Welcome Summer! December 2020 News from Council

14 December 2020

Christmas closure 2020/21

Council closes at midday 24 December 2020 until 8.00 am 5 January 2021.

On-call staff will be available for emergency assistance.

Christmas closure 2020/21

What’s happening at the Library

Some events have limited spaces. To avoid disappointment, register for events and activities by visiting the library, email library@westlib.co.nz or call 03 755 6208.

Click the links or check out the library’s website and Facebook page for more information.

Special Events Date Time
Write a letter to Santa Until 21 December During opening hours
Christmas Wriggle and Rhyme

Active movement for babies and toddlers.

Tuesday 15 December 10.30am – 11.00am
Christmas Community Morning Tea

All welcome

Tuesday 15 December 10.30am – 11.30am
Christmas Crafts

All welcome – Registrations essential

Monday 21 December 10.30am – 11.30am

1.30pm – 2.30pm

Summer Reading Challenge

Summer reading Bingo – Get your Bingo card from the library and be in to win a bundle of books. Every child who completes the challenge receives a book.

1 January 2021 – 27 January 2021 Anytime
Summer Reading Challenge prize-giving

Afternoon tea and prize-giving with international story-teller, Andy Wright.

Friday, 29 January 2021 2.30pm
Regular Events    
Café Books Saturday mornings 10.30am
Tea and Tales

Dementia friendly reading group

Monday mornings

14 and 21 December

10.30 – 11.30am
Justice of the Peace Service Desk 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month 11am – 1pm
Play with Words

Adult writing group meeting monthly.

Registration required.

Friday, 29 January 2021 10.00am – 12.00pm

For more information on our regular programmes and events, follow the Westland District Library Facebook page or visit our website www.westlib.co.nz.

What’s happening at the Library

Dog safety tips

Staying safe around dogs

Over summer more dog owners are out and about in busy places. Everyone has a responsibility when it comes to being safe around dogs. Dog owners have legal responsibilities and the public have responsibilities to learn appropriate ways to approach a dog. Always ask permission from the dog owner before fussing a dog.

If you or your child is given permission to pat a dog, always be gentle and pat or stroke the dog under the chin. Dogs can perceive a pat on top of the head as threatening and can get scared and react badly. Even with dogs that you know it is always best to approach them in this way.

To find out more about dog owner responsibilities, visit our website.

Scroll for some dog safety tips:

Never leave a child alone with a dog, even if it is one you know

Around a third of all dog attacks in New Zealand are on children under 12 years of age. Over 70 per cent of bites are from a dog the child knows and loves. Always supervise the interaction between dogs and children.

Many dogs appear to tolerate children handling them because they are trying to be well-behaved.

It is up to the dog owner and the parent to recognise and intervene when a dog might not want to play, even if the dog is good-natured enough to allow it.

Never approach a dog without permission

  • This applies to adults as well as children. A dog tied up outside a shop, or watching you over your neighbour’s fence, may not be as friendly as they look.
  • Dogs feel more vulnerable when tied up. Unless you know the dog and can read the dog, it is safer not to approach it.
  • Most dogs don’t want to bite but do so because they tried to protect themselves in other ways.

Know how to react if a dog approaches you when walking or cycling

  • STOP. Stand still and allow the dog to sniff you. Move slowly and speak softly as quick movements and loud voices can scare a dog.
  • Avoid looking directly at the dog, which it may perceive as threatening. Never run away or keep moving, as the dog’s instinct is to chase, even if it is friendly.
  • Use firm and simple commands in a calm voice such as “no”, “stay” or “down”.

Know how to read a dog’s behaviour and body language

  • The best protection for you and your children is to understand when a dog might be a risk.
  • Being able to read body language gives you a better idea of what the dog is thinking, so you can act appropriately.
  • Often, after someone gets bitten by a dog, they say that the dog gave no warning.
  • In most circumstances, the dog tried very hard to ask the person to leave them alone, such as eye rolling, yawning, lip-licking, barking or growling, or simply turning away

Unfortunately, because most people are unaware of these signs, the dog feels it has no other choice but to bite.

Staying safe around dogs

Resilience works: Haast Jackson Bay Road

Council have been carrying out resilience and emergency work due to movement of the Okuru River mouth and sea erosion. This work will stabilise the road and protect these areas from erosion. Watch below to see the work, or just to enjoy the beautiful scenery.

Video: (c) Westland District Council

Out with the old, in with the new

Two new pumps have arrived in Hokitika to replace the existing ones at the Tancred Street stormwater pump station. The new larger pumps have double the capacity to cope better with rain events and stormwater flows for Tancred and Revell Streets.

The new pumps are part of a significant improvement project for the Tancred Street stormwater catchment. Other stormwater improvement projects include the Livingstone and Jollie Street catchments, which are currently being progressed.

Photos: © Westland District Council


Meet our new Library staff

Recognising the role that libraries have in supporting communities, the central government provided a $60 million funding package for libraries, the National Libraries Partnership Programme. From this programme, Westland District Council has secured funding for two additional full-time library staff until June 2022.  These roles will support our work with Westland’s communities, focusing on digital participation and innovation, Te Reo and mātauranga Māori, taking our services out into the community, and working to deliver the library services our communities need.

We welcome our new team members, Mike Dickison – Digital Discovery Librarian and Rauhine Coakley – Community Engagement Librarian.  They are hugely creative individuals and together, bring a fantastic breadth of experience and knowledge to the library team.

Mike is from Christchurch and is passionate about opening up access to knowledge. He has lived all over New Zealand and most recently, he was on the West Coast for six weeks as the ‘New Zealand Wikipedian at Large’, helping tell the Coast’s stories online; something he is keen to continue in this role as he supports digital participation and innovation across Westland. “I love the West Coast, and I’m really excited to be based here in Hokitika. In my free time, I’ll be exploring forest and lakes and beaches because I’m a nature nerd, and I’m writing and illustrating a kids’ book of nature activities.”

Rauhine was born in Hokitika and raised at Arahura Pa. The Community Engagement Librarian is a completely new and exciting role, to support and help develop a bicultural library service with kaupapa Maori at its heart. Rauhine will be forging new relationships, and building ongoing meaningful engagement with local iwi, key stakeholders, community groups and organisations Rauhine will be based at the Westland District Library in Hokitika with regular visits to our South-Westland Communities and is looking forward to meeting everyone, “Ngā mihi mahana me meri kirihimete”.

We also welcome Caitlin Murphy-Bradley, who has just completed her studies at Westland High School and is considering a possible future career in libraries.  Caitlin will be with us part-time for 16 weeks as a Trainee Library Assistant, supported by the Westland Mayors Taskforce for Jobs fund.

Come and meet the team at our Library Christmas Community Morning Tea, 10.30 am on Tuesday 15 December.

Photo: © Westland District Library

Meet our new Library staff

Luminaries production materials

Production materials, including props and costumes, from the BBC/TVNZ production of the Luminaries will arrive in Hokitika in the New Year. These items have been generously gifted to the Hokitika Museum by Lisa Chatfield, and production company Southern Lights Films. The additional material will enhance the costume items already held by the museum and will be used in future displays.

Read our media release for further information.

Rates Remission: Community Organisations

Council continues to review our Rating Database to improve its accuracy. Community organisations, sports clubs and other community organisations listed in the database will soon receive letters to confirm their continued eligibility to receive a rates remission under the Remissions for Community, Sporting and Other Organisations Policy.

If your organisation does not receive a letter and you believe that you are eligible for a remission please contact rates@westlanddc.govt.nz. Eligibility information can be found in our policy here.

Please contact the Rates Officer with any queries about the review: rates@westlanddc.govt.nz

Photo: Edgar Pimenta on Unsplash

Old4New Lifejackets is back

Old 4 New lifejacket upgrade will be outside the council building on Railway Terrace on Thursday, 7 January from 10am – 2pm.

Upgrade your old lifejacket for a great price. Find out more here.

Old4New Lifejackets is back