News ….. in brief

Yellow lines

Waipā road safety staff have distributed signs to various schools pointing out the issues parents parking on yellow lines cause outside the schools. They are put out in the morning and at the end of the school day and are working well, a report to the council’s Service Delivery committee confirmed last week.

Upston’s roles

Taupō MP Louise Upston has picked up Social Development and Employment and Child Poverty reduction in the new coalition cabinet announced by incoming Prime Minister Chris Luxon.

Taupo MP Louise Upston, second right, second front row with the rest of the new ministry and Governor General Cindy Kiro. Photo: Supplied.

Bus travel

Regional bus statistics for last month are mixed – Te Awamutu services are trending upwards while Cambridge ones are static. There were 9431 passengers on the 24 Te Awamutu service – up on September but just over 1000 shy of March’s 10,565 record. Meanwhile the 20 Cambridge service had 7828 patrons, just under 2000 short of the March record of 9586. Passengers on the Tokoroa and Te Kūiti connectors, which stop in the Waipā towns of Kihikihi, Ōhaupō, Cambridge and Te Awamutu, have nose-dived to 336 and 351 respectively.

Town explosion

A person who suffered minor injuries when the contents of a 200 litre drum exploded outside the Cambridge Stihl Shop early last Thursday was back at work the following day.

Camping bylaw

Waikato District Council mayor Jacqui Church says a newly adopted Freedom Camping Bylaw gives people the right to freedom camp and protects the environmental, social, cultural and economic values of district communities.

Window repairs

The historic stained-glass window at St Paul’s Church at Rangiaowhia was removed and replaced with a plastic replica on Tuesday ahead of planned restoration work. Specialists from a Christchurch company were on site for two hours completing the removal.

Free showers

Public showers in Cambridge at the Superloo and in Te Awamutu on Arawata Street have been upgraded and now offer free five-minute timed showers.

Window repairs

The historic stained-glass window at St Paul’s Church at Rangiaowhia was removed and replaced by a plastic replica on Tuesday ahead of planned restoration work. Specialists from a Christchurch company were on site for about two hours completing the removal. See: Cora’s a gala veteran, Page 13.

Dog case

Te Awamutu police were justified in using a dog to catch a youth following an incident in January, the Independent Police Complaints Authority has ruled. A 12-year-old youth was bitten on the leg after police were called to an incident at a pharmacy. A car subsequently sped off and two people were later seen running away from it. They did not stop when told to by a dog handler, police said.

Bug off

Toilets at Hicks Road (Maungatautari), Karāpiro, Waipuke and Ngā Roto have been treated for an ongoing bug problem. Warmer weather enticed the bugs back.

Review delayed

A report on lease models for Waipā sports’ fields has been delayed to allow for additional information. Several council leases are up for renewal giving the council an opportunity to look at the planning and development of reserve grounds.

St Kilda refresh

Gardens and groundcover in the St Kilda subdivision have been tidied up by council staff to improve aesthetics and provide easier maintenance. The first stage of a garden renewal at a stormwater site on Kaniera Terrace has started and will be finished next year.

Entranceway

Ngāti Korokī Kahukura and Ngāti Hauā representatives and council staff are discussing the design and implementation of a new gateway at the Albert Street entrance to Lake Te Koo Utu.

Dyet announces end date

Garry Dyet in his office at Waipā District Council. Photo: Roy Pilott

Waipā District Council chief Garry Dyet will leave the organisation – after 45 years’ service – next June, mayor Susan O’Regan announced today.

“I appreciate Garry being so upfront with me and certainly the whole of council appreciates Garry’s commitment to putting Waipā first. He has given council seven months to find a replacement, only leaving once the 2024-2034 Long-Term Plan has been adopted,” she said.

Dyet said his decision to leave after 15 years as chief executive would give him time to focus on other projects. Over his tenure, Dyet had worked under mayors Alan Livingston, Jim Mylchreest and O’Regan.

The News’ Roy Pilott sat down with Dyet to discuss his work as chief executive, and what the future holds – read the story in tomorrow’s editions of the Cambridge News and Te Awamutu News.

Colossal squid

The Colossal Squid tentacle.

Te Papa’s popular Colossal Squid, Te Ngū Tipua, exhibition is coming to the Te Awamutu Museum Education and Research Centre this summer. The exhibition, opening Saturday, December 2, will showcase pieces of the Colossal Squid. Waipā residents and visitors will be able to learn about some of the fascinating science and wonderful secrets of one of New Zealand’s most significant natural history specimens. The exhibition will run until Sunday, March 31.

Digital parking

Paying for parking tickets in Waipā has become much easier thanks to new ticketing technology. The new digital ticketing system replaces a decades-old process of putting chalk on tyres and handwriting paper tickets that needed to be manually loaded to an online platform. Since October 30, Waipā District Council parking enforcement officers have been able to scan the vehicle number plate of an infringing vehicle and issue a printed ticket on the spot.

One person injured after explosion

Stihl Shop Cambridge

A person injured after an explosion outside Cambridge Stihl Shop early Thursday morning was “very lucky” to return to work on Friday, a colleague has said.

Fire and Emergency New Zealand said a 44 gallon (200 litre) drum exploded just after 8am on Thursday.

A Hato Hone St John spokesperson told The News an ambulance arrived at the scene at 8.15am.

Ambulance staff treated one person for “minor injuries”, but they were not taken to hospital.

Bridge award

Cambridge’s Victoria Street (High Level) bridge repair and repainting project has picked up the Job of the Year award in the Scaffolding, Access and Rigging NZ national awards as well as winning the best commercial project over $200,000 category. Painting is finished but two steel bracing elements will be replaced as scaffolding comes down on the town side.

Petition launched

Waipā District Council has received a petition from a number of people about safety in Te Awamutu’s main street following the death of a woman who was hit by a truck in Alexandra Street last month. Transportation manager Bryan Hudson told the Service Delivery committee this week he was looking at ways to make the street safer which included potentially adding another “zig zag” crossing at the eastern end.

Skatepark murals

A proposal to paint eight murals on the walls of various skate features at Te Awamutu’s year-old skate park in Centennial Park was to be put before the Te Awamutu-Kihikihi Community Board last night. The report by museums and heritage director Anne Blyth said Ngāti Apakura artists have been engaged to design and paint the murals.

Plane launch

NZ Aero launches Superpac plane in Hamilton.

A new multi-million dollar aircraft designed by Waipā-based aeronautical engineers and to be used by governments and humanitarian organisations to save lives during natural disasters was launched at Hamilton Airport yesterday (Wednesday). The SuperPac aircraft designed by NZ Aero, the country’s only commercial aircraft maker, cost more than $10 million and took seven years to develop.

Holmes Garage

A feasibility study on the proposed Holmes Garage community market centre project in Mahoe St will be tabled at next week’s Waipā District Council’s Finance and Corporate committee meeting. Te Awamutu-Kihikihi Community Board chair Ange Holt has had two meetings with Te Awamutu Business chamber CEO Shane Walsh and former council Economic Development manager Steve Tritt to discuss the project.

Photos fixed

A selection of photos in Te Kōpua Marae’s wharenui have been catalogued by Te Awamutu Museum staff. The 233 Ngāti Unu and Ngāti Kahu tupuna photographs are now digitised as part of a collaborative outreach project. The marae is on Morgan Road, Pokuru.

Faulty seats

A recent checkpoint in Te Awamutu found 11 baby car seats found with minor faults and one unrestrained child. The checkpoints run by Waipā’s road safety staff were held in conjunction with Baby on the Move, Police and Te Pae Oranga. Thirty restraints were checked over two hours.

Bug off

Toilets at Hicks Road (Maungatautari), Karāpiro, Waipuke and Ngā Roto have been treated for an ongoing bug problem. Warmer weather enticed the bugs back.

Review delayed

A report on lease models for Waipā sports’ fields has been delayed a fortnight to allow for additional information. Several council leases are up for renewal giving the council an opportunity to look at the planning and development of reserve grounds.

Bus travel

Regional bus statistics for last month are mixed – Te Awamutu services are trending upwards while Cambridge ones are static. There were 9431 passengers on the 24 Te Awamutu service – up on September but just over 1000 shy of March’s 10,565 record. Meanwhile the 20 Cambridge service had 7828 patrons, just under 2000 short of the March record of 9586. Passengers on the Tokoroa and Te Kūiti connectors, which stop in the Waipā towns of Kihikihi, Ōhaupō, Cambridge and Te Awamutu, have nose-dived to 336 and 351 respectively.

Borough minutes

Another eight Te Awamutu Borough Council minute books have been digitised by New Zealand Micrographic Services giving researchers and journalists access to the high-quality digitally preserved files.

Rose gardens

Two new rose beds have gone in at the Rose Gardens in Te Awamutu. Council staff have also completed infill planting at Sculpture Park and removed old planting at Jean Gatton Reserve and renewed plantings on Whitmore Street, Pioneer Playground, Victoria Park, Dalton Avenue traffic island and planted new trees in Centennial Park.

Play space

The Te Awamutu War Memorial Park playground renewal design is being finalised with Waipā staff working alongside mana whenua to include important cultural aspects in the design. New playgrounds are under investigation at the reserve on Hiskens Place and in Kings Garden.

Tired drivers

Fatigue stops in Pirongia and Ngāhinapōuri gave Waipā road safety staff the opportunity to give 300 people free food and hot drinks in exchange for conversations around driver fatigue. Most stopped were travelling south to the ski fields. Police told one female driver to pull over as she was tired while another person had been travelling for five hours without a break.

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