April 2018 Cover

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April 2018 Cover

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West Coast Wilderness Trail funding

Last month, the government announced that the Provincial Growth Fund will invest in two cycle trails for the West Coast...

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West Coast Wilderness Trail funding

Last month, the government announced that the Provincial Growth Fund will invest in two cycle trails for the West Coast and work with the region to develop more proposals to be considered for funding.

Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones said: “The West Coast has a historic reliance on primary industries and natural resources as the backbone of its regional economy, yet is a tourist hot spot with growing visitor numbers.”

The $1 million investment will go towards the further development of two Great Rides – the West Coast Wilderness Trail and the Old Ghost Rd trail.

This is great news for our district.

In addition, the West Coast Wilderness Trail has been voted #1 in the biennial Tour Aotearoa 2018. This follows on the back of our #1 position in the 2016 event.

Almost all tenders have been awarded for the sections of the trail yet to complete, and the Department of Conservation is progressing well with upgrading the historic Mahinapua rail bridge structure. Once this is complete, the council will build railing and decking to form cycle access over the creek.

The other two sections yet to be completed are Mahinapua bush section and Ruatapu Highway. Now that funding is available we hope to have these works completed by mid-2018.

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News from Westland District Library

Free "Stepping Up" computer classes are running weekly during the school term on Tuesdays between 10:30am and 12:30pm. C...

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News from Westland District Library

Free “Stepping Up” computer classes are running weekly during the school term on Tuesdays between 10:30am and 12:30pm. Classes cover content such as introductory tutorials to Google Drive, using tablets, library apps and Facebook and storing photos electronically.

On February 28, a free public talk was held at the library by Robin Long who talked about her work with tawaki (the Fiordland Crested Penguin). For anyone who missed the event, you can also access her talk on YouTube. On March 28th Sue Asplin shared tales and images from her adventure in Morocco.

In response to community feedback, the library website has been reviewed and refreshed. The new-look design is now live here.

The library is also offering a new Justice of the Peace service. If you have a copy of a document that you need notarised, you can now pop into the Hokitika branch of Westland District Library every Wednesday between 11am and 1pm.

A new service was launched at the start of April, called PressReader. It will give library patrons complimentary access to thousands of quality magazines and newspapers from around the world using their library card. The library will provide a PressReader HotSpot, enabling anyone in the library to access PressReader, and Westland District Library card holders will also be able to access the service online from anywhere in the world.

A new after-school programme in Term 2 being run in collaboration with TechSpace from Greymouth. Children aged 10-15 years can learn, design electronics and 3D printing and test their skills by building and making models in an exciting project challenge. There is a minimal charge of $40 per term.

Council would like to welcome the appointment of Natasha Morris to District Librarian. Natasha has been our Deputy Librarian over the past few months and takes over from Sarah Thompson, who has stepped down after over a decade of service. Council would like to thank Sarah for her hard work and the many great initiatives she has implemented over her time at the library and wish her well for her future.

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Outcome of Local Purpose Reserve consultation

At the 14 December 2017 Council meeting, Council resolved that there be a consultation process with the local affected c...

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Outcome of Local Purpose Reserve consultation

At the 14 December 2017 Council meeting, Council resolved that there be a consultation process with the local affected communities on the proposal to sell part of the Marks Road Local Purpose Reserve in Haast.

Submission forms were posted to all ratepayers in the Haast Rating District on 24 January 2018, inviting them to register either their support, opposition or neutral stance to the proposal. Submitters were also invited to summarise the nature of their submission, to state any amendments they wished to make and to state whether or not they wished to be heard by the Council at the Council meeting Thursday 22 February 2018. The closing date for submissions was given as Friday 9 February 2018 at 4pm.

Sixty-seven submissions were received and acknowledged. Thirty-eight submissions were in favour of the proposal, twenty-six against the proposal and three took a neutral stance to the proposal.

At the 22 February 2018 Ordinary Council Meeting, the verbal and written submissions to sell part of Marks Road Legal Purpose Reserve were received and considered.

The outcome was that Council resolved that the proposal to sell part of the Marks Road Local Purpose Reserve proceed and the land be offered for commercial sale by public tender with a proportion of the proceeds to be reinvested in the Haast community.

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Job vacancies

Would you like to live and work in beautiful Hokitika? Council currently has a few job vacancies here. Westland district...

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Job vacancies

Would you like to live and work in beautiful Hokitika?

Council currently has a few job vacancies here.

Westland district is growing as more and more people recognise the benefit of making this fabulous lifestyle destination their home. If you are looking for a career opportunity where the work you do has a real positive impact on the community, then you have come to the right place.

For further enquiries, please contact Human Resources at hr@westlanddc.govt.nz.

Westland District Council is an equal opportunity employer.

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Recap of 2018 Hokitika Wildfoods Festival

The 2018 Hokitika Wildfoods Festival was held on March 10 and was a very successful event. The sun was shining, and atte...

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Recap of 2018 Hokitika Wildfoods Festival

The 2018 Hokitika Wildfoods Festival was held on March 10 and was a very successful event. The sun was shining, and attendees exuded a relaxed and positive vibe. 10,599 tickets were issued between the two events and projections indicate that attendance at the main event was around 9,000.

Many new stallholders and entertainers partook in this year’s festival and an increase in attendance by locals was observed. The success of Feral Fashion continued and many creative outfits and costumes in keeping with the “wild” theme could be observed on the day.

Sarah Brown, Wildfoods Manager, says:

“Thank you Hokitika. Hokitika Wildfoods Festival 2018 was a sensational day. Hokitika knows how to turn on fabulous weather and a great Wildfoods Festival. I would like to extend my thanks to the volunteers, community groups, Westroads and all the other nuts and bolts contractors and operators, the businesses, local stallholders, and the dedicated individuals who supported and contributed to the planning, organisation, set up and pack down of the Festival. There are too many people to name individually but the success of this year’s festival is due to the many wonderful people of Westland who make things happen.

“I’d also like to say thank you to our major sponsors and their support of Westland and the West Coast as a whole: including Air Rescue Service Ltd, Air New Zealand, Grey Ford, Westland Milk Products (Westgold Pure New Zealand Butter), Monteiths, Montana and Farmlands. Thank you to the local businesses who have supported the Festival and especially the crew behind Feral Fashion whose dedication has enabled it to continue to grow and become another unique and special icon of the Wildfoods Festival.”

Check out this great write-up on SouthProud here.

Photo by Tony Maitland of the RNZAF’s Black Falcons aerial display at the 2018 Hokitika Wildfoods Festival.

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Trustpower Community Awards

The Trustpower Community Awards for 2018 are coming up soon and you can now enter your group for consideration or nomina...

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Trustpower Community Awards

The Trustpower Community Awards for 2018 are coming up soon and you can now enter your group for consideration or nominate a group that you think does great things for Westland.

The Trustpower Community Awards started in 1994 and are New Zealand’s biggest celebration of volunteer groups.

This year, there are no set categories for the Trustpower Community Awards – any group servicing their community is eligible for an award. However, this list gives you an idea of the kind of areas that many of our community groups work in:

Heritage & Environment

Health & Wellbeing

Arts & Culture

Sport & Leisure

Education & Child/Youth Development

To be eligible to receive an award your group must have a minimum of two people involved and have a voluntary component even if your organisation does have some paid staff. It doesn’t matter if you receive government or Council funding or any other form of monetary support – it’s more about demonstrating the value you provide to the community with the funds you receive.

This year’s Supreme winner for the region will receive $2,000 in prize money and other groups that are granted an award will receive $1,000.

Individuals who nominate a community group can also win! Enter a group for consideration and you’ll be in the draw to win one of six $500 Prezzy cards.

Apply online here.

Contact Derek Blight, Community Development Advisor on 03 756 9047 if you would like help with your application.

Applications close Friday 31 May 2018.

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“Motorhome Friendly” town

Hokitika has been officially welcomed into the New Zealand Motor Caravan Association’s nationwide Motorhome Friendly sch...

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“Motorhome Friendly” town

Hokitika has been officially welcomed into the New Zealand Motor Caravan Association’s nationwide Motorhome Friendly scheme. The move is set to provide a healthy boost to tourism spending in the town and surrounding area.

Group Manager for Planning, Community and Environment, Jim Ebenhoh, says: “The Council is pleased that its approach to motorhomes has been recognised through Motorhome Friendly Town status for Hokitika. There is a balancing act in allowing travellers a certain degree of ‘freedom’ while protecting an area’s amenity and environment, and the Council believes it has the balance right by allowing certified self-contained motorhomes in most public places in Westland, while requiring non-self-contained campers to use campgrounds. The Council’s provision of dump stations, potable water supplies and public recycling centres also supports responsible travellers.”

The promotion of Hokitika as a Motorhome Friendly town will be funded entirely by the NZMCA, at no cost to local ratepayers.

Bruce Lochore, NZCMA Chief Executive, says: “The result is a win/win for everyone. For Hokitika, official recognition as Motorhome Friendly will encourage more of our members to stop, stay and spend. And for motorhomers, the town’s status as Motorhome Friendly is a clear indication that they can expect a warm welcome.”

Mr Lochore explains that the Motorhome Friendly status offers significant economic benefits to participating communities by attracting more NZMCA members (a total of 80,000 nationwide) and other tourists in Certified Self-Contained vehicles.

Westland Mayor, Bruce Smith, says: “It’s great to see this initiative, which was originally put forth by Councillor Carruthers, come to fruition. Hokitika is a tourist town in a tourism region. The Motorhome Friendly status allows us to lay out the red carpet by recognising how important motorhome tourism is, not only to Hokitika, but also Westland as a whole.”

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Ambassadors’ pilot programme

Keep your eye out for people wearing bright orange vests and bags in town armed with Hokitika brochures and maps. This i...

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Ambassadors’ pilot programme

Keep your eye out for people wearing bright orange vests and bags in town armed with Hokitika brochures and maps. This is the Ask ME! team, a group of 11 keen volunteers to help welcome visitors to our cool little town.

The initiative is a pilot programme run by Enterprise Hokitika (EH). Ask ME! team members will be in key Hokitika locations like the driftwood sign, town centre and Sunset Point to welcome visitors, give them a local’s perspective on things to see and do and answer any questions.

Celine Stokowski, promotions coordinator for EH, says “We are delighted with the enthusiasm and generosity of those that have volunteered. Energetic, friendly locals from all walks of life who are happy to share their knowledge with others.”

Team members give an average of a couple of hours a week at times when information is harder to come by in town, such as when businesses and the Hokitika i-SITE have closed for the day.

It is hoped that this pilot proves successful so it can be built on in the future.

If you see the ambassadors out and about in Hokitika, please support them in their efforts. They are not soliciting anything, taking bookings or promoting businesses or agendas, just sharing a love of our beautiful town.

For more information, please contact Celine Stokowski at promotions@hokitika.org

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Soft plastic recycling in Hokitika

The Love NZ Soft Plastics Programme has arrived in Hokitika to help us keep plastic bags and packaging out of landfill t...

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Soft plastic recycling in Hokitika

The Love NZ Soft Plastics Programme has arrived in Hokitika to help us keep plastic bags and packaging out of landfill thanks to Hokitika New World.

The supermarket now has a soft plastic recycling bin in the entranceway where you can drop off all the soft scrunchable plastics i.e. food packaging, postage bags etc. Marc Brokenshire and the team at Hokitika New World then ensure that these get picked up and recycled by REDCycle in Australia. Your soft plastic then gets made into park benches and fitness circuits for playgrounds.

Traditionally, soft plastic bags are not collected for recycling along with other types of kerbside recycling pick-up because they can contaminate the recycling process. However, with New Zealanders using over 1.6 billion plastic bags in the home every year, we’re delighted that, with a push from Marc, Hokitika New World now offers this solution for us.

The following types of soft plastics are accepted: bread bags, frozen food bags, toilet paper packaging, confectionery and biscuit wrap, chip bags, pasta and rice bags, courier envelopes, shopping bags, sanitary hygiene packaging – basically anything made of plastic which can be scrunched into a ball.

Simply make sure the bags are empty, clean dry and drop them into the Love NZ Soft Plastics Recycling bin at Hokitika New World. That way, you’re reducing the waste that ends up in the landfill and ensuring the plastic is used again.

Hokitika’s Green Team (which includes a number of Council staff members) has welcomed this new recycling opportunity and encourages us all to think about our consumption of single use plastic. Can we collectively reduce the amount we send to landfill? Also, next time you’re at Hokitika New World don’t forget to check out the benches on display made out of approximately 21,000 plastic bags.

Photo: Inger Perkins, chair of Green Team, pictured next to soft plastic recycling bin at Hokitika New World.

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Water metering

Council is in the process of installing water meters in a number of townships to properties that have the potential to c...

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Water metering

Council is in the process of installing water meters in a number of townships to properties that have the potential to consume more than what is deemed consistent with an ‘ordinary’ user.

The data is being reviewed to determine if they are actually ‘extraordinary’ consumers. If the occupier is deemed to be an ‘extraordinary’ consumer then the standard water rate will no longer be applicable to that property. (Note: The average water use per person per day is 250 litres.)

Implementing water meters may in some cases also help identify connections to our water supplies from rural consumers where there is a possibility of back-flow occurring which may impact on the general public’s health. This includes connections from sources such as stock troughs: these external sources can have trace substances be sucked back into the water main when the pressure drops thus contaminating Council’s treated water supply.

Central Government is currently reviewing the Drinking Water Standards of New Zealand reporting process and Council is implementing the measures outlined above proactively to align with their recommendations, of which a review of water metering and backflow prevention is a critical aspect.

Council appreciates your co-operation as we take these measures for the greater good of ‘ordinary consumers’ of our water supplies.

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Residents’ Survey feedback

Thank you to those of you who were contacted recently by a research company on our behalf asking for your thoughts and f...

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Residents’ Survey feedback

Thank you to those of you who were contacted recently by a research company on our behalf asking for your thoughts and feedback on Council activities, performance and services.

We have just received the preliminary results back. The results show that public satisfaction has increased for 8 out of 11 Council activities since the last survey was undertaken in 2016.

Westland District Library continues to shine with 99% of users being satisfied with the public library services provided to the district (up from 81% in 2016).

Satisfaction with Council’s leadership has increased by 27% since the last survey.

In addition, satisfaction with public toilets and transfer stations across the district has increased by 14% and 22% respectively.

This time we also introduced a new question to assess residents’ perception of public safety. 99% of people polled said that they find Westland a safe place to live.

You can view a copy of the full report on our website here.

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The inaugural South Island Ute Muster

Easter Weekend this year saw the inaugural South Island Ute Muster at the Hokitika Racecourse. It attracted nearly 500 p...

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The inaugural South Island Ute Muster

Easter Weekend this year saw the inaugural South Island Ute Muster at the Hokitika Racecourse.

It attracted nearly 500 people including 150 registered utes for the standing quarter mile time trials at Hokitika Airport. Other events included the 4×4 madness at the racecourse infield, the street parade, and the “show and shine” event. Also on offer were driver skills events, such as speed trailer reversing, as well as live bands performing in front of the grandstand bar.

It was a hugely enjoyable event for all participants, some of whom came from as far away as Wanganui and Southland. We even had a couple of Australians join us. The $10,000 Grand Prize was drawn under police supervision on Saturday night in front of a crowd of hundreds and was won by Glenville Stiles, who had won the “Good Bugger” award an hour earlier.

This new Westland event went off with surprisingly few hitches, though timing was an issue which will be addressed next year.

The South Island Ute Muster coordinator would like to thank the 50 plus local businesses whose support and sponsorship made this event possible and helped raise funds for over a dozen community groups this year.

The Ute Muster team looks forward to seeing you all again for Ute Muster 2019.

Photo: $10,000 Grand Prize winner,Glenville Stiles (left), pictured with Trevor Willcock (middle: Chief Executive of Westland District Property Limited) and Harry Collett (right: member of the Inaugural South Island Ute Muster Steering Committee)

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Other announcements:

Reporting issues Reminder: You don't have to call Council to lodge a service request. You can now go online and do it yo...

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Other announcements:

Reporting issues

Reminder: You don’t have to call Council to lodge a service request. You can now go online and do it yourself. Let us know about pot holes, water leaks, or other issues by filling out the form on our website.


Problem plant: Gunnera

Our friends at the Department of Conservation asked us to help them spread awareness regarding this plant that is now causing a nuisance on the West Coast.

Check out this article for some helpful tips on how to identify it and what to do about it.


Draft proposal for a combined West Coast District Plan

The Local Government Commission has published its draft proposal for a combined West Coast District Plan. The proposal would see the formation of a joint committee comprising members of the Buller, Grey and Westland district councils, the West Coast Regional Council and iwi, to be responsible for preparing and approving a new combined district plan.

You can read the proposal and have your say here.

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