.

It gave "breathing space" and responded to the Regional Council's immediate concern about the rate of the riverbed avulsion in that area, he said.

The $370,000 cost was "unbudgeted" at this stage.

"Getting that work in place has obviously given us a lot of surety short-term … we will be seeking external funding to alleviate the costs to ratepayers," he said.

At this stage there was no guarantee about reducing the cost to ratepayers, he said.

The Franz Josef poo ponds site has been a known weak point for council for years.

The wastewater ponds and treatment site has rebuilt once after the Waiho River swept through in the April 2016 flood, which also destroyed the nearby Scenic Group Mueller Wing hotel complex.

In the aftermath the district council decided against shifting its wastewater infrastructure and controversially commissioned what is now known as the Havill Wall to protect the area.

Asked by LDR if council has done anything at all to explore a new site, Bastion replied: "not yet".

"There's critical components to line up here in terms of where to next," he said.

"It really comes down to any funding or for council to approve in the next annual plan."

However, at this stage council did not even have a scope to present to ratepayers within the 2024-34 long-term plan but "the actual reality" would be a replacement timeframe of up to four years.

Bastion said council could not immediately rely on central Government plans to speed up the Resource Management Act process for critical infrastructure.

Regional council chief executive Darryl Lew this week warned the river has now "cut back" about 50m towards the ponds area.

In the meantime, council was continuing its north bank protection scheme to extend, widen and raise stopbanks from Franz Josef township to the ponds.

This included improving and linking in the Havill Wall - to eventually pass into regional council ownership from the district council.

Lew said his council was aware of water now filtering through the Havill Wall from the river including into the ponds area but it was not unprecedented.

"The Havill Wall is below standard but we've investigated what we need to do there, and the (improvement) work is programmed," he said.

"We're aware of the seepage through parts of the bank. Our banks in terms of design are not like North Island (protection) banks. They're largely gravel with tow rock … you inevitably get seep.

"We're monitoring it and we've got no immediate concerns."

6 days ago

Free rides, games, toy making and DJ music coming to Ngāti Toa Domain

Porirua City Council

Children’s Day at Ngāti Toa Domain for 2024 is set to be a fun-filled event for our city’s tamariki and rangatahi.

Timed to coincide with national celebrations for Te rā o ngā Tamariki/Children’s Day, Porirua City Council has organised a day of fun and activities on … View more
Children’s Day at Ngāti Toa Domain for 2024 is set to be a fun-filled event for our city’s tamariki and rangatahi.

Timed to coincide with national celebrations for Te rā o ngā Tamariki/Children’s Day, Porirua City Council has organised a day of fun and activities on Sunday 3 March, from 11am–3pm.

Either pack a picnic and make a day of it or purchase something delicious from one of the food trucks. Bunnings Porirua will also be there with a free sausage sizzle while stocks last.

While enjoying some tasty kai, you can listen to tunes from young DJs aged between 12–15 years-old from the Aotearoa DJ Academy.

For those wanting free active fun, the inflatables will be out, with an inflatable sports field, mega obstacle course, inflatable slide, two baby castles and a baby bouncer to choose from – plus much more!
Find out more

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5 days ago

Turn your balcony or patio into a lush garden

Yvette Williams Retirement Village

If you have a green thumb, just imagine what you could do with a balcony with a fantastic view like this one at Murray Halberg Village. This elevated space offers the perfect blank canvas to create a lush outdoor space without lawn maintenance or heavy lifting.

Shane Fairbairn, Landscape Manager… View more
If you have a green thumb, just imagine what you could do with a balcony with a fantastic view like this one at Murray Halberg Village. This elevated space offers the perfect blank canvas to create a lush outdoor space without lawn maintenance or heavy lifting.

Shane Fairbairn, Landscape Manager at Ryman Healthcare, shares some tips for creating the perfect outdoor space on your patio or balcony so you can enjoy the benefits of gardening without the hassles.

First, decide on a theme. Is it cosy and bohemian, sleek and minimalist, a lush urban jungle, or something else? Your vision will guide your plant and furniture choices.

For all his tips and advice click read more.

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6 days ago

Five out of five for Acacia Cove

Acacia Cove

Five apartments have just been completed in Acacia Cove. All of which have just achieved a Lifemark® 5-Star Certification. Acacia Cove has a total of 215 villas and now 15 apartments in its village complex in Wattle downs, Auckland.

As a retirement village Acacia Cove wants to provide great … View more
Five apartments have just been completed in Acacia Cove. All of which have just achieved a Lifemark® 5-Star Certification. Acacia Cove has a total of 215 villas and now 15 apartments in its village complex in Wattle downs, Auckland.

As a retirement village Acacia Cove wants to provide great quality of life for its residents. Acacia Cove gives its residents a social community feel, with bowling greens, snooker table, craft room and indoor pools, providing great opportunities for residents to mix and mingle. The five newly completed apartments are situated 50 metres away from the Village centre.

Acacia Cove understands that its residents require dwellings where they can live safely and independently. Universal Design provides this. Acacia Cove decided applying Universal Design best accessibility practice was of high importance.

If you’re aged 60 and over, value your independence but want greater security, come and have a look at the superb properties we have to offer.

Contact long time manager Burce Cullington on (09) 268 8522.
Find out more

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10 days ago

Westport flood money trickles in

Nicole Mathewson Reporter from The Press

By local democracy reporter Brendon McMahon:

Westport flood resilience money is trickling in to the West Coast Regional Council almost three years after the town was ravaged by flooding.

But replenishment by $1 million of a 'catastrophe' fund spent by council on emergency flood … View more
By local democracy reporter Brendon McMahon:

Westport flood resilience money is trickling in to the West Coast Regional Council almost three years after the town was ravaged by flooding.

But replenishment by $1 million of a 'catastrophe' fund spent by council on emergency flood works in the aftermath of the July 2021 flood has yet to be finalised.

The council hopes to soon use some of the $16.6m allocated under the co-funded $22.9million package announced in the May 2023 Budget as it works to progress some of the 'quick win' aspects of the broader stopbank scheme for the town.

Hundreds of homes were evacuated when heavy rain caused extensive flooding in Westport in July 2021. Some 400 houses were initially red-stickered with 23% of the town's housing stock needing repair. The town was then hit again by flooding in 2022.

In the May deal, the Government agreed to top up council's catastrophe funds, which were used to make urgent fixes to Westport's historic flood defences, inland from the town, in 2022.

The emergency protection repairs were needed as the town was still as vulnerable to the events which led to the July 2021 event.

An investments and borrowing report to council's Risk and Assurance Committee this week noted council was still awaiting a Department of Internal Affairs evaluation and "subsequent payment".

Councillor Peter Haddock said he was concerned council "still haven't got that money".

Chief executive Darryl Lew said he was meeting DIA officials in Westport this week "in an effort to release that catastrophe money".

He said he did not foresee any barriers to the money coming back.

Committee chairperson Frank Dooley said he looked forward to an update and receipt of the funds.

Councillor Brett Cummings said he raised the repayment with DIA officials at the Westport Resilience Governance meeting, last week.

"They said they had the invoice and they were looking into it."

Dooley said he accepted Lew's optimism, "there are no barriers".

Acting corporate services manager Aaron Prendergast said the context needed to be clarified.

The council had only rendered the necessary invoices to DIA last month for the emergency spend and payment was barely due, he said.

"At the moment I would have no reason to expect money in our account yet."

Cummings asked why the invoices had not been rendered earlier.

Dooley noted it would reflect council having been "completely under resourced" until recently.

Lew said his upcoming discussion with the DIA was principally about the drawdown of the main funds to start the main stopbank work.

The 2023 general election and the transition to a new administration have previously cited as a as a reason for the delayed $1m repayment.

The report details the special investment fund has built up again from $484,759 at the end of the June 2023 quarter to $495,817 at December 31.

7 days ago

Sustainable Style. A Special Price.

Mazda NZ

If you’re looking for a stylish SUV that stands out from the crowd and won’t break the bank, the convention-defying Mazda MX-30 has you covered.

Featuring a unique mild hybrid engine and cutting-edge style, as well as sustainable materials that reduce environmental impact, the Mazda MX-30 is… View more
If you’re looking for a stylish SUV that stands out from the crowd and won’t break the bank, the convention-defying Mazda MX-30 has you covered.

Featuring a unique mild hybrid engine and cutting-edge style, as well as sustainable materials that reduce environmental impact, the Mazda MX-30 is perfect for zipping around your neighbourhood.

Find out more and book a test drive at your local Mazda Dealer today.
Read More

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6 days ago

‘Big omission’ in West Coast mine application — DOC

Nicole Mathewson Reporter from The Press

By local democracy reporter Brendon McMahon:

The lack of a lighting plan in a West Coast mine application near the breeding colony of the critically endangered Westland petrel "is a big omission", the Department of Conservation (DOC) says.

However, a DOC expert told a Grey District … View more
By local democracy reporter Brendon McMahon:

The lack of a lighting plan in a West Coast mine application near the breeding colony of the critically endangered Westland petrel "is a big omission", the Department of Conservation (DOC) says.

However, a DOC expert told a Grey District and West Coast Regional councils hearing on Monday that not every potentially fatal grounding of the nocturnal Westland petrel (tāiko) can be attributed to light attraction.

Mining company TiGa has reapplied for a resource consent for an open-cast mine at Barrytown, north of Greymouth.

During the hearing, DOC legal counsel Ceri Warnock said tāiko groundings are known to result in death "in half of all cases" and TiGa needed to engage an independent lighting expert to understand the risk posed by the mine.

The lack of a lighting plan in the TiGa application was "a big omission" and should be provided before any decision was made, she said.

However, DOC's Kate Simister told the hearing other factors can contribute to the death of the diving seabird including age, eyesight, nutrition, and the risk of commercial fishing by-catch.

But Simister said mitigating all the environment risk factors - including light interference - are critical to ensuring the tāiko does not become extinct.

The bird's survival rate is also threatened by increasing climate-driven erosion or landslips along the Punakaiki Coast, which can collapse onto breeding colonies, and the impact of marine heat waves in the past few years, she said.

TiGa proposes to extract heavy mineral concentrate (HMC) through sand mining 63 hectares of a Barrytown Flats farm.

HMC is in demand in the technology sector and for industrial use.
A previous application from the mining company was rejected two years ago.

Warnock said the department was "surprised" that TiGa had still not come forward with evidence from a lighting expert after four years.

This was fundamental to assess the impacts any light impact from the mine will have on the nocturnal tāiko as it flies to and from its breeding colonies in the Barrytown area.

TiGa's proposed mitigation measures did nothing to remove the "real risk" of the petrel groundings in and around the proposed mine site, Warnock said.

"I can't make any concessions until we see the lighting plan," she said.

While TiGa has already conceded it will only operate in daylight hours, how a lighting plan would operate during shift changeovers needed to be more specific, she said.

The department also noted 29 at-risk bird species within 10km of the proposed mine site including tāiko, Pacific reef heron, grey duck, and bittern.

The tiko was first identified as a distinct species in the 1940s and predominantly breeds in bush-clad colonies along the Punakaiki Coast including the Barrytown Flats.

Simister said grounded adult birds reported to the department by the public could be found as far north as Westport and as far south as Hokitika - although grounded juveniles were primarily found in the Barrytown area.

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Since submissions opened TiGa has undertaken to:
* Restrict truck movements and mining to daylight hours.
* Enhanced penguin surveys and conservation efforts to avoid effects on korora.
* Investigate a fence to protect penguins from site.
* No dogs on site except conservation dogs.
* The processing plant to be fully housed in a building with strict exterior light restrictions.
* An updated avian management plan to address tāiko (Westland petrel) interactions on site, including shutting down the processing plant if two interactions are recorded in a four-week period.
* Bird surveys of areas surrounding the site for duration of the mine to inform any management plan for threatened and at risk bird species at the adjacent lagoon.
* Installing wildlife cameras to detect Korora and tāiko.

The proposal also involves reinstatement of planting along the adjoining Collins Creek, and the edge of its lagoon.

In addition, a fenced off 1.9ha wetland will be established in the northwest corner of the site when mining is finished.

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