Hi all, Welcome to 2019...and a series of new challenges for our community as well as some left over from last year. If you are new, you might want to catch up with our past - Here's the link to read the past newsletters
Matakana Link Road (MLR)
We are working with One Warkworth, Beth Houlbrooke (our local board representative) and our Counsellor Greg Sayers to get a four Lane road reinstated as originally promised. A public meeting was organised last December, by One Warkworth. It was well attended and had a very positive impact on the council representatives. Although views were strongly voiced, we learned there that it is unlikely that we will be able to change the revised budget, and we don’t want to delay the start of the project because it would be a disaster to have a finished motorway without a good link road. Timing is critical. Some of the possible changes we are looking at are:
Using local contractors to cut overall costs and to have a flexible tendering process including future remedial work on the road.
Cutting footpaths and cycle ways, which are planned for both sides of the road. There is nowhere to walk / cycle from the link road anyway! This has the support of the Matakana Trails Trust.
Investigating creating a large park and ride at the intersection for future proofing transport.
Important information/actions we need from Auckland Transport include:
Immediately apply for land designation for a four lane road running the whole length of MLR
Take into consideration the big picture around the interchanges taking traffic volume into account.
Provide plans for directing traffic from Sandspit and Snells beach roads in conjunction with the link road.
AT to share their data and conclusions on estimated traffic flow at the various MLR intersections
MLR integrates well with all other motorway access points including the commercial park.
Deliver the MLR to coincide (or slightly before) the Motorway opens.
Since the Community meeting, Greg and Beth have attended a further meeting with council which was very positive. The agreed minutes from this meeting have yet to be released and will be circulated when they have.
Storm Water diversion from Matakana Valley Rd
Last year a plan has been released by Healthy Waters for the redirection of storm water that will allow the Matakana Valley road to be upgraded (filling in the ditches etc). After years of lobbying, this project is ready to start but not in the way we had hoped. Getting to this point involved juggling thee balls; Healthy Waters, Auckland Council (AC) and Auckland Transport (AT). Each of these organisations will play a part in the project and must be synchronised. Healthy Waters needs to start and tenders will go out immediately for a four week process with a project start in April. Leighton Gillespi attended the Community meeting this month to explain and answer questions; he is a design and delivery specialist with healthy Waters. The drains need doing before the road and paths can be completed. He explained that they need to start and tenders will go out immediately for a four week process with a project start in April. Failure to complete the job by the end of the financial year will result in losing the budget and there is a danger of rain and delays pushing the time frame out beyond this. Unfortunately, Auckland Transport has changed its plans and will not complete their part of the job until October. Healthy Waters will tidy the road up in the meantime and will not complete some of the drainage for the opposite side of the road until they know what AT is planning.
Effect on local retailers There was concern about the local businesses dealing with disruption over the Easter holiday period, but Leighton assured us that there would not be a long process and that the contractor would create a traffic management plan to deal with problems. Short term pain will lead to longer term gain for retailers. The alternative is to not do it at all and with growing tourism to the village, that would be a far worse situation.
Maori symbolism Fiona MacKenzie has lobbied Healthy Waters on behalf of the local Marae. She has suggested that as we have no visible Maori presence in Matakana, that some Maori symbols should be added to the new footpath or seating. The group ratified that decision with support.
Where will the drains go? Storm water from the swales will be channelled under Torea road and into the existing holding pond before being discharged into the stream. There should be minimal disruption during this process as the pipes can be drilled directly into the ground without major excavation. Healthy Waters is approaching the power company to see if they can also upgrade their lines. Plants will be funded for the water treatment area and replaced every few years to avoid any contamination.
Mahurangi Waste Busters
$1500 funding was granted for training people to be able to test and tag electrical goods for repair at local repair cafes. This will be a valuable local resource for our zero waste plans. A letter of support was also given to support an application to Auckland Council for a small scale community recycling centre at the Lawrie road Transfer Station while remedial work is being carried out there.
Angelica A big thanks to Angelica who has been watering out trees in public areas to keep them alive! If you want to help - please just do it!
David Grant Sadly David is seriously ill. David is the local historian and author who wrote the book about our village 'We Gathered Here'. We wish him and his family all the best.
Compassionate Community Now that the Matakana area has a far larger population we also have more residents who are vulnerable. Examples are parents with disabled children, older folk with Macular Degeneration, people with mental challenges, those who find it hard to get around in general and those who have temporary or chronic financial difficulties. There are agencies to support all of these people but they are not personal. We are interested in exploring whether it would be helpful offer any sort of support including maybe being a conduit for people to access information and help from local agencies or simply some regular local social connection. If you have a view about this, could you let us know ? Either reply to this newsletter of respond to the request posted on the Community Facebook Page.
Points ahead and information Safety around the village Simon met with Alana McClintock our representative for health and Safety in the area. He passed on all of the concerns from a number of groups including the MCG, Leigh and Point Wells, Matakana Primary School and Leigh School board who all want to present a joint approach to initiate changes. These are mostly around traffic issues. Alana (Council Worksafe representative) is putting together a protocol around these for us.
School Car Park Maintenance Surface treatment will be completed shortly thanks to Wharehines. The second entrance needs to be moved after consultation with AT because of concerns about visibility. We need to raise ongoing funds for future maintenance…see item about fundraising and income.
Jubilee Park Auckland Council have produced a needs assessment report for the park. We consider this to be inadequate as the consultation process was ineffective and highly divisive within our community. If the park is to have shared use between the Pony club, Tennis club and the community there will need to be a large amount of remedial work (such as drainage) to make the site fit for purpose. Richard Didsbury is developing the extension to Laly Haddon Place behind the park. He is negotiating with council to get some of his sub-division development contribution redirected to revitalise the park. He is also putting a walkway on the western side to form a walking / cycling loop around the village. Neville is investigating any grants available for walkways through the Matakana Coast Trails Trust. There will be full discussions between all the parties before any action is taken to prevent further community division.
Plantings around the village A new pathway to the left around the wharf is being constructed in a couple of weeks. The wharf area is going to be a no parking zone to enable people to launch their boats. In Autumn, new trees and planting will be completed. All help welcomed! Existing new trees such as those by the car park, are drying out as a result of the drought. Anyone who is able to water any young trees in the public areas would be highly appreciated!
Historic Walkway This is still on the table but faltered a little over the holiday. There is some urgency now that David Grant is seriously ill.
Possibilities for the Future Fundraising and Ongoing Cash flow for Community Projects
Matakana Community group started when the population was much smaller. Projects were funded when needed by special events. The community is now much larger and there is a need for cash flow as well as ‘one-off’ sums of money (e.g. carpark maintenance). Future growth of the area and growth of MCG membership means that we could be far more professional and creative about developing a regular cash flow. Janis has offered to convene a small group who are interested in looking at ideas and means to generate regular income. Contact me if you would like to take part in an initial meeting for about an hour.
Matakana Green Ideas
Matakana Green is the newish subdivision opposite Jubilee Park. They have been allocated a reserve by the river and are interested in ideas for a name. Please send suggestions or respond to the request on Facebook.
Feedback and council information
Check the website and Facebook page for news from Beth about the future of Freedom Camping and Dog walking in our area.
That's it for this month. Don't forget the next meeting is on Thursday March 7th at the Community Hall. All welcome. Also stay in touch by checking in on the Facebook page and the website.