News in brief

Foundation’s help

The Child Cancer Foundation is supporting about 1100 families nationwide. “Every week this year, three Kiwi families will be told the heartbreaking news that their child has cancer,” said chief executive Monica Briggs.

“We don’t receive any direct government funding, so these families rely on the generosity of their fellow Kiwis to receive the vital emotional and practical support they need during the toughest time in their lives.”

Stacey Ross says the foundation support her entire family. “They helped us in ways we never expected.  We loved that they helped us all, from including Fionnlagh Adams’ siblings into the beads of courage programme to organising birthday cakes for them, to inviting us all to celebrations for Christmas where we could meet other families facing similar challenges.

“Our family support coordinator made all the difference to this journey and we appreciate her and everything they did for us.”

See: Fionnlagh’s cancer journey

Fionnlagh Adams waits for her four siblings in her pushchair after finishing her session at Conductive Education Waikato in Hamilton.

6 March 2024 – 3.50pm

Rates going up

Rates will rise by at least 14.8 per cent from July despite Waipā District Council’s decision this week to put its 10-year Long Term Plan on hold and opt for an Enhanced Annual Plan instead. The plan gives council more time to understand government’s legislative changes and plan accordingly but budgetary challenges were still the same, council deputy chief executive Ken Morris said. The council will get a revised budget at its meeting next week.

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Down to business

Lisa Shaw from HR Attract who was pictured with Te Awamutu College students Jacob Chetwin (left) and Tai Baker-Singh.

Almost 200 secondary school students were at Wintec’s Atrium recently for the annual Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Scheme’s – Yes –
Kickstart Tīmatanga event. They were given information about the programme and time with about 40 speed coaches

Pedestrian plans

Waipā District Council has unveiled a series of improvements proposed for Walton and Rewi Street in Te Awamutu.

Web views on the rise

Our breaking story about Five Stags restaurant and bar in Pirongia losing its licence was the best read of our online articles last month. In a month where readership of our website was up 75 per cent on January, the story broken by The News narrowly edged Steph Bell-Jenkins’ piece on Ōhaupō university student Pieta Bouma into first place. Memorial Park playground upgrade came in third,
reflecting the Te Awamutu community’s interest in what is going on in the park while our ever popular News in Brief was fourth and in fifth the opinion piece by Christchurch researcher Susan Turnbull on the new Pirongia cell tower. Our home and publications pages on are still the most popular non editorial parts of our website.

Meet and greet

Ryan Fleming

Come along to our Roche St station in Te Awamutu on Saturday March 16 from 9am to noon and meet the police officers working to keep your community safe. You’ll get a close-up look at our police vehicles, learn about our crime-busting technology, tour our station cells and meet our frontline staff.

Our specialist squads will be on hand with the ever-popular Police Dog team, Search and Rescue, and members of the Armed Offenders Squad. There will also be a chance for anyone interested in a career with the New Zealand Police to learn more about recruitment and test themselves in aspects of the Physical Competency test.

Our colleagues at Fire and Emergency and Hato Hone St John will be joining us with static displays on Redoubt and Palmer Streets. Road closures will be in place on Redoubt Street from Palmer Street to Roche Street.

Running dry

Puketotara’s Tara Ormsby, left, and Larissa Richards of Te Awamutu finish the Waipā Fun Run 10km event in Cambridge on Sunday having spent the race under an umbrella and catching up with each other’s news. Photo: Mary Anne Gill.

A good sized contingent entered the Waipa Fun Run event in Cambridge on Sunday from the western side of the district. Ryan McGowan of Ōhaupō was 12th in the men’s 10km run while Jo Morton of Te Awamutu was seventh in the women’s race.

Ōtorohanga also sent a team from Orchard Valley Glamping. Members Rico Dorssers, Melissa O’Brien and Te Taki Ruarau took out the corporate title.

A record 691 competitors entered the event, which took place in heavy rain, now into its 14th year, with the timekeeper clocking 558 finishers.

Creative funding

A total of $32,500 is being made available through the second round of applications for funding through the Creative Communities Scheme. Waipā District Council distributes funds on behalf of Creative New Zealand, to support, promote, and increase participation in the arts.

Kiwifruit resolution?

Nick Jennings

Discussions still continue between Waipā council and Parallel Road landowners Nick and Vanessa Jennings over whether an Environment Court hearing appealing a decision to establish artificial structures and shelterbelt planting for a kiwifruit orchard will proceed.

Mediation failed in November over the council’s decision to allow the orchard to proceed near Ōhaupō.

Consents down

There was a noticeable decrease in the number of building consents issued by Waipā District Council in the three months ended December 31. The scope of the work for the 326 building consents – down 141 on the same period the previous year – were a mix of commercial and residential.

Elms at risk

Checks are being made on 250 civic owned elm trees in Waipā after the fungal disease Dutch elm disease was found on a private property. The disease was first established in New Zealand in 1989 and is moving south – it was reported in Huntly in 2021.

New chief

Debbie Lascelles

Former Waipā Strategy and Community Services group manager Debbie Lascelles has been appointed chief executive at Gore District Council. She replaces Stephen Parry – a former Waitomo mayor – who resigned after 22 years when he fell out with new mayor Ben Bell.

Lascelles left Waipā two years ago and in recent months has worked at South Waikato District Council in executive roles.

Four caught

Controlled purchase operations between the police and Waipā licensing authority in the last three months of 2023 found four businesses which sold alcohol to minors. The Alcohol Regulatory and Licensing Authority is likely to suspend the businesses’ licences if police are successful with enforcement.

Consents down

There was a noticeable decrease in the number of building consents issued by Waipā District Council in the three months ended December 31. The scope of the work for the 326 building consents – down 141 on the same period the previous year – were a mix of commercial and residential.

Award winner

The Waikato Regional Council’s Kauri Protection programme has been named as a finalist in the New Zealand Biosecurity Awards. The winners in eight categories will be announced on April 8.

Pou approved

Concept design for Kaipaka Pā Pou on Mutu Street, Te Awamutu.

Te Awamutu-Kihikihi Community Board and Waipā’s Strategic Planning and Policy committee have approved concept plans for a Te Runanga o Ngāti Apakura funded pou which would be installed between Mutu St and the Mangaohoi Stream. The $20,500 pou, near the Kaipaka Pā site, would reflect pre-European trade of flax, flour, fruit and tuna which were eventually exported from Waipā to Australia and the United States from the 1800s.

Concept design for Kaipaka Pā Pou on Mutu Street, Te Awamutu.

Recovery manager

Sally Sheedy

Waipā District Council’s group manager customer and community services Sally Sheedy has been appointed Civil Defence emergency  management local recovery manager, as first reported in The News last year. The manager is responsible for recovery, preparation and work for territorial authorities and directs them to perform functions, powers, and duties of the area they are appointed to cover. Waipā council confirmed the appointment last week.

See: Op changes at council

29 February – 3pm

Plan delay?

Waipā council will follow Waikato district’s lead – as predicted by The News – and recommend deferring the adoption of its Long Term Plan in favour of an enhanced Annual Plan. It would mean that the council can formulate its work programme and budgets for a 12-month period, consulting with the community before its adoption, and better understand Government changes in terms of legislation before setting a longer term work programme, the council said in a media release. The recommendation will be considered at an extraordinary meeting next week.

Earlier story – 28 February 6pm

Fatal crash

One person has died following a crash on Kakaramea Road, Ngāhinapōuri at 10pm yesterday. A second person received serious injuries and has been transported to hospital. The Serious Crash Unit has completed a scene examination, and enquiries into the circumstances of the crash are ongoing, police say.

Supper is provided

Te Awamutu Menzshed has been coming to dinner at the town’s RSA on a regular basis recently. The popular men’s groups has been providing fresh produce to supplement the club’s pensioner lunches. Louise said the Menzshed had started providing vegetables  – such as tomatoes,  broccoli and potatoes, at the start of the year and it was “really appreciated”.

She has been at the RSA for a year since switching from Southern Cross Hospital in Hamilton and lives in Ōhaupō. The RSA provides Thursday meals for about 50 pensioners each week.

Meanwhile, the Menzshed team will also be helping the RSA this weekend, renovating the cemetery flagpole – a task they are familiar with having renovated the one on Anzac Green in the town centre.

Behind the counter are Richard Cato from the shed with RSA kitchen manager Louise Chidlow – while John Byett and Freda Cavanagh are on the other side of the counter.

Warning lifted

The public health warning for Lake Arapuni has been lifted by Health New Zealand due to reduced cyanobacterial levels.

Libraries busy

Te Awamutu Library Source: Waipā District Council

Waipā libraries in Cambridge and Te Awamutu are maintaining their consistent post Covid growth with nearly 40,000 visitors in the three months since November 1. They signed up 497 new members – 266 at Cambridge bringing their registered patrons to 22,888 and 231 in Te Awamutu taking patronage to 17,271 – and issued nearly 113,00 items, including books, magazines and e-material.

More commissioners

Alan Withy, Richard Knott and Greg Hill have been added to Waipā council’s approved list of independent hearing commissioners. Fourteen other commissioners – Robert van Voorthuysen, Philip Mitchell, Simon Berry, Steven Wilson, Richard Blakey, David Hill, Dave Sarjeant, Karyn Sinclair, Poto Davies, Peter Kensington, Tim Manukau, Alan Pattle, Vicki Morrison-Shaw and Sharon De Luca – were appointed in October.

Appeal lodged

Hamilton City Council has lodged an appeal with the Environment Court over Waipā District Council’s decision to grant Wattyl Ltd a resource consent to build a paint storage and distribution centre at 16A Wickham Street, Hamilton. Independent hearing commissioner Rob van Voorthuysen granted the consent on December 12 and the city council appealed on January 25. The Frankton property is in the Waipā district.

Ōhaupō work

Staged kerb and footpath replacement has allowed Ōhaupō village businesses and parking to continue amidst the construction of kerbs, footpaths and asphalt parking shoulders.

Praying for victims

A World Day of Prayer service tomorrow (Friday) morning at Te Awamutu’s Methodist Church will focus on the war in Gaza. The World Day of Prayer is being marked in 170 countries. Services are prepared and written each year by women in different parts of the world who share the hopes and needs of their country through non-denominational services, stories, music and artwork.

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