The News ….. in brief

Work is planned for this viewing platform overlooking the Waikato River in Cambridge – and despite the look, it is safe. Waipā District Council says two poles which are sitting out of the ground and above water are “fender poles” – they are not structural and are from a time when boats would load and upload at the site off Dominion Avenue. “We are awaiting design to redo the deck on top of the structure along with some other minor improvements,” Community Services manager Brad Ward said.

Change of venue

Organisers of this weekend’s Regional Brass Band Contest being hosted by the Cambridge Brass Band have had to change venue for Sunday’s programme – from Cambridge High School to 9am at Cambridge Middle School.

The two-day event, featuring over 200 musicians, will be at Cambridge High School from 9am on Saturday.

Sign of the times

All 260 parks and reserves in Waipā will have te reo Māori names and signs when a naming project is completed. Community Services manager Brad Ward said Māori names will be
an addition to any existing English name and in some cases will restore names to the land the parks and reserves are based on.

Car free day

World Car Free day is tomorrow (Friday) and to encourage motorists to give up their cars for a day in favour of more climate-friendly modes of transport, Waikato Regional Council is
offering 200 free bus passes that will enable people to get a free ride on any BusIt service.

Hall Safe

A detailed seismic assessment on the St Andrew’s Parish Hall in Cambridge has put it at 20 per cent of the current National Building Standard. There is steel throughout the walls and on today’s building standard, they require larger foundations. There is no evidence of movement or cracking in the 92-year-old building. The council’s policy means the hall can be  used for another 25 years before remedial work has to be done.

Board meets

The Cambridge Community Board has $52,000 of discretionary funding to allocate for the 2023/24 financial year. The board had received 28 applications requesting about $105,000 and the issue was on the agenda for its September meeting last night.

Kara on board

Waipā’s new Te Kanohi representative on the Service Delivery committee was welcomed to her first meeting this week. Hinerangi Kara (Ngāti Koroki Kahukura, Waikato) joins other mana whenua Bill Harris and Thomas Lord on council statutory committees with full voting rights.

Grants made

Waipā community transport providers Cambridge Community House Trust and Te Awamutu Community Health Transport Trust have received $2000 and $12,080 from Waikato Regional Council’s transport fund allocation. They were two of the 29 known community transport providers in the region to get a slice of the $190,500 in distributed funds. St John’s central and northern regions each got $15,000 while the Waikato/Bay of Plenty Cancer Society was awarded $32,000, the highest grant made.

7 September 2023

Cruising explained

Waipā District Council will clarify what cruising is in its new Public Places Bylaw review. The new bylaw  sets rules to reduce vehicle “cruising” and to restrict access to some roads in rural and industrial areas where there is a history of anti-social behaviour, such as racing and burnouts. It enables police to take
certain actions and complements other powers they have.

On the buses

The new Te Kuiti and Tokoroa connectors with Hamilton, which pass through Cambridge and Te Awamutu, are struggling to attract passenger. Figures released by Waikato Regional Council show the Te Kuiti connector drew 512 passengers in July with 162 hopping on at Kihikihi, Te Awamutu and Ōhaupō. The Tokoroa connector had 748 passengers with 85 getting on in Cambridge.

Grant process

Applications will be open through September for funds from the Creative Communities Scheme. Funds are made available for festivals that celebrate the cultures and stories. Waipā District Council distributes money on behalf of Creative New Zealand.

First past wins

Waikato regional councillors have opted to stick with the first past the post voting system for the 2025 local body election. Councillors were told 63 local bodies – including all Waikato district councils – use first past the post and 15 – including Hamilton city – use single transferrable voting. The two Māori
constituencies, introduced by Waikato Regional Council ahead of the 2013 elections, will be retained following a 9-2 vote. National has indicated it would abolish Māori wards.

Rent rise

As predicted by The News last week, Waipā District Council has announced increased rents for tenants in pensioner houses. The council went behind closed doors to discuss the rises last week and told The News it would not reveal them until tenants were told. Weekly rent rises range from $13 to $30. See: Modest rent increase for pensioner housing

Fun Fridays

A series of Friday Family Fun nights start at Waipā District Libraries tomorrow and will run throughout September to mark literacy month.

Lucky winner

Sandra Kelly of Cambridge won a prize package from Ryman Villages for suggesting the company’s new village should be named after racehorse breeder Sir Patrick Hogan. Ryman and The News combined to run a poll with more than 90 per cent of all respondents suggesting Sir Patrick.

Top work, Tansy

Cambridge High School student Tansy Clarke has led a fundraising effort which resulted in $400 being donated to Safer Cambridge – which oversees community patrols and Neighbourhood Support. She worked with Tivoli Theatre to attract viewers to a screening of the Barbie movie where a portion of the ticket sales were earmarked for a donation.

Plan reactivated

A company which wantsto build a plant on Te Awamutu’s Racecourse Rd and turn 150,000 tonnes of waste into energy is going through a resource consent process. Global Contracting Solutions initially announced its plans in December 2021. Submissions on the application will be accepted from mid-September. The announcement was made just
after the Te Awamutu News went to press last week

Web hits

Website statistics for Cambridge News online last month showed more than 20 per cent of all visitors went straight to our home page. The most popular story was meeting the new residents at Patrick Hogan Retirement Village, our News in Brief came in third following by Damn the clams and Steampunk rocks into town.

Website statistics for Te Awamutu News online last month show the most popular page was the home page. The pdf version of the newspaper is at number two followed
by our most popular story on former Waipā councillor Takena Stirling being struck off. Fourth was our lead story on stormy days ahead for the dairy industry and rounding out the top five was Brylee Gibbes’ story about competing in a Phoenix hip hop event.

31 August 2023

JPs’ time

Pictured from left: Richard Seabrook, Jan Bulteel-Adams, David Day, Diane Sharpe, Gail Mayall, David Findlay, Peter Carr, Ray Grace, Richard Edge, Alan Wilkinson.

A dozen Cambridge area justices of the peace have been acknowledged for their long service – including The News columnist Peter Carr – for 50 years – and Gail Mayall for 30. Jan Bulteel-Adams, Richard Seabrook, Peter Tairi, Susan Hassall, David Natzke, David Day, Diane Sharpe, David Findlay, Ray Grace, Richard Edge, Vern Walsh, Willy Geck and branch chair Alan Wilkinson have all given 20 and as much as 28 years’ service.

Morgan’s new roles

Dale-Maree Morgan

Newly-elected Waipā Māori ward councillor Dale-Maree Morgan has been appointed to a number of external organisations, committees, groups and council advisory groups. In addition to being on the Maungatautari Reserve committee, Morgan will represent the council on Ngā Pae Whenua Co-Management Board with Ngāti Koroki Kahukura, Co-Management Board with Ngāti Hauā for Pukemako, the Waikato-Tainui and Raukawa Joint Management Agreement committees and the Ngā Wai o Waipā Co-Governance forum as alternate to mayor Susan O’Regan.

Roger Gordon has also been selected Waipa’s representative on the Resthaven Trustees Appointments Panel which meets occasionally to fill trustee vacancies on the Resthaven board.

New shed

Plans to set up a Cambridge Menzshed are on track following a meeting last weekend. All 32 people who attended signed up to become members of the organisation, which has become an active player in community events in Te Awamutu.

Choir performs

Tauranga chamber choir Scholars Baroque Aotearoa will perform Henry Purcell’s take on Shakespeare’s The Tempest in Cambridges’ St Andrew’s Church on September 10.

Library survey

An online survey run by the Cambridge Community Board to gauge public sentiment about a new library in Cambridge closes on Sunday.

Artistic endeavour

More than 100 Waipā children aged three to 18 have been painting their hearts out in the hopes of winning a prize in September’s Little Artist International Art Exhibition. The exhibition is part of the second New Zealand China Cultural Connection 2023 event, and will be at the Cambridge Town Hall from September 15, with open sessions over the following
two days

24 August 2023

Houses of the Year

The renovation of a Cambridge home by G D Pringle Building has picked up a major award at the Waikato Registered Master Builders House of the Year competition. Fowler Homes was also among the winners, collecting the show home category title, while Iconic Construction and A J Gray Building won awards for homes in Matangi.

Dog ruling

Dogs will have to remain on leash in Lake Te Koo Utu between 10am and 6pm in summer and 10am to 3pm in winter after the Waipā District Council Dog Control policy passed this week. The hours will be reviewed once a new playground opens adjacent to the lake as dogs are prohibited from district play areas.

Lease stalls

The News understands there have been further delays in finalising a contract to provide onsite management at Lake Karāpiro Domain. Waipā District Council, which owns the venue, had hoped to have a new contract in place by July 1. GL Events Ltd, a company owned by deputy mayor Liz Stolwyk and her husband Andrew Reymer, has provided the service for 19 years and is into the last year of a six-year contract.

Commissioner review

Waipā council is reviewing its list of independent commissioners having had 87 expressions of interest received last month. An evaluation panel of council staff will review the applications and recommend a pool to elected members. The current pool is Alan Withy, Phil Mitchell, Greg Hill, Helen Atkins, Richard Knott, Rob Van Voorthuysen, Simon Berry, Steven Wilson and Tara Hills.

Menopause event

Waikato-based practitioners, including Leamington holistic GP Ala Farah, are running a Waipā Menopause and Mocktails event in Te Awamutu next month. Women from a wide variety of specialties and modalities – life coaching, physiotherapy, breathing practices and functional nutrition – are hoping to raise community awareness around menopause.

Daffodil Day

The Cancer Society’s major annual fundraiser, Daffodil Day, will be in full bloom tomorrow (Friday). Staff from the ANZ Bank, a major supporter of the day, will hold a sausage sizzle in front of the branch and run raffles. They will also be dressed in fancy dress.

Plant opposed

Te Awamutu and Kihikihi Community Board member Sally Whitaker presented a notice of motion to the board’s August meeting last night asking the board to make a public submission following public notification opposing the Waste to Energy Plant being proposed for Waipā. The plant would be built on the outskirts of Te Awamutu.

17 August 2023

Windfall for Waikato charity

Cambridge has once again stepped up to support the True Colours Children’s Health Trust in what is turning out to be one of its busiest years yet. A recent windfall of $2000 from the Cambridge Christmas Festival Fund was a welcome continuation of the festival’s ongoing support for the charitable organisation. True Colours operations manager Heidi Gleeson said it will go towards professional development for the team.

The organisation’s largest annual fundraiser, a long lunch on Melbourne Cup Day, falls this year on November 7. Last year’s event netted a vital $150,000. Based in Hamilton, True Colours operates across the greater Waikato region. Of the 289 families receiving support – 102 of them living rurally – 52 live in Waipā.

Tick, tock …… time stands still at the Cambridge Town Clock.

Time, please!

Cambridge’s historic Town Clock is frozen at 7.45 on all sides. It has been since July 27 and could be for a lot longer. Waipā District Council’s Finance committee was told this week the winding mechanism has come to the end of its life and is beyond repair. It will need to be fully automated in the future. The clock tower was supplied by Littlejohn and Sons of Wellington in 1908 and was originally in a tower on the Post Office (now Alpino Restaurant). It was reconstructed at its current location in 1934.

Dog gone

Waipā District Council’s dog control policy and bylaw review will spill over into a second day next Tuesday after nearly six hours of deliberations and submissions were held earlier this week. Council received 277 submissions and some elected to be heard at the hearing. The proposed changes at Lake Te Koo Utu – which suggests a mixture of banning dogs or new hours plus the debate on clearing Mt Kakepuku of dogs, will be debated next week.

Overdue success

A Waipā Libraries member returned 20 overdue books when the council removed overdue fines on books from July 1, Community Services manager Brad Ward told the council’s  Service Delivery committee this week. “We’ve had some really positive feedback from the exercise,” he said, noting there had been a “significant” amount of overdue books returned across the district.

Tower on hold

Cambridge Water Tower

Work on the Cambridge Water Tower will not get underway due to a significant budget shortfall. Drawings for the tower capping and replacement frame were approved by Heritage New Zealand and a resource consent granted for the corroded tank’s removal. But the undisclosed cost means the tower will remain behind a fence while alternative options are explored.

Bridge work continues

Contractors have reached the halfway point of the Victoria Street/High Level Bridge repainting project and are now at the trickiest part of the works.

The scaffolding is now suspended from the bridge deck, and contractors have to be incredibly careful of weight and other factors as they work.

There may be some minor disruption to traffic in the coming months in order to complete the more complex parts of the maintenance.

New readers

Cambridge Library registered 347 new patrons in the three months ended June 30 taking its total to 21,937. Visitor numbers continue to be high – there were 7031 in May and 19,909 for the quarter. The library, with 73,052 book issues, continues to outstrip its Te Awamutu counterpart with 39,747, by nearly 84 per cent. The library has issued 293,633 books in 12 months. In the same period, Te Awamutu had 159,541 books issued.

Spend a penny

The Hally Lane toilets in Cambridge’s central business district are showing their age with ongoing plumbing issues. A renewal of the facility should take place in the next two years.
Meanwhile, the toilet block damaged by fire in Thornton Street, Cambridge will be rebuilt and open in time for summer. Insurance covered 89 per cent of the rebuild and the rest will come from Waipā District Council’s Public Toilets renewal budget.

Lake clean up

Trees getting cleaned up by contractors around Lake Te Koo Utu

Lake Te Koo Utu is still showing the evidence of Cyclone Gabrielle’s destruction and tree stumps and trees are still to be cleaned up. Council hopes to get them removed by next month, weather and conditions permitting.

Daffodil Day

Ahead of its August 25 Daffodil Day appeal, the Cancer Society Waikato/Bay of Plenty has reported its Lions Lodge at Waikato Hospital has hosted record numbers of people seeking treatment

Artwork collection

An audit of Waipā council’s artwork collection is nearing completion and covers the condition and significance of the works. A care management plan has been developed to improve storage conditions while a photographer took images of the collection and outdoor sculptures to ensure a high-quality digital documentation of each of the works.

Stirling struck off

Takena Stirling has been struck off by the New Zealand Law Society. His admission of five charges of misconduct involving the misappropriation – an issue which prompted his resignation from the Waipā District Council earlier this year, resulting in a by-election in the new Māori ward. Read more.

Rain, rain go away

Waipā district has recorded 60 per cent more rainfall in the last year than the historical average. The increase has kept parks waterlogged and set sports fields up for a difficult winter
playing season, council’s Service Delivery committee heard this week.

Potholes patched

Waipā council staff patch around 3000 potholes each year, Transportation manager Bryan Hudson told the Service Delivery committee this week. The very wet autumn and early winter have contributed to further pothole and pavement faults requiring further attention. Permanent repairs will start taking place in spring when it is dry and warm enough to  apply seal coats.

Boy racers again

Boy racers have been blamed for damage to the turf at Bulmer’s Landing bordering the Waikato River near Arapuni. Security cameras have been installed to mitigate the problems.

Vintage car meet

Hundreds of old cars from around the region will be on view at Sunday’s Veteran and Vintage Car Club (Waikato) annual fundraiser for the Cancer Society. The event, which last year raised over $4000 for cancer, will be held at the Cambridge club’s McLean St premises from 11am. to 1pm.

10 August 2023

    Players from around the region and beyond took place in Leamington Croquet Club’s winter tournament in Cambridge recently. Winners and runners-up in divisions A and B are, from left, Rebecca Mobey, June Pirrett, Mei Williams, Brian Williams, Graham Hardaker, Nancy Strybosch, Wendy Tuck and Vicky Mitchell.

Fraud follow

Waipā District Council is contacting property owners after confirming at least 62 district building consents have been caught up in allegedly fraudulent engineering sign-offs. It is alleged Jonathan Beau Hall of Kodiak Consulting compromised the consents by signing using the identities of chartered engineers without their permission. Growth and Regulatory services group manager Wayne Allan said the council focus was on supporting those impacted. “We have a great deal of sympathy for those caught up in this issue.” Have you been affected? Contact us [email protected]

Read more

Foam on the water

Waikato Regional Council is confident foam which was floating for several days on the Waikato River through Cambridge last week was the product of natural agitation of leaves and twigs.

Pokies update

The online version of our report on Pokies (The News, July 27) differs from the printed version to reflect the fact that a Department of Internal Affairs presentation, not a council report as we reported, said 10 per cent of the $10.71 million put into Waipā machines in the 12 months to March 31 was returned to the district in the form of community grants.  The council report referenced a six-month and not a 12-month period. See more.

Complaint made

Waikato MP Tim van de Molen has been referred to Parliament’s powerful Privileges committee following a complaint about his behaviour towards another MP after a select committee hearing. Van de Molen, 38, who lives in Tamahere, has represented Waikato since 2017.

Chair resigns

Destination Cambridge chair Martin Buglass, who was elected in August last year, has resigned. It continues an uneasy time for the organisation which runs the town’s iSite for Waipā District Council, lost the management contract for the Town Hall when the council set up an independent trust to reactivate the historic facility and saw chief executive Miff Macdiarmid resign in March to take a marketing position at Shoof. The News understands the Destination Cambridge board will meet next week to approve a new chair.

Showjumpers picked

Georgia Bouzaid

Two Waipā riders have been named in Equestrian Sport New Zealand’s young rider team for the Trans-Tasman clash being held in Sydney next week. Georgia Bouzaid of Cambridge and Te Awamutu’s Liam Rutland will compete on borrowed horses in the clash at the Sydney Show Jumping World Cup from August 17-20.
The Australians will be looking to back up their victory during the last meeting held in Gisborne earlier this year. The team is Georgia Bouzaid (Cambridge), Johanna Wylaars (Christchurch), Liam Rutland (Te Awamutu), Samantha Gillies (Oamaru) and reserve Dylan Bibby (Central Hawkes Bay).

Players selected

Two players who grew up and learned their rugby in Waipā have been selected in the All Blacks’ team named this week for the World Rugby Cup in France starting on September 9 (NZ time). Halfback Cam Roigard and utility loose forward Luke Jacobson made the 33-strong squad but are unlikely to make the starting full-strength lineup for the opening match against France, one of the pre-tournament favourites.

Medals stripped

St Peter’s School in Cambridge will share the Derbyshire Shield trophy with Waikato Diocesan School for Girls for best overall school at last year’s North Island secondary school
champs after Hamilton Boys’ High School was stripped of the title for rule breaches involving novice rowers in 22 races over 10 events at four regattas. Hamilton BHS headmaster Susan Hassall, who lives in Cambridge, apologised “unreservedly” to all the schools competing in the regattas, three of which – including the Maadi Cup this year – were on Lake Karāpiro.

Derby fixture

Waipā Southern Conference teams Te Awamutu and Cambridge face off in a local football derby at The Stadium in Te Awamutu on Saturday. The second placed Cambridge side goes in as favourites against second to bottom Te Awamutu following their 4-2 win over Taupō last week and their 10-1 win over Te Awamutu early last month. But Te Awamutu’s 3-0 victory over Papamoa at home will have supporters feeling their fortunes might have changed since that drubbing six weeks ago.

Home price falls slow

Waipā home values are an average 8.1 per cent below what they were 12 months ago at a tad under $830,000. The Quotable Value House Price Index for July indicated the decline is easing and is just under $890,000 nationally. The 8.1 per cent fall compared to a national average of 10.2 per cent, the values dipped by 0.7 per cent last month and are down 2.9 per cent in the quarter. QV’s rolling three-month rate of reduction in Waipā have been influenced by reduced sale activity – going from -4.3% in May to -2% in June, and 2.8% in July.

QV operations manager James Wilson, in his national commentary, said the longer term trend was “pretty clearly a residential property market that is bottoming out after some very significant home value reductions over the last 18 months or so”. Hamilton recorded its first quarterly increase in average home value for more than a year – albeit a very small one. House values fell across the wider Waikato region by 2.3% for the quarter – compared 1.5 per cent across the country.

3 August 2023

Cambridge’s newest All Black, former St Peter’s School student Cam Roigard (left) was all smiles ahead of making his test debut last Saturday.

Before All Black 1210 ran onto the ground in the 60th minute at the Melbourne Cricket Ground to help retain the Bledisloe Cup with a 38-7 win over The Wallabies, he caught up with Cambridge counterpart and teammate, former Cambridge High School student Luke Jacobson, right.  The pair was pictured at last Friday’s captain’s run at Melbourne’s Xavier College.

Roigard’s parents Dave and Lisa Roigard own and operate Karapiro Charters and Tours and were there to see their son’s “incredibly emotional” debut. “I turned to Lisa and said, ‘you’re now the mother of an All Black’,” Dave told The News. “It’s so special – Cam did incredibly well.” The All Blacks face Australia again on Saturday in Dunedin.

New livestream technology

Waipā council has upgraded most of the hardware and installed two new livestream cameras, retaining the original cameras, in its Te Awamutu chambers complete with new microphones for councillors. The upgrades, costing about $116,000, provides clearer audio with microphones that last longer between charges; a presentation microphone (allowing the presenter to walk around and speak); multiple camera angles with better focus on the speaker; simplified user interface for creating/managing meetings and a new option to connect a laptop for presentations. There are still plans to upgrade some of the hardware in the Kaipaki Room in Cambridge to improve the functionality there too.

Online stats

Monty the Horse. Photo: Newshub.

It was all about Monty in online stats last month. While the home page led the way with 17 per cent of page views, Monty, the therapy horse, followed in second, fifth and sixth places making his story the best read on our website.

The online version of our newspaper was third while Hautapu winning the Waikato rugby championship came in fourth. home page was top of the online stats last month with 19 per cent of all views. The dairy owner’s dilemma caused by road works outside his shop was second following in third by Te Awamutu Sports’ win in the Waikato rugby competition. The online version of our newspaper was fourth while Jeremy Smith’s obituary on former Te Awamutu and Pirongia fire chief Robbie Morriss was fifth.

Chambers to gather

Prime Minster Chris Hipkins and National leader Christopher Luxon will attend breakfast events in Hamilton when the Waikato Chamber hosts  the national Chambers of Commerce conference next month.

Column changes

Some details, relating to issues including legal advice and time when staff advice was given in last week’s column about Memorial Park plans by Te Awamutu-Kihikihi Community Board chair Ange Holt were incorrect. Her corrected column can be read here.

Land zoning

A private plan change lodged with Waipā District Council in late December for the rezoning of rural land to greenfields at 2025 Ōhaupō Road in Te Awamutu to enable urban development is on hold pending a final decision on increasing housing density in Cambridge, Kihikihi and Te Awamutu residential zones.

Quickfall leaves

Tony Quickfall

District Plan and Growth manager Tony Quickfall is leaving Waipā District Council after four years for a position at the Ōtorohanga council. Quickfall was involved in Civil Defence emergency management deployments during Cyclone Gabrielle early this year. Meanwhile the council is also advertising for an Economic Development advisor to replace Steve Tritt who left in April.

Consents up

The number of land use and subdivision consents lodged with Waipā District Council in the three months ended June 30 was up by one on the previous quarter. Land Information Memorandums (LIMs) were also up, from 223 to 237.

Building down

Building consents plunged by 81 to 471 in the Waipā district in the quarter ended June 30. The value of the work was $88.84 million  compared to $209.83 million in the same three month period last year. May was the busiest month with 172, down on the 199 in May last year. Code compliance certificates are also down to 345 for the three months.

Parking infringements

Drivers continue to test the council’s patience by over staying their time parking in Cambridge and Te Awamutu’s central business districts. Waipā parking officers issued 187 parking infringement notices during the three months ended June 30, well up on last year. Five littering infringements were also issued.

Housing development

The Ministry of Housing and Urban Development has received eight tenders for land it owns in Cambridge North. Waipā planning staff provided pre application notes to help tenderers with consistency. Only 34ha of Cambridge North remains to be developed. The Health hub is working through more detailed design and safety audits for a roundabout.

Court action

One owner out of six in the Cambridge C1 growth cell has lodged an appeal to Waipā council plans to purchase land for a stormwater basin. C1 is bound by Waikato Expressway to the north, Victoria Road to the east, the town belt to the south and Abergeldie Way in the west and includes 46.2ha of land. The appeal is heading to court.

Quarry on hold

Beacon Hill’s retrospective consent to operate sand quarrying activities at Oreipunga Road in Cambridge remains on hold pending further information from the operators. The application by the owners, which include former Waipā councillor Elwyn Andree-Wiltens, was lodged in April last year after it was revealed there had been illegal quarrying at the site for five years before that.

Piazza change

The Cambridge Town Hall piazza.

The Waipā District Plan will undergo a number of minor changes including increasing the number of events able to be held with the Cambridge Town Hall piazza. Currently only two events are pre-approved – Anzac Day and Armistice Day. Staff told the Strategic Planning and Policy committee this week it was “entirely appropriate” to increase the number. The piazza hosted Matariki events last month.

Glaringly obvious

Glare from new commercial and industrial developments close to residential properties have resulted in a number of complaints to the Waipā council. Staff plan to review the rules in the District Plan to add a lighting standard to enable effective measurement and compliance.

Tiny houses

Waipā council has joined a working group established by the New Zealand Tiny House Association. A standardised fact sheet about the rules relating to tiny homes will be posted on the council’s website and provide specific information on district plan rules, rates and development contributions.

Cycling champs

Cambridge will host the pre-Olympic National Track Cycling Championships next March. The championships will be held at the Grassroots Trust Velodrome in Cambridge from March 2 to 7.

Careers expo

St Peter’s School and Cambridge High School have teamed up to run a careers expo at the Cambridge Town Hall today (August 3) from 3.30pm-7pm.  The event will showcase about 40 exhibitors and entry is free.

Charity shipment

Cambridge knitters and crocheters contributed to an impressive tally of blankets and clothing that was packed and sent to orphanages and struggling communities in Eastern Europe last month.  The hundreds of blankets, scarves, hats, gloves, socks and jerseys, plus toiletries, were made and collected by local members of Operation Cover-Up, an organisation with links to the Christian charity, Mission Without Borders. They were displayed in Cambridge last month before being packed and shipped to Europe.

Sale settled

Proceeds from the $2.683 million sale of 1.4ha of Waipā council land at 1262 Cambridge Road in Te Awamutu to Kainga Ora are being held in trust with interest payable to the council while finer details are being worked through The development will provide 30 homes for 55 year olds and over and construction will start within two years.

Job done

The first turnaround bay, part of safety improvements on State Highway 1 between Cambridge and Piarere, has been completed. The work at the intersection of Hydro Road, was finished ahead of schedule.

Company fined

A Te Kuiti dairy company has been fined $32,500 over its failure to notify National Animal Identification and Tracing that it was moving 910 cattle onto its farm, the Ministry for Primary Industries has announced. Rangitoto Dairies Ltd, which operates a dairy and beef farm business at Te Kuiti, had pleaded guilty to a representative charge.

Doggy poo

The appointment of a new contractor is expected to see the number of complaints to the council lessen about full dog poo bins not being emptied regularly. Cambridge and Leamington seemed to be the areas most affected.

Under age check

Police and Waipā liquor licensing inspectors held a controlled purchase operation earlier this year and found minors buying alcohol at two premises. Enforcement action against the outlets is expected.

Waipā winner

A project by Waipā based Lee Turner Architecture was one of three from Waikato recognised at the regional architectural design awards ceremony in Tauranga. Soaring Box House, in Whatawhata, won the Cambridge based company the Regional Resene Colour in Design Award.

27 July 2023

Work continues at the back of the hotel.

Old hotel history revealed

An old cellar and large original well from the original Masonic Hotel, built in 1866, has been found under the old courtyard by the construction company working on the hotel’s restoration. The discovery was found while workers were extending and deepening the existing basement for an underground bar.

Most of the seismic strengthening has been completed and the massive concrete ground beams and steel is now in in preparation for the basement bar excavation and the new attic level. New framing is also now up on the roof.

Connections delay

Traffic modelling delays due to technical issues have delayed the Cambridge Connections business case by six months, Waipā council has confirmed. The plan will define the shape of Cambridge’s transport infrastructure for the next 30 years and was to have been ready this month.

Going electric

The Cambridge Community House Trust welcomed a new vehicle to its ranks on Monday. Waipā Networks will sponsor the electric vehicle for the house’s use in delivering its services. Waipā Networks is also working with the house on other initiatives, including providing energy assessments to reduce household power costs and through distributing winter warmer packs. Read more.

Residents’ views

Sources have told The News the latest Waipā District Council annual residents’ survey contains more scathing criticism than last year. A quarter of those surveyed then were satisfied with the council’s performance, down from 40 per cent the previous year. The survey is not expected to be released until next month.

Clams clear

DNA tests show that the country’s newest pest – the freshwater gold clam – has not spread into waterways outside a stretch of Waikato River where it was initially found. Biosecurity New Zealand said, since its discovery near Lake Karāpiro earlier this year, regional and district councils, as well as iwi, had been working together to monitor the mollusc and discuss preventing its spread. The clams can clog up waterways, irrigation pipes and stock water troughs as well as negatively affect native freshwater species’ habitats.

Choir song

The Mosaic Choir – a community choral group whose 70 or so members are drawn largely from Cambridge and its surrounds – will present its annual concert at Bridges Church auditorium on August 12. Under the leadership of musical director Brooke Baker with relatively new member Carlee Hanna as accompanist, the concert will feature the Manawanui Vocal Troupe as its 2023 guest artist.  The programme will include a mix of classical favourites, a Māori ballad, and a mash-up of some popular songs by Donna Lewis and Meat Loaf.

Help available

A company owned by several Waikato and Bay of Plenty local authorities, including Waipā, is expanding its services to include communications support. Co-Lab, based in Cambridge, helps councils be more effective and efficient by collaborating. Waipā has struggled with filling communication positions recently but despite this says it has no intention to access the resource.

Crime up

Crime statistics in the Waikato West police district, which Cambridge is part of, rose from 4532 victimisations reported in 2017 to 6241 last year while ramraids have also increased. Taupō MP Louise Upston said Cambridge had more than its share of ramraids and her party would make sure offenders faced the consequences for their actions.

James selected

Oparau rider James Scott has been selected for the three-man New Zealand team to compete in the 2023 Motocross of Nations at Ernee – regarded as the Olympics of Motocross – in France in October. He joins experienced internationals Cody Cooper (Papamoa) and Hamish Harwood (Wet Auckland).

Award held

Te Awamutu’s Museum, Education and Research Centre has retained its Gold Qualmark award, an annual measure of quality for New Zealand tourism businesses.

20 July 2023

Vote cost calculated

Dale-Maree Morgan

Waipā ratepayers paid nearly $74 for each vote cast in the by-election won by Dale-Maree Morgan last month.

The cost of running the election to replace Māori ward district councillor Takena Stirling was $22,932.33. A total of 311 votes were cast – a 13.11 per cent return.

Just over $20,000 went to Christchurch contractor ElectionNZ and the rest covered advertising, voting stickers and graphic design.

The local body election last year cost ratepayers $9.23 a vote when 39.65 percent of voters had their say.

Significant changes are being considered on the local body scene, one which could lift voting rates.

There are calls to lower the voting age to 16 – and that change is one of a raft which are likely to be put to the Government before the end of year. A second round of public consultation on changes ended this week.

Market submissions

Waipā District Council received two submisions, one in support and one off topic, on a five-year extension to the Cambridge Farmers’ Market lease on Victoria Square. Staff have yet to make a decision on whether or not the market organisers will continue to receive a charitable trust lease rate despite paying commercial rates in Hamilton.

Consents reviewed

Waipā council staff are reviewing around 50 building consents signed off by a worker who allegedly borrowed colleagues’ identities. Engineering New Zealand allege Taupō based Jonathan (Jon) Beau Hall, director of Kodiak Consulting Ltd, filled in and signed documents without their permission. Once the review is complete, council staff will advise homeowners affected first, a spokesperson said. Similar reviews are being carried out in other districts.

Kopaki work

A link between the King Country and South Waikato will be closed between 8am and 3pm next Monday and Tuesday. A culvert is to be installed before repair work starts on a slip on State Highway 30 south of Kōpaki.

Freedom cry

Waikato District Council is proposing changes around freedom camping in the region and wants community feedback by August 14. The council is considering increasing stay times and changes to where freedom camping is and is not permitted at some reserves.

Hydro road work

The construction of a turnaround bay at the intersection of State Highway 1 and Hydro Road, could be finished by the end of the month. The turnaround is part of a Cambridge to Piarere programme and the first of five planned.

Job expo

Cambridge’s two secondary schools – Cambridge High and St Peter’s School will host a biennual Cambridge Community Career’s Expo early next month. The expo has attracted more than 30 exhibitors.

Honour for Colin

Te Awamutu Volunteer Fire Brigade stalwart Colin Munro will receive his Gold Star award on Saturday as he’s honoured for 25 years’ service. His service has been shared between two brigades – a decade with the Papakura Volunteer Fire Brigade to 1990, and 15 years with the Te Awamutu brigade, which he joined in 2008.

Freedom cry

Waikato District Council is proposing changes around freedom camping in the region and wants community feedback by August 14. The council is considering increasing stay times and changes to where freedom camping is and is not permitted at some reserves.

13 July 2023

Ingham all go

Ingham Motor Group have been granted resource consent to establish a car dealership, showroom and workshop on the site of the old Bunning’s building in Cambridge. The consent was granted on a non-notified basis by Dr Phil Mitchell, an Auckland-based independent hearing commissioner.

University pā opens

Kingi Tūheitia opened what has been described as a landmark pā at Waikato University on Monday. The $85 million project to convert A-block into The Pā has been the most significant capital development in the university’s 59-year history

Tirau Rd ramp

Peak time just after 5pm at the southern end of the Waikato Expressway – while Cambridge is congested.

The Cambridge Chamber of Commerce is putting pressure on Waipā District Council to address whether an on-off ramp is needed from Tirau Road north onto the Waikato Expressway and south off it. The issue came up following an application to establish a quarry in Newcombe Road. Hundreds of trucks a day using that quarry would go through Cambridge under the proposal.

Wetter days

Eleven sites across the country have already received more rain than what they usually get in a year – the closest to Waipā being Tauranga. Ben Noll from NIWA said their site at Karāpiro had recorded 846mm to last Friday – making it the third equal wettest first six months since records began in 1946.

Milk recall

A raw drinking milk producer based near Raglan is recalling batches which may contain listeria. The milk is sold via home deliveries by Dreamview Creamery Real. New Zealand Food Safety, which announced the recall, says it has not received any reports of associated illness.

Emergency upgrade

Emergency Department entrance

Waikato Hospital’s $3.3 million upgrade of its emergency department was completed last week. Arrivals and reception have moved closer to the front entrance allowing staff to engage and triage patients immediately. Assessment rooms in the waiting area have also been added. The hospital sees more than 84,000 patients a year.

Hockey success

Cambridge High School finished ninth out of 15 teams in the Tanner Cup competition in Hamilton last week. It was the under 15A team’s first appearance in the prestigious competition. The side beat John McGlashan College twice, Christ’s College and Palmerston North Boys High School but lost in pool play to Auckland Grammar, who went on to finish fourth, and winners New Plymouth Boys’ High School. Read: High school ninth in Tanner Cup.

Sunday concert

A concert in Te Awamutu on Sunday will feature performances by Waikato Conservatorium of Music students. Organised as collaboration between the Conservatorium and the Te Awamutu Music Federation, it brings together vocal students Breony Bearman, Faamanu Fonoti-Fuimaono, Jordan Fonoti-Fuimaono, Szilvia Hernyak and Niamh Bentley, with Jonathan Dunlop accompanying on piano. The 2pm concert is at St John’s Anglican Church.

6 July 2023

Rugby tops website visits

Our exclusive front page story on new Cambridge All Black Cam Roigard was the best read page on website last month.

The home page was second followed by revelations plans are going ahead for a quarry on the outskirts of Cambridge. Publications, our online version of the newspaper was fourth with our list of where all the Waipā quarries are rounding out the top five.

It will be hard to top our top story of the first six months of the year – our article about Super Gran giving ram raiders a taste of their own medicine accounted for 65 per cent of all page views.

Our home page was second, flyover campaigner John Hansen on his Piarere intersection suggestions was third, Roigard’s selection for the All Blacks in fourth and our very popular News in Brief came in fifth.

Road works

Works on the final stage of safety improvements, including a crossing with signals, at the Tamahere interchange will continue this month and at Karāpiro the construction of a turnaround bay at the intersection of State Highway 1 and Hydro Road will involve temporary speed limits in place near the work site. There will also be several nights of works under stop/go traffic management through to early August.

Author named

Nikki Crutchley

Nikki Crutchley has been named among the long list of 14 prestigious Ngaio Marsh awards for her latest novel In Her Blood. The awards have celebrated the best New Zealand crime, mystery, thriller and suspense writing since 2010.

Judges in United States, United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand are now considering the entries with finalists announced next month. Crutchley, who lives in Cambridge with her husband and two daughters, has been a finalist in the awards before. She told The News her sixth novel is with her publishers and she has started writing her seventh. Both are small town mystery novels set in New Zealand. In Her Blood tells the parallel stories of two 17-year-old girls, disturbingly similar in appearance, who have disappeared; one 20 years after the other. Gilmore Hotel, featured in the book, is based on the Waitomo Hotel.

The awards are named for Dame Ngaio Marsh, who penned bestselling mysteries that entertained millions of global readers from her home in the Cashmere Hills in Christchurch.

Bird lost

Efforts to save an endangered Australian bittern – a matuku-hūrepo – by the Conservation Department have failed and prompted a warning to hunters to identify their targets. The bird was found with serious injuries after being shot near Oparau in late May. Doc Conservation Principal Compliance Officer Hayden Loper said matuku-hūrepo are protected wildlife – and the hunter responsible used lead shot, “which is banned in the vast majority of hunting and shooting circumstances.”

Values disputed

Almost 400 property owners have objected to the new values put on their properties in Waipā by Quotable Value. Some complain their values are too high, others that they are too low. QV’s value of Waipā properties as at August 2022 was 45.4 per cent up on 2019. The 384 objections amounts to about 1.5 per cent of owners in the district.

Matariki celebrations

Cambridge’s Town Hall Community Trust and Ngāti Koroki Kahukura will host the inaugural Matariki ki Te Oko Horoi – Matariki celebrations –  in Cambridge on July 14. Ngāti Apakura will host Mānawatia a Matariki at Kihikihi Domain the following day.

One-two for Waipa

Hautapu Sports will play Hamilton Old Boys in the semi-finals of the Waikato Draught Breweries Shield Premiership at Memorial Park on Saturday. In the other semi-final, Te Awamutu will host Hamilton Marist. Hautapu went down 25-21 in a close encounter at Marist Park, Hamilton while Te Awamutu had the bye.

Leamington will play Putaruru in Division One’s Mooloo Shield and Division One B, both away in Putaruru while the under 85kg will play on Leamington’s Field 1 against Kio Kio United in the semi final. Pirongia will play Southern United in the other Mooloo Shield semifinal and Southern United in the other division one B semifinal, both on the Pirongia Domain.

29 June 2023

Temporary road in place

The first of the traffic using the new diversion on Cambridge Road. Photo: Mary Anne Gill

A diversion road to minimise traffic disruption during construction along Cambridge Road, Cambridge is now in place, three weeks after it was originally scheduled.

The diversion road, part of the future developments in Cambridge West, starts just west of the Te Awa Lifecare entrance for approximately 200m and divert backs onto Cambridge Road.

The diversion is expected to be in place for 16 months while contractors lay storm water pipes and complete the construction of the new single-lane roundabout.

The new temporary road won’t add any travel time to road users and will allow for traffic flow and less traffic disruptions than originally planned.

The road works support the C2/C3 growth cell, that when completed will hold 2500 houses, Cambridge Ryman Retirement Village, a new primary school, a recreational reserve and playground, neighbourhood shops and supporting underground infrastructure.

A temporary shared path on the southern side of Cambridge Road has now been constructed to provide pedestrians and cyclists a safe route through the construction site.

On the watch

Cambridge is to bolster its CCTV coverage next month. Chamber of Commerce members were told last week Waipā District Council is waiting on specialised equipment to mount cameras on streetlight columns and use their power supply. They will be installed in Shakespeare St Leamington and on the Cambridge-Tirau Road.

Charity knits on display

This year’s annual display of hundreds of knitted blankets and children’s clothes for Operation Cover-Up’s charitable activities in Eastern Europe will take place at the Cambridge Baptist Church next Thursday, from 10am-1pm.  The work has been done over the past year by members of the Knitters and Natters group. The items will be packed and sent via the Christian charity Mission without Borders to orphanages and struggling communities in countries that include Ukraine, Moldova, Romania, Bulgaria, Albania and Croatia.

French connections

Sir Don McKinnon, chair of the New Zealand Liberation Museum -Te Arawhata, gave an update to the Cambridge/Le Quesnoy Friendship Association last week on the progress of the museum project in France. Also present were French Ambassador Laurence Beau and Mayor Susan O’Regan. The mayor and Cambridge Community Board chair Jo Davies-Colley will travel to Europe for the October 11 opening and Cambridge will host a delegation from Le Quesnoy in November.

First Aid training

Cambridge Neighbourhood Support is offering subsidised emergency first aid training courses. Community Engagement Lead Eileen Hawkins says the courses will run monthly starting next month. She said first aid knowledge is an asset that aligns with neighbourhood emergency plans that CNS has been establishing. The plans enable communities to be self-sufficient in the days after an emergency.

Moss free

Te Awamutu and Kihikihi Community Board chair Ange Holt has raised concerns regarding the fact several areas in town – mainly around pedestrian crossings, refuges, median strips and some roundabouts – are covered in moss and weeds. In her chairperson’s report for board’s June, held last night Wednesday, Holt said one of the worst places was the Cambridge Road roundabout, adding that the Bank, Arawata and Vaile street medians are all covered in moss. She wants to see a “level of service” undertaken to keep these and other areas moss free.

22 June 2023

Waipā mayor Susan O’Regan says the report into the future of local government feels like a ‘rinse and repeat’ of some proposals she has seen before.

The report was released late yesterday with 17 recommendations. It has yet not been discussed by Waipā councillors, but O’Regan was happy to share some personal views.

“It’s clear the panel believes something must fundamentally change if local government is to do the job it needs to do, and I agree with that. It is blindly obvious there is a funding crisis within the sector that ratepayers cannot be expected to solve,” she said.

“Given that, it’s good to see a proposal that $1 billion come back to councils although that will be a drop in the bucket given the massive infrastructure challenges around New Zealand.

I’m also pleased to see the recommendation made – again – that central government should pay rates on Crown land. We’ve seen that before and the government should just get on with it,” she said.

Goalie slick under fire

Cambridge White – one of two teams in Cambridge Football Club’s 12th grade academy programme – put up a strong performance against Matamata Fenerbahçe (which shares a name with a Turkish club) playing away at Pohlen Park on Saturday morning. Ellis Williams, pictured here streaking towards the goal chased by Matamata player Finn Gouk, was outstanding in defence, as was Cambridge goalkeeper Benjamin Lee, who won player of the day for his slick efforts to fend off a barrage of opposition shots. Ivan Hill scored for Cambridge in the last quarter of the game but Matamata held on to take a 2-1 win. Photo – Steph Bell-Jenkins

Museum plan

Waipā District Council’ s Te Ara Wai Governance committee will gauge fresh support for the $27 million museum. While there were 29 letters of support when the project was mooted in 2017, delays since – caused by Covid and a lack of funding – means the committee must get a sense of what funding options were now available, members were told at a meeting this week.

Maungatautari extension

Waipā council has given a one-year extension to the Maungatautari Ecological Island Trust at a cost of $305,000 to deliver ongoing management of the maunga scenic reserve. Usually, the council would go to the open market but there are no other suitable suppliers able to deliver the services.

Public excluded

Waipā Council’s Finance and Corporate committee did more of its business this week out of the public eye than in it. Reports from Waikato Regional Airport, land acquisition in Te Awamutu, disposal of a stopped road in Pirongia, a partial land purchase for roading, acquisition of land and easement in Cambridge and management services for Mighty River Domain in Karāpiro were in public excluded while the only item in public, with the exception of apologies and confirmation of minutes, was the financial report for the period ending May 31.

Plant opposition

The Department of Conservation and Aotea Development Group have opposed the discharge consent for the new Cambridge Wastewater Treatment Plant. Mana whenua and Hamilton City Council have supported it while Fish and Game was neutral. Waipā staff hope to work with submitters to avoid a hearing.

Plan adopted

A management plan eight years in the making has been adopted for a Pirongia reserve  – and prioritises horse-riders, walkers and runners. The Sainsbury Road Reserve Management Plan was adopted by Waipa’s Strategic Planning and Policy Committee this week after 60 submissions were heard.The plan also provide for a two-way cycle-track on the edge of the 41ha reserve.

Sequioa Drive named

Sequoia Drive will be the new name for the collector road between Te Aranui Drive and Cambridge Road in Te Awamutu. The road is in the Picquet Hill development and borders land owned by the Empson family which suggested Sequoia, from the botanical name for the Californian redwood trees – sequoia sempervirens. A row of Californian redwood trees originally formed an avenue along the farm boundary but were removed in the late 1980s.

Waste plan adopted

Waipā District Council has adopted a six-year Waste Minimisation and Management Plan. Six issues surfaced during consultation including support for organic waste, council funded rubbish collections, reducing recycling contamination, diverting construction and demolition waste, having the right infrastructure and getting the most out of government policy.

Fluoride closer

A detailed design needed to enable Cambridge’s water supply to be fluoridated has been submitted to Manatū Hauora (Ministry of Health). The council was told last year it must add fluoride to the water. The estimated costs, which would include the Karāpiro and Alpha Street plants, would be $480,000 with annual operating costs of $130,000.

On the road

Waka Kotahi contractors resealed or replaced 488 lane kilometres on Waikato and Bay of Plenty highways over the summer.  Meanwhile, works on the expressway at Rangiriri will involve detouring traffic over the next six weeks.

Fish fees

The price of Taupō Fishing District licence fees have risen for the first time in six years ahead of the 2023-24 starting in July 1. Fees range for adults from $23 a day to $105 for the season.

15 June 2023

Open for care: From left, Arvida Lauriston Park village manager Tanya Lindsay, Taupō MP Louise Upston, resident Robin Caulton, Jenny Fraser, Waipā mayor Susan O’Regan and Arvida chief executive Jeremy Nicoll after the ribbon was cut and plaque unveiled at the $40 million innovative care centre in Leamington. The centres features 63 care suites with a 75 strong team that provides rest home hospital and dementia levels of care. Photo: Supplied.

Coach heads home

Cycling New Zealand national sprint coach Nick Flyger has resigned to return to Australia because his wife Anna Meares has been appointed Australia’s chef de mission for the Paris Olympic Games. The couple had been living and working in Cambridge with their young family.

Quarry owner

New Plymouth-based Remediation (NZ) Ltd is the owner of the land at 3831 Cambridge Road, Cambridge where a quarry is operating. The News incorrectly reported last week it was owned by Shaw’s Property Holdings. We regret the error.

Road works

A series of overnight closures at SH21 in Tamahere are planned from Sunday to enable safety improvements at the Tamahere interchange. Detours will be in place. Lane shifts and a temporary speed limit are in place at all other times, The project is expected to be complete next month.

Town Hall concert

The very popular Madeleines Trio will be in concert tomorrow (Friday) from 2pm in the Cambridge Town Hall. The free event features vintage-inspired music and toe-tapping fun. The trio will perform classic tunes and then take the audience through the golden era of jazz, swing and glamour.

Football activated

The Fifa Women’s World Cup activation platform featuring information, ticket sales and opportunities for the public made an appearance at Cambridge Football Club on Saturday. Club secretary Matt Malligan said many junior players walked away with merchandise and match tickets for Waikato games. The first match is in Hamilton on July 22 featuring Zambia and Japan.

Teenagers arrested

Spark, on Victoria St, was ram raided last week

Two teenagers who smashed their way into a local supermarket with axes to steal alcohol, before fleeing in a stolen vehicle, have been arrested.

The pair – aged 15 and 16 – appeared in Hamilton Youth Court last week. Police were called to the Four Square in Thornton Rd at 5.50am last Monday, June 5 after a group was seen trying to break in. The stolen vehicle the teenagers left in was found by police a short time later.

Meanwhile, Spark – on Victoria St – was ram raided in the early hours of last Wednesday morning. It comes just eight weeks after Cambridge’s Supergran thwarted an attempted ramraid at the store while going for coffee early on Easter Monday.

Just after 2am last Wednesday, three people stole cell phones and money, before leaving in two vehicles. Police are seeking more information.

Midwinter swim

The fourth annual Winter Solstice Swim will be held at 8.30am on Sunday at the Lake Karāpiro boat ramp. Forty people participated last year and organiser Tash Couzner is expecting more this year, weather permitting. Post swim, participants can catch up for a warm drink at the Podium café.

Chatbot protocols

Artificial intelligence chatbot platforms may have become popular worldwide, but Waipā District Council is restricting staff access to platforms such as ChatGPT. To protect the council, official email addresses cannot be used while fictitious names must be used.

Litigation cases

Two legal proceedings against Waipā District Council are currently before the courts. The claims seek damages of more than $2.5 million and $1 million respectively.

Project delivery

Waipā council has 162 budgeted projects underway with a total spend of $71.8 million – 55 per cent of the budget. A further $55.5 million is yet to be spent and is likely to go into the 2023-24 financial year starting July 1. Another $3.4 million – 2.6 per cent of the budget – is yet to be committed.

Transport priorities

Resilience and climate change are top of the list the Waikato Regional Transport Committee will seek to address through its next 10-year land transport plan. These issues are closely followed by safety, access and mobility, and growth and economic development, the committee decided this week. The plan is broad and must reduce single-occupancy car use, as well as encourage cycling and walking as transport options.

Public excluded

An Audit and Risk committee workshop on the top risks and risk appetite for Waipā council was held behind closed doors on Monday before the committee meeting proper. A council spokesperson said the different approach was to better reflect the increasing maturity of risk governance discussions. The News has queried the decision to go into public excluded.

Timeframes met

Waipā District Council met statutory timeframes for all its building consent applications from October last year to April. Ones that exceeded the 20-day timeframe prior to that were a result of temporary software issues – which have been resolved – and human error. Training has been carried out to prevent further staff errors.

Consents delayed

Thirty resource consent applications were not processed at Waipā District Council within the statutory timeframes. Staff vacancies and capacity constraints along with complexities and specific issues led to the delays.

Official information

Waipā District Council received 283 Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act requests from October through to April with three responses not met on target. One of those was declined under the act because of legal privilege while another met the timeframe but there was a delay in a staff member sending it back. The other request should not have been logged under the act.

8 June 2023

On hold

The Cambridge Golf Club development unveiled to The News readers last year to create new up-market housing on the course has been abandoned by developers because of the downturn in the property market. The club is now looking at other possibilities which would allow it to make course improvements, including fairway watering.

Read: Golfers home on the range

Development off: Cambridge Golf Club development committee chair Neil Gibb on the present driving range which was to become housing under the new plan.

Website statistics

Our article Loner’s last post about John Patrick O’Brien who lay unclaimed in the morgue until Cambridge RSA claimed him, was the best-read article on the Cambridge News website in May. Second was our home page followed by Top marks for market about our award-winning farmers’ market, Trio’s glad tidings and A new tree for Marg.

Franchise winner

The owner of the Subway food franchise in Cambridge has picked up an Australasian award. Wendy Stewart, who also owns franchises in Matamata and Hamilton, has won this year’s Franchisee of the Year award – becoming the first New Zealand winner.

Fieldays returns

Roads around Waipā will be closed from next Wednesday through to Saturday for Fieldays. The Park ‘N’ Ride service from Lamb and Milton streets in Leamington to Fieldays will operate.

Valuation objections

Objections to the latest Waipā property valuations have been flowing in with 90 received as of last week. Feedback closes on June 29. The revaluations are those at August last year and the market has changed since then, deputy chief executive Ken Morris said but should not be a reason for any objections. Hits to the rating tool on the council’s website sat at 4670 as of June 1 with another 2500 hits to the rating information page.

Help please

Waipā District Council has asked for help from New Zealand kiwifruit growers as it reviews its District Plan rules to cope with the expansion of orchards onto pastureland. The council wants growers to tell them what challenges they face moving into Waipā including shelterbelt planting, boundary setbacks and shade cloth structures. Council will engage with all stakeholders as part of the plan change process.

Levies increase

Development contributions for Hautapu and Pukerimu will increase as part of a new Development Contributions Policy adopted by the council’s Strategic Planning and Policy committee this week. The first policy was adopted in June 2006 to fund growth related costs through development contributions and reviewed every year.

Annual plan update

Ratepayers will pay Waipā District Council $83.8 million in rates for the financial year starting July 1. Cambridge ward will pay $3.65 million in targeted rates which funds community boards, grants, libraries, swimming pools, museums etc, Kakepuku $295,790, Maungatautari $493,560, Pirongia $658,887 and Te Awamutu $2.1 million. The average rate increase is six per cent which puts it 0.3 per cent under a consultation trigger. The recent revaluation saw the value of large rural properties dip which will see their rates bills decrease.

Mayoral support

Susan O’Regan

Waipā mayor Susan O’Regan welcomed National’s new housing growth, saying it will provide better outcomes for the district. National’s new policy, she says, provides more options for councils such as giving more flexibility around where houses can be built and giving them the ability to opt out of the medium density residential zone law that was put in place in November last year.

Knitters unite

A ‘worldwide knit in public’ day is being held from 10am on Saturday at both Cambridge and Te Awamutu libraries.

1 June 2023

Waiting to spend a penny

A toilet block in Cambridge destroyed by an arson attack in April has yet to be replaced. The land where the Thornton Road disability friendly toilet block stood near the Lake Te Koo Utu playground has been cleared.
Waipā District Council says its Community Services team is working with insurers and contractors on valuations and quotes for the rebuild. Timeframes are expected next week. The nearest public toilets are adjacent to the Lake Te Koo Utu carpark off Albert Street.

Voting opens

The race to replace Waipā District councillor Takena Stirling in the Māori ward starts today. The by election has four candidates – Bill Harris, Barney Manaia, Dale-Maree Morgan and Gaylene Roberts. Voting is open to electors on the Māori roll and runs to June 23. Stirling resigned in March.

Fines drop

The fining system for overdue library books in Waipā – which generates about $18,000 a year but comes with administration costs and angst, is to go. Waipā District Council, debating its 2023-24 fees and charges, has decided to join other councils around the country in removing overdue library fines from July.

Art winner

Hawke’s Bay artist Ricks Terstappen won the Fieldays No.8 Wire National Art Award for his artwork titled Connectivity last week. The finalists’ artworks will be on display until July 2 at ArtsPost in central Hamilton.

Museum closed

Cambridge Museum will be closed from next Tuesday for seismic strengthening work. The work, expected to cost about $400,000 should take about six weeks.

Land sale

Waipā District Council has made a sizeable profit by selling part of a 3.7ha parcel it bought for just under $700,000 six years ago. A 1.4ha block has been sold to public housing Crown agency Kainga Ora for almost $2.7 million. The land in Cambridge Rd, Te Awamutu, will be the site of 30 homes as part of an affordable housing project for people 55 years and over. Read more.


25 May 2023

Papakāinga go ahead

The council has approved the Ngāti Koroki-Kahukura Trust’s application to build a further nine new houses in its Westlea Road, Maungatautari papakāinga development. The consent is for two five bedrooms, three four bedrooms and four two-bedroom homes, three of which are kaumātua houses. Papakāinga is owner-occupied housing owned and occupied by and for whānau, generally with a Māori Land Court registered Licence to Occupy.

New dress for investiture

Karen and Ken Morris have Queen Service medals for now as the recognition process started while Queen Elizabeth was still alive. Photo: Mary Anne Gill

Karen Morris has a new dress while husband Ken has drycleaned his suit for tomorrow’s investiture ceremony in Government House, Wellington. The Cambridge couple will receive their Queen’s Service Medals for services to the community from Governor general Dame Cindy Kiro, and husband Richard Davies in front of family members.

New retirement village

Arvida Group has applied to build a new retirement village on Maungatautari Road. The village, which will be in the grounds of the Henley Hotel, will comprise 130 standalone villas and 20 serviced apartments in the rural zone. Arvida, which developed Lauriston Park in Leamington, is one of the largest operators of retirement village and aged care communities in New Zealand and proposes to redevelop Henley into a new retirement community for Cambridge.

Website visits

Our front page story about plaudits for the Cambridge Farmers’ Market has been the best read story on our website so far this month. Trio’s glad tidings about the three children who found money at the beach and then got it when no one claimed it came in second. Super Gran, who penned in the ram raiders, still ranks well ahead of Early look at dam work about Karāpiro Dam and our consistently popular News in Briefs rounds out the top five.

Diversion road to keep traffic flowing

A diversion road to minimise traffic disruption during construction along Cambridge Road, Cambridge will be in place from Tuesday June 6. It will start just past Te Awa Lifecare for approximately 200m and will divert back onto Cambridge Road. The diversion is expected to be in place for 16 months while contractors lay storm water pipes and complete the construction of the new single-lane roundabout.

Bus figures

Last week, The News was provided data, also given to Waipā District Council, which showed that on two days last month – April 9 and April 17 – no passengers caught the Cambridge bus. The regional council has since confirmed that was incorrect, attributing it to “technical issues” with its patronage database. In fact, on April 9, 64 passengers caught the Cambridge bus, and, on April 17, 443 passengers were aboard.

Previous story

Bus patronage mixed

Two Cambridge regional bus services ran with no passengers all day last month – on Easter Sunday April 9 and Monday April 17, according to figures released by Waikato Regional Council to the Waipā council. Nearly 10,000 trips were made to and from Cambridge and Hamilton in the month with the busiest day – 794 trips – on Monday April 3. The most frequented stop is in Victoria Square, opposite the Town Hall.

Disaster test

There will be a nationwide test of the Emergency Mobile Alert System on Sunday between 6-7pm. The test will be followed by the Annual Disaster Preparedness Survey which will contain questions about receiving an emergency mobile alert.

Art finalist

Te Awamutu’s Dagmar Elliott is one of 26 finalists in the  2023 Fieldays No.8 Wire Art Award. The Fieldays event challenges artists to turn wire into art and the winners will be announced today ahead of an exhibition of the finalists’ artworks startering tomorrow at Hamilton’s ArtsPost Galleries and Shop.  Elliott and son Nick won the competition in 2014.

18 May 2023

The temporary cycleway and footpath opposite Hugo Shaw Drive in Cambridge Road. Photo: Mary Anne Gill.

Safely does it

A temporary cycleway and footpath has been installed on Cambridge Road from Resthaven to the Velodrome as part of Waipā District Council’s $3.5 million first stage roading upgrade. Stage one of the two-year Cambridge Corridor project includes road upgrades on Hamilton and Cambridge Roads, between Vogel Street and just past Kelly Road. A new signalised pedestrian crossing is going in outside Little Thinkers Kindergarten and across the road to the Hamilton Rd Shopping Centre as are new bus stops and shelters.

Within two years a safe roading network, including a new roundabout and underpass, will link the town with the new Cambridge West developments. The temporary cycleway and footpath will enable residents of Te Awa Lifecare to travel safely on foot, bicycle or on mobility equipment between the retirement village and town for the first time since the village was built a decade ago.

Preparations heat up

A three-person Cambridge team, the Cambridge Vollys’ – made up of Glenn Philip, Michael Morton and Leon Vincent – has raised $4949 ahead of competing in the 2023 Firefighter Sky Tower Challenge on Saturday. The challenge, now in its 19th consecutive year, sees teams racing 328m up Auckland Sky Tower’s 51 flights of stairs – or 1103 individual steps – in full firefighting kit weighing 25kg to raise funds, and awareness for, Leukaemia & Blood Cancer New Zealand. This year, about 1000 firefighters from around New Zealand – and even some from Australia – are set to make the climb.

Gabrielle costs

The final cost of cleaning up after Cyclone Gabrielle was $156,000 putting the Waipā council over its annual storm damage budget by $140,000. The council responded to 295 customer requests and removed 42 cyclone damaged trees. In Cambridge, 12 trees blocked tracks around Lake Te Koo Utu and had to be removed. Hazardous trees and debris were removed from the lake and all tracks reopened.

Let us help

Waipā District Council has offered to assist Waikato Regional Council with its passenger transport services’ communications and marketing. This follows residents’ complaints they were unaware of new regional bus services travelling through Cambridge and Te Awamutu.

Trash talk

Contractors have removed large amounts of rubbish from Ngā Roto, Bulmer’s Landing and Keeley Reserve. Included was household rubbish, whiteware and green waste. Meanwhile there has been a reduction in vandalism and graffiti across the rural reserves this year.

Reading galore

Waipā Libraries signed up 657 new members – 379 in Cambridge and 278 in Te Awamutu – in the first three months of the year. The service hosted nearly 36,000 visitors – about 18,000 in each town – and issued 110,415 items. Cambridge has 21,870 patrons and Te Awamutu 16,318.

New library?

Work has started on exploring the need and possibilities of having a new Cambridge library as part of the government’s Better Off Funding package. Waipā council will use the $250,000 grant to secure some external support and utilise the Cambridge Community Board’s expertise. The board has getting a new library as one of its top priorities.

Depot moved

Cambridge-based Waipā District Council parks staff are on the lookout for a new depot. Staff currently use space under The Warehouse in Wilson Street, adjacent to council offices, but there have been health and safety concerns raised. Long term, council is looking at a new depot in Matos Segedin Drive on council land but short term, a site in Carters Flat is under consideration.

Cooper selected

Cambridge cycling coach Jack Cooper has been named by Paralympics New Zealand in the first cohort of 42 para athletes and coaches for the Para Sport Collective.       The collective is for those in the pre-high performance stage of the para sport pathway.

Footpaths replaced

New footpaths have been installed on Cook Street in Leamington while pavers have been relaid or replaced on Empire and Lake streets in the Cambridge central business district.

Root damage

Consultation is underway with Hall Street residents over sealing parts of the road edges in one of Cambridge’s oldest streets. The tree-lined designated heritage street has several rough edges caused by tree roots. The council has been in talks with residents for more than a decade.

House bought

A two bedroom house in Milicich Place, Cambridge which Waipā council bought last year for strategic purposes will be leased out for two years. Settlement for the property, currently used as offices, is next month. The council owns several properties in the area and wants to produce a feasibility study to determine a long-term strategy for it.

Going it alone

Hautapu Rugby Club decided to get its own concept plans drawn up for Cambridge Memorial Park rather than collaborate with other groups in the northern area of the Town Belt. The groups met earlier this year and chose not to seek external funding for a combined masterplan prompting the rugby club to engage its own supplier but is open to working with other stakeholders.

New fields set

Cambridge’s newest playing fields have had their first mow but are not expected to see any sporting action on them for a few weeks. The two new fields to the north of John Kerkhof Park cost $900,000 to complete and work included the installation of new drainage and irrigation, earthworks and re-levelling of the ground. A swale drain – which had prevented the fields being used as a football pitch or cricket area – has been filled in.

The fields had previously been unusable during winter. Waipā District Council community services manager Brad Ward told the Service Delivery committee this week contractors, who started work in November last year, did extremely well in testing conditions. As part of the work TIC Contracting completed the installation of primary and secondary drainage and irrigation at the park. The fields are in a grow-in phase and are expected to be open for play later this month.

Meanwhile following a series of meetings with sports field lessees in the district, the council is considering five options for the next stage of engagement. They include maintaining the status quo, a voluntary opt in to council management, urban sports fields managed by council, all sports fields managed by council or a different type of investment. The aim of the review is to assess which option will best deliver a network of high quality, safe and accessible sports fields that enables and inspires residents to get active, supports a strong event calendar and contributes to placemaking and environmental outcomes.

Hospice t shirts

It is Hospice New Zealand’s National Awareness Week and Cambridge-based fashion brand Harrïe & Sam has collaborated with Hospice Waikato to create a collection of exclusive T-shirts aiming to raise awareness and vital funds for the organisation. Stacey McIntosh said raising funds for hospice was important for her as it allowed her company to recognise and honour the remarkable individuals who make hospice’s daily operations possible including nurses, entertainers, shop volunteers and family caregivers.

Apprentice grants open

Cambridge Rotary wants building apprentices to apply for its annual grants which provide up to $1000. The money can be spent on tools, technology or course costs. Students must work in the Cambridge area, have at least six months experience in the building or construction trades, and be recommended or sponsored by their employer. Applications close May 25.

Raising funds

Cambridge woman Angela Neville is joining a national effort to support Kiwis affected by breast cancer by participating in a Pink Ribbon Breakfast challenge this month. She is hoping to raise at least $350.00 from participating in her fundraising challenge for Breast Cancer Foundation NZ and has already raised over half that amount. If you’d like to host a Pink Ribbon Breakfast, visit 

11 May 2023

Kip coming

Education centre Kip McGrath opens its new Cambridge premises in Lakewood on Saturday with a ribbon cutting ceremony attended by Taupō MP Louise Upston and Waipā mayor Susan O’Regan. A public open day follows starting at midday.

Dairy awards

The winners of the New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards will be announced in Auckland on Saturday. In the running is Te Awamutu’s Sam Dodd, who is a Dairy Manager of the Year finalist. Finalists compete for a total prize pool of about $200,000.

Contract call

Waka Kotahi is preparing to go to tender and hopes to have the contract awarded by August for its planned State Highway 1 and 29 intersection roundabout. The project was given the go ahead by the Environment Court.

Tour coming

Award-winning Kiwi photographer and storyteller Helen Manson will speak in Cambridge on Monday as part of her ‘A Celebration of Humanity’ tour.  Manson works for Tearfund and will speak on her experiences across 35 countries.  The talk is at the Raleigh Street Christian Centre, and doors open at 7pm.

4 May 2023

St Andrew’s Gala for Cyclone Gabrielle

Cyclone fundraiser

Details of how much the St Andrew’s Craft Fair and Gala in Cambridge raised on Saturday for Cyclone Gabrielle funds will not be known for some days, according to organiser Ian Dunn. All payments for the 135 site or stall fees went to the fund. Photo: Mary Anne Gill

Dog policy

A revised Dog Control Policy is going out to consultation in Waipā for a month. Changes in the draft include prohibiting dogs from exercising behind motor vehicles, tethering rules for dogs on the back of utes and trailer, a change to certain neutering decisions and a limit on the number of dogs able to be taken into an exercise area. Submissions close on June 16.

Back in the saddle

Many happy returns: Cambridge constable Paul Bevan helped make Troy Johnson’s day last week when he returned a stolen bike. Troy’s son Maddox, 16, had been working at Burger Fuel in Cambridge when the bike was stolen, and it was one of two discovered by police when they searched a property. Troy, pictured with daughter Mieke, is a joiner who owns Huis Joinery. His advice: get your bike engraved, and always lock it.

Weather report

Another month another lot of rain… that’s NIWA’s assessment of early May. It’s season outlook through to July opens with a period of tropical weather – and rain –  followed by “variable”, slightly warmer than usual weather.

Notices issued

The council’s enforcement team has been busy issuing nine littering infringements where it was obvious who the offender was and 190 parking infringement notices. The majority were for “overstaying” in Cambridge and Te Awamutu’s central business districts.

Donations made

Cambridge’s Cruisers Rock n Roll Club has presented $7800 to both the Cambridge Community House and Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari, from the $15,600 raised from its March dancing with the stars event. Representatives of the two organisations, Gabby Byrnes and Norma Taute respectively, who accepted the money, discussed how the donations would support the continued success of their projects.

Website visits

Website visits for April to smashed all previous monthly records thanks to the story about our Super Gran who foiled ram raiders. John Hansen standing firm on his Piarere flyover campaign was next followed by Where’s the Playground Susan?, Me and my Kiwi Momma and in fifth, The Women strike back about dragon boat competitors.

Noisy times

Waipā noise control officers were kept busy during the first three months of the year responding to 440 complaints. Thirty-six people were issued with written directions and 17 issued with verbal instructions to reduce excessive noise. No equipment was seized.

Dog gone

Only 127 dogs remain unregistered with Waipā District Council – which is 1.3 per cent of all dogs in the district. The council will continue pursuing owners. Meanwhile 54 dogs impounded in the quarter ended March 31; 43 were claimed by their owner, three put down and one rehomed. Seven dogs were still in the pound at the end of the quarter. Twelve of the 17 reported issues to Animal Control were reports of dog bites – 12 on other animals and five on adults – with most being relatively minor.

No Planet B

Readers will spot Peter Matthews’ regular musings are absent this week. Peter will produce his No Planet B column for the rest of the year on an occasional basis. His past columns are on our website

Show goes on

St Peter’s School senior musical production Anastasia, which was to open on April 29, will now open tonight (Thursday) due to a variety of illnesses among the cast and crew. The show will now end its four-day run on Sunday with a matinee performance.

Chopper Fundraiser

Bob Laws of Cambridge had his 80th birthday at Te Awa Retirement Café recently and used the opportunity to raise $1038 funds for the Westpac Waikato rescue helicopter. Laws would not have made his birthday had the helicopter not transferred him to Auckland Hospital in 2019 after he had a stroke. He presented the money last week at the chopper’s Waikato Hospital hangar.

Record high for fundraiser

Christmas Festival Society president Deb Robinson, right, with representatives of some of the recipient groups. Pictured, back from left, Dawn Harpur (Octopus for Preemies), Adrienne Windsor (Waikato Rivertones), Paul Murphy (GW Railway Modellers), Phil Johnson (Volunteer Fire Brigade), Marilyn Bird (CCH), Selby McClelland (Achievement House) and Peter Wright and Richard Crease (Voluntary Fire Brigade). Front, Sally Hall (Cambridge Toy Library), Jo Simpson (La Leche League) with Charlotte and Samantha, Heidi Gleeson (True Colours) and Gabby Byrne (CCH).

Read more.

27 April 2023

Three pairs

They say every picture tells a story, and there were plenty of stories to tell at the dragon boat racing events at Karāpiro this month.  Here’s some from the International Breast Cancer Paddlers’ Commission Participatory Dragon Boast Festival…’

Aiming for a clean sweep

The Waipā district parks and reserve team spent Monday tidying up the Cenotaph and Town Hall gardens in Cambridge ready for Anzac Day. Pictured were, back row, from left, Jim Cooper, Paul Wootton, Jo Chambers, Jade Wilson, John Swafford, Ali Ferguson and Frank Verhoeven, front Darrian Gedge and Phill Gumbley.

Centenary celebrated

Past and present residents and friends gathered in Monavale Hall recently to celebrate its belated 100th birthday. The hall was upgraded for the occasion with an extra toilet installed, interior painting and a large French door on the eastern side. The hall opened in June 1922 at a cost of £150.

Eltje wins bronze

Cambridge paracyclist Eljte Malzbender won two bronze medals – in the women’s T1 time trial and road race – at the Italian Para Cycling World Cup in Maniago. The trike rider completed the road race in 1:06:17.

Grants made

Cambridge Community Board allocated its discretionary grants last week. Successful recipients were: Brain Injury Waikato Inc $1500, Cambridge Chamber of Commerce $526.80, Cambridge Community Garden $813.92, Cambridge Cycling Festival Inc $1000, Cambridge Repertory Society Inc          $2350, Cambridge Safer Community Charitable Trust $9000, Citizens Advice Bureau Cambridge Inc $660, Ko Wai Au Trust $2000, Leamington Croquet Club Inc $1500, St Andrew’s Church $499, St John Cambridge Area Committee $3855, The Rotary Club of Cambridge Charitable Trust $1519.35, Waikato Rowing Club Inc $1500.

Chestnuts removed

Council contractors Treescape remove the last of the two chestnut trees from the Cambridge Domain. Photo: Mary Anne Gill

Cambridge lost two chestnut trees last week from between the Thomas Wells Memorial Gates at the entrance to The Domain. The trees – a horse chestnut and a sweet chestnut – both died during the summer. Neither tree came into leaf and council arborists suspect a series of long hot summers took their toll.

Replacement trees will be planted in autumn or winter when they have a better chance of surviving. The species have not been selected but they will be large-growing trees to provide shade and match other trees in the area. Treescape, council’s contractors, mulched some of the wood for garden chip to be used in council gardens and parks. The rest will be used for firewood.

  • Meanwhile council has confirmed there was little useable wood from five trees poisoned five years ago near the Lakewood development. They were found in poor condition with drill holes indicating poisoning. Three totara, a cryptomeria and a cedar were all felled and the culprits never found. There was only a small amount of useable wood from the larger totara tree and it went to the local marae for carving.

20 April 2023

Rocking it: Florence Hubert, 17 months, rocking it at the Family Fun Day at Leamington Domain to the music of entertainer Jack Wallis.

It’s fun time in Leamington

It was the kids’ turn to have their say on Leamington Domain’s future at a family day on Sunday and they did it in their own unique way, as Mary Anne Gill found when she visited to check on feedback. Comments such as “we like slides” and “keep the trains” written in colouring pencils and lots of pictures represent valuable feedback, says Waipā District Council.
Feedback closes tomorrow (Friday).

Poppy presentation

Making the presentation this week to RSA president Tony Hill, second right, and Brigadier Jon Broadley, right, were from left, NZMCA Waikato chair Michael Cullen and members Chrissy Cullen, Nena Hergatt and Carole Talbot.

Poppies knitted by New Zealand Motor Caravan Association (NZMCA) members at a ‘knit in’ have been presented to the RSA Cambridge in time for Anzac Day. The poppies were made during the association’s recent national rally in Te Aroha and given out to motor home friendly towns in the Waikato.

Web statistics

Taupō MP Louise Upston posted this picture taken on Monday afternoon showing glazier Glenn Philip making a start on repairs.

There was only one story in town in the last week and that has been reflected in web statistics. Our story about ‘Super Gran‘ and the ram raiders captured 95 per cent of all visits to Flyover advocate John Hansen standing firm on his plans for the Piarere roundable was second followed by Where’s the Playground Susan?, Thieves steal lifesaver and Here come the girls.

Four candidates

Three candidates have been nominated for the vacant Māori ward seat on the Waipā District Council. They are Raukawa trustee Gaylene Roberts, who also stood in the 2022 election, Barney Manaia of Ngāti Maniapoto and environmental indigenous advocate Dale-Maree Morgan of Te Awamutu. The seat has been vacated by the resignation of suspended lawyer Takena Stirling and The News expects the nomination number to grow beyond three when they close next week.

Eyes on the road

Bryan Hudson

The Cambridge locations of three community closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras containing automatic number plate recognition technology have been changed so police can detect cars coming from both directions. Waipā District Council approved locations across the district – in Te Awamutu, Pirongia, Ōhaupō, Ngāhinapōuri, Te Awamutu and Cambridge – at its December council meeting.
The sites had existing cameras with power and fibre communications, said Transport manager Bryan Hudson in a report to the Service Delivery committee meeting this week.
However, some locations could only detect cars from one direction. In talks with its CCTV provider, the council chose a better Cambridge location on Tirau Road near the Fergusson (Low Level) Bridge in place of cameras in Victoria, Queen, Duke, Shakespeare and Cook streets. “The objective is to provide police with early warning wherever possible,” he said.

Market back to CBD?

Les Velutich, has banned plans to re-establish a street market in Cambridge’s main shopping centre after the Lions Trash ‘n’ Treasure market post-Covid move to Memorial Park. The Lions have applied to renew its permit to operate on the second Sunday of each month in the CBD.

Minister visits

Lee Turpitt with Police Minister Ginny Anderson

Police minister Ginny Anderson has visited Hautapu to see a government subsidised fog cannon in place. The cannon was installed by Watchu Security at the Hautapu dairy as part of a scheme run by MBIE to combat a spate of aggravated assaults.  “We have installed several locally, and I think more knowledge of this subsidy would be helpful for residents,” company spokesperson Lee Turpitt said. The minister visited Hautapu last Wednesday.

Arsonist strikes

The burnt out toilet block

A toilet block near the playground on Thornton Rd, Cambridge, has been the victim of an arson attack. Meanwhile, police in Te Awamutu have arrested two young teenagers after a fire was lit at a commercial building in Rickit Rd. Early assessments suggest the damage will run to $1 million.

Dance time

Cambridge’s Scottish Country Dancing will begin an eight-week beginners’ workshop series next Wednesday. Club secretary Lesley Gousmett said the club, which meets weekly at St Andrew’s Church Hall is keen to grow its membership numbers.

Tritt retires

Waipā business development manager Steve Tritt has retired after nine years at the council. Tritt’s role involved leading business growth and investment in Cambridge and Te Awamutu.

See: Waipa eyes slice of movie money.

Waipa business development manager Steve Tritt with Waikato Screen’s Madelien Scholten at Karapiro scouting for locations.

Rates owing

Ratepayers owe Waipā District Council $77,000 in outstanding rates from before July 1 last year. The final instalment of this year’s rates will be levied on May 22. Outstanding water rates stand at $933,000.

Land sales

Waikato Regional Airport Ltd, owned by Hamilton city, Waipā, Waikato, Matamata-Piako and Ōtorohanga district councils, has made a half year operating surplus of $17.7 million. Land sale profits have driven the increase from the previous year. The results include Titanium Park, Hamilton & Waikato Tourism and Jetpark Hotel.

13 April 2023

Grants considered

The Pirongia ward committee considered 12 community organisation applications for money from its Community Discretionary Fund at its meeting yesterday. The committee had $12,388 left to allocate. Applications from Ko Wai Au Trust, Koromatua Memorial Hall Association, Ōhaupō School Parent Teacher Association, Pirongia Community Centre, Pirongia Forest Park Lodge, Pirongia School 150th Jubilee, Stewart Reid Memorial Trust Board, Te Awamutu Brass Band, Te Pahu Hall Society, Te Pahu Preschool group, Te Tamawai Trust and the Pirongia Heritage and Information Centre totalled nearly $37,000 with the largest being one for $10,000 from Ōhaupō for a new playground.

Prison visit

Waipā councillors held a briefing day and workshop at Waikeria Prison on Tuesday after brief discussions in the council chambers about the Dog Control Bylaw review and Ahu Ake – Spatial Plan. No agenda or details were published on the council website for the day-long programme.

Events funding

Applications opened this week for a share of Waipā council’s $150,000 District Promotions Fund. The fund supports events that drive economic activity and promote Waipā as a great place to live, work, invest in or visit. At the same time, $30,000 will be available to support grass-roots events through Council’s Community Fund. That fund helps events which celebrate community pride, maximise use of facilities and public spaces and help people connect.

Revaluations locked in

Waipā’s rating revaluations will be in the post later next month. The revised date comes after two false starts from council’s independent property provider which saw revaluations delayed twice. New property values will be based on the most likely selling price as at August 1, 2022 but are not intended to be used as market valuations.

Protecting the bridge

Maintenance work on Cambridge’s Victoria Bridge will future-proof it against corrosion, bird droppings – and taggers. The project, started late last year, is reaching what Waipā District Council group manager, service delivery, Dawn Inglis calls an “interesting” stage. The first section of the bridge on the Cambridge town side was completed last month when a final coat of paint and a layer of anti-graffiti coating was added.

Scaffolding being set up on the bridge.

6 April 2023

Angela Roberts

Weather report

For La Niña, read El Niño. Weather condition are set to change with the arrival of winter and an “El Niño” watch has been issued by the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research – NIWA. It is predicting “changeability” will be a theme in weather patterns and the possibility of heavy rain in April.

Roberts nominated

Taranaki based Angela Roberts will contest the Taranaki-King Country seat for Labour at the general election. Roberts is already a list MP. The seat is held by National’s Barbara Kuriger.

Yevette Williams

Back on the water

Having successfully hosted the 2023 Maadi Cup over the last week, Karāpiro is set to welcome competitors for the national dragon boat championships this weekend – followed by a second festival the following weekend.

Teacher sues

Yevette Williams, former deputy principal and wife of former St Peter’s School Cambridge executive principal Dale Burden, has gone to the Employment Relations Authority over the time the school took to release a report into allegations against her husband. While Williams awaited the report she resigned from St Peter’s.

Andrew Brown


The idea to serve up rubbish waste to councillors for morning tea came from Waipā District Council’s communications team and not from mayor Susan O’Regan and deputy mayor Liz Stolwyk, as reported by The News last week. We also reported Andrew Brown chaired Te Ara Wai committee. He was in fact appointed this week. Changes were made to both stories online.

30 March 2023

Safe to cross

St Peter’s Catholic School road patrollers had their twice-yearly training session in Cambridge recently with school community officer senior constable Brenton Irwin. Teacher Susie McCreery supervised the training on the Anzac Street pedestrian outside the school’s front gate. The school has 30 Year Six to Eight road patrollers who rotate each term.  Irwin told The News later the message he wanted to get across to parents was to always use the school-provided crossings to set a good example to the children and make them realise it was the safest way to cross the road. Often parents will cross with their children several metres away, which meant children would do that later without their parents. Photo: Mary Anne Gill.

Book launch

Claire Williamson

Cambridge mortgage advisor and rookie author Claire Williamson is launching her ultimate guide for first-home buyers at The Raceway tomorrow (Thursday). Smashed Avo to Smashed Goals not only targets first-home buyers but those associated with the property industry.

With a twist

Waipā singer-songwriter and author Holly Christina provided an entertaining entrée to this year’s Autumn Festival when she talked about her first book ‘Harp and the Lyre’ at the Cambridge Library last week.

Written under her pen-name H.C. Roberts, the book is described as alternative fantasy for young adults, its 410 pages referencing the clash of tech giants Harp and Lyre while incorporating gaming, climate change, influencers and real life.   Much of Holly Christina’s presentation was musical because the book includes 14 songs which are embedded or unlocked for readers via QR codes.

Her talk as part of the Cambridge Autumn Festival coincided with the tail end of Waipā District Libraries’ Author Month.

Exhibition highlight

Carole Hughes

Cambridge fauve artist Carole Hughes and landscape artist Kirsten McIntosh will join forces this weekend for ‘Just the Two of Us’, a two-day exhibition coinciding with the town’s Autumn Festival. Both artists will exhibit at their home studios and will have an item from their exhibition go into a draw to win a work from each studio.

Council posts

Mayor Susan O’Regan, deputy mayor Liz Stolwyk, councillors Roger Gordon and Marcus Gower have been appointed to the Community Boards Project Control group which is being set up to measure processes, successes and/or failures of operational matters associated with the community boards review undertaken last year. The Strategic Planning and Policy committee will provide oversight and direction.

Nominations open

Nominations open tomorrow (Thursday) for a new Waipā District Māori ward councillor. The vacancy has arisen following the resignation of Te Awamutu-based Takena Stirling earlier this month. Only voters registered on the Waipā Māori electoral roll will be able to vote.  Close to 2400 people are on the roll but it is not too late for potential voters to be enrolled and cast a vote.

Science show

The Science Roadshow, currently touring New Zealand in 115 locations and to 46,000 students and 450 schools, will be hosted by Cambridge Middle School tomorrow (Thursday) and tomorrow. The roadshow, an annual event since 1990, seeks to inspire and make interactive science experiences accessible to students from all corners of the country by enlivening the science curriculum.

Mitch to sing

Cambridge raceway manager Dave Branch is overseeing the richest harness race the country has seen. Photo: Supplied

New Zealand’s only $1 million harness racing event The Race, by Grins has confirmed singer-songwriter Mitch James will perform at the event on Friday April 14 at Cambridge Raceway. The news came as the final field closes up with only three vacant slots following Copy That’s victory at Alexandra Park last week. One of those could go to Kango after Cambridge reinsman David Butcher drove it into second place.

Council finances

Waipā’s financial statements show an operating surplus of $23.6 million – $21.6m lower than the $45.2m budgeted for – for the eight months ended in February. A $13.7m decrease in development and reserve contributions is the major reason followed by a $5.2m shortfall in subsidies and grants. Finance costs, due to higher interest rates, are up nearly $900,000. The council has loans of $191m which it expects will increase by $39 m by the end of June.

Victim identified

The man who died after being hit on a pedestrian crossing two weeks ago in Te Awamutu was Jonathan Hood, 29, of Ōtorohanga. Police say they have viewed CCTV footage of the incident, having earlier reported the vehicle involved failed to stop, but have not released any further details.

Visitors up

Domestic visits to Waipā in the year ended December contributed $151.1 million – up 21.5 per cent on the previous year – and international visitors a further $9.6m – up 162.9 per cent. Occupancy rates in motels and hotels were 54.5 per cent in December while Waipā’s 472 AirBnBs experience 73 per cent occupancy. The information was presented to the council’s Finance and Corporate committee by Hamilton and Waikato Tourism chief executive Nicola Greenwell this week.

Development increase

Waipā development contributions for the Hautapu and Pukerimu catchments in Cambridge will increase from July 1. The increase in Hautapu is by 6.3 per cent – based on the reallocation of actual costs for specific projects – and 1.8 per cent in Pukerimu where the rural roading development contribution has been added. A market slowdown is occurring, seen through lower number of consent applications received, and developers actively bringing less sections to the market, meaning expected income is down.

23 March 2023

Jesse Tweddle and Hamilton Kay on stage during last weekend’s Shakespeare festival. Photo: Sam Salcedo

Shakespeare success

Cambridge High won one of the two sections of the Waikato Regional Sheilah Winn Shakespeare festival in Te Awamutu last weekend.

The school produced a five minute performances from Measure for Measure, described as a dark comedy in five acts and thought to have been first performed in 1604.

It was the first opportunity students had had to gather for the festival for two years.

Schools at the regional event included Hillcrest High, St John’s College, Sacred Heart Girls’, Hamilton Girls’ High, Hamilton Boys’ High, Te Aroha College and Te Awamutu College.

Head of Drama Morag Carter said the audience consisted of the teachers and students from the other schools along with a handful of parents and Te Awamutu College staff who popped in to enjoy the performances. See: The bard still rules

Floating in for George

Waipā missed out on its Friday Balloons over Waikato show but Goodwood School did get a visit last week. Pilot Darryn Redshaw brought his Blueprint and Cloud Hopper balloons to the school to support student and Little Heart Kid George Paki. George is an ambassador for Heart Kids NZ and has had a series of heart surgeries and procedures. George, his mum Elaine and Goodwood School deputy principal Marsha Copping were taken on a short flight over the school and Redshaw answered students’ questions about ballooning and the Balloons over Waikato festival. The Heart Foundation is observing Little Heart Day tomorrow. Waipā was again denied an opportunity to see the Balloons over Waikato. They were scheduled for a Friday night lift at Lake Karāpiro, but windy weather made it unsafe. The event – themed “Welcome Back” had been awarded $5600 funding from Waipā District Council. Last year’s trip to Te Awamutu for the festival was also canned – because of Covid.

‘Rubberneck’ delays

A crash on State Highway at Karāpiro on Sunday resulted in delays for motorists. Police say it was motorists slowing to look at the crash who caused the long traffic jam which backed up to the southern end of the Waikato Expressway. The crash did not block the road. Three people were taken to Waikato Hospital with what were described as minor-moderate injuries.

Hacks go nap

The All Hacks have made it five in a row. Keith Hedges, Ray Lewis and Steve Thomas wrapped up their fifth successive Cambridge Bowling Club business house tournament last week. See: A Great start to a Great Year

Pools’ patronage up

User numbers at Go Waipā pools in Te Awamutu and Cambridge have now recovered to pre Covid numbers. However, staff shortages have tested the facilities’ ability to maintain normal operating hours and expected levels of services. Te Awamutu numbers for the six months from July 1 were 68,526 and 66,249 for Cambridge.

New president

Richard Cato was elected president of the Te Awamutu Menzshed last week, succeeding the retiring head Steve Mannington.

Te Kanohi appointments on hold

Susan O’Regan

Waipā mayor Susan O’Regan has put the appointment of mana whenua representatives on four council committees on hold.

She made the call today following the resignation last week of Waipā Maori ward councillor Takena Stirling. Read more.

Mike third

Pirongia’s Mike Bowe placed third in the national excavator competition in Feilding on Saturday. The Civil Contractors NZ CablePrice National Excavator Operator Competition title went to Dunedin’s Troy Calteaux who pipped Northland’s Steven George.

Water eyed up

Waipā District Council’s Water Safety Plans are currently under ‘rapid review’ by Taumata Arowai, the new water services regulator for New Zealand. The organisation’s role includes overseeing the environmental performance of the three waters – drinking, waste and storm. The council will learn soon whether the regulators want a more detailed audit done.

Website hits

Our online story about the Law Society’s shock suspension of Te Awamutu lawyer Takena Stirling for diverting funds for his own use and his subsequent resignation from Waipā District Council accounted for nearly a quarter of all visits to Rounding out the top five were Audit rebuke for council, Showing how it’s done, Kiwifruit decision to be appealed and Will the real Slim Shady stand up, a story written by student Archer Miller last year and picked up by One News and RNZ over the weekend.

Fluoride application in

Council staff have submitted a funding application to Manatū Hauora-Ministry of Health for its share of the $11.3 million available to the 14 local authorities ordered by outgoing director-general Ashley Bloomfield in July last year to add fluoride to their community water supplies. The estimated costs for Cambridge, which would include the Karāpiro and Alpha Street plants and the only Waipā supply affected, will be $480,000 with annual operating costs of $130,000.

Deputy Brown

Lou Brown

Waipā councillor Lou Brown has been appointed Waikato Civil Defence’s Emergency Management joint committee deputy chair. Taupō’s Anna Park chairs the committee made up of representatives from the region’s district and regional councils.

Kihikihi bus stop

Land at 29 Havelock Street in Kihikihi will lose its reserve status to become a bus depot for Waikato Regional Council. The rest of it, used as a dog pound facility, will retain its status. Designation for the 880m2 bus depot will need approval from the Minister of Conservation.

Road closures

Road closures were approved by Waipā’s Service Delivery committee this week for the Dragon Boat Festival Pink Parade (April 14), Cambridge Cycling Festival and Anzac Day (April 25).

Three charged

Three men will appear in court in Te Awamutu on April 4 after arrests were made following an incident in January.  The three, aged 33, 36 and 50, are charged with wounding with intent, taking a motor vehicle, and arson. Emergency services were called to a house in Oliver Street, Kihikihi, after a man described as a meter reader suffered serious head injuries.

Alanna’s treble dip

Alanna Rawson with the intermediate schools shield.

Cambridge Middle School student Alanna Rawson has smashed a series of swimming record at the Waikato intermediate school championships. The 12-year-old year eight student broke three records – including one dating back to 1983. See: Alanna’s triple dip

Sports stars make young Chiefs

Nine Waipā players are among the 27 named in the Chiefs under 20 rugby squad playing in the Super Rugby tournament playing in Taupō this week. Five are from Te Awamutu Sports – hooker Sean Ralph, loose forward Malachi Wrampling, outside back Cody Nordstrom, loose/lock forward Tai Cribb and loose head prop Manahi Goulton.

Selectors’ eyes were on Nordstrom who made his senior debut as a 17-year-old. Famously in one match he scored four tries against Hamilton Old Boys. A product of Hamilton Boys’ High School, winners of the last eight National Condor Sevens titles, he was picked in the New Zealand Under 20s squad that won the Oceania Championship last year.

The other four Waipā Chiefs players are from Hautapu Sports – winger Waisake Salabiau, flanker Andrew Smith, loose forward Jonty Shorty and number eight Senita Lauaki. The team lost its first match at Owen Delaney Park on Sunday against the Highlanders. The tournament, which wraps up on Saturday, presents an opportunity for national selectors to assess the country’s best merging talent ahead of the World Rugby Under-20 Championships and Trophy competitions in South Africa and Kenya later this year.

16 March 2023

The Leamington Domain playground is due for renewal.

Domain planning starts

A masterplan for Leamington Domain is underway with a renewal of the destination playground included. Reserve planner Bonnie Lewis told the Cambridge Community Board tonight – after The News had gone to press – the Domain was an important premier reserve for the Waipā community.

Lewis was also at the Ahu Ake – Spatial Plan open day at the Domain on Saturday and used the opportunity to seek feedback there. She said the Domain, almost  6.9ha in size, with its existing infrastructure and mature specimen trees provided a wonderful destination for the community.

“It is already well used by families, sport and social groups and it is important it continues to provide quality amenities,” she said. The council has engaged Xyst Ltd to develop the master plan and as part of the project will talk to mana whenua, lessees and the community.

The board was to appoint a representative to the project working group which would approve a draft plan for presentation to the council’s Service Delivery committee in August. The project will not consider the campground or netball courts.

Stakeholders include the Cambridge Model Engineering Society, which runs miniature train rides around the Domain’s perimeter, Leamington Art Group and Leamington Croquet. The area is also used for junior cricket, market days and skating. One of the Domain’s significant features is the two-storey octagonal Band Rotunda, built in 1910 on the corner of Pope Terrace and Bracken Street and moved to the Domain in 1921.

Their world is a stage

Year 12 Te Awamutu College students, from left, Avé Culpan, Millie Thackray, Grace Armstrong and Martha Newland will perform an excerpt from Much Ado About Nothing.

Shakespeare comes to Te Awamutu and Cambridge will be there.

Te Awamutu College will host Friday’s Waikato Regional Sheilah Winn  Shakespeare festival – and it will be the first opportunity students have had to gather face to face since Covid intervened two years ago. The Shakespeare Globe Centre NZ University of Otago event has been in digital mode during that time.

Schools taking the Waikato challenge of preparing five and 15 minute scenes from Shakespeare plays include Cambridge High, Hillcrest High, St John’s College, Sacred Heart Girls’, Hamilton Girls’ High, Hamilton Boys’ High, Te Aroha College and Te Awamutu College.

Grinners are winners

Cambridge Raceway has launched a sweepstake with a prize pool of $100,000 for the Race by Grins meeting next month with 2000 tickets sold at $100 each. Ten tickets will be drawn and get allocated a horse in the $1 million race. First gets $50,000, second $20,000, third $12,000, fourth $6000 and fifth to 10th $2000 each.

Woman charged

A 26-year-old woman faces a series of charges after police said she rammed one of their vehicles. The woman has been charged with shoplifting, aggravated assault and dangerous driving. Police had been dealing with a shoplifting case when it’s alleged the woman rammed their vehicle and then drove to Te Awamutu where she crashed into another car.

Library fines

A series of plans outlined by Waipā District Council – including scrapping library fines –   has gone out for public discussion for a month. The council stopped fining users for late returns of children’s books in 2019. Read more.

Website visits

Our cambridgenewsnz online story about the girls’ night in at Cambridge Library about our female writers led our website visitor stats followed by our front page article on rates increases. The rest of the top five were how library fines may be dropped, Mary Anne Gill’s bike ride with Sarah Ulmer and the fund to reduce waste getting a $10,000 boost.

No through road

The rail crossing on State Highway 1B Telephone Road will remain closed to traffic for the “foreseeable future” Waka Kotahi says. The crossing, east of Hamilton was closed in April 2022 after repeated incidents where low vehicles damaged the railway tracks. There is no funding to resolve the issue – which is costed at up to $11 million – but at the same time use of the road has lessened as a result of the opening of the Waikato Expressway.

9 March 2023

And they’re off – runners, walkers and cyclists at the beginning of the runway event last year.

Run the Runway

The annual Run the Hamilton Airport Runway event is on again this Sunday from 6.45am. The Rotary-organised 5km event will benefit the charity OrangeSky.

Joe to the rescue

Joe Scaramuzza was so angry when he read in The News last week that thieves jimmied open a cash box fixed to St Peter’s Catholic School’s sharing shed, he rang the school and offered to replace the lock box and reimburse the money stolen. Principal Anita Asumadu said it was wonderful to hear of decent people in the community after the disgusting behaviour of the thieves.

Nursing intake up

The University of Waikato is now the largest provider of graduate-entry nursing, taking in more nursing students (pictured) than the University of Auckland and Wintec – in just the second and third year of programme delivery. Photo / Supplied

Waikato University welcomed a record 211 new students into its Registered Nursing programme this week, doubling last year’s intake. Cambridge’s Sue Hayward and Jan Adams were the driving forces behind the Bachelor of Nursing programme with Prof Allison Kirkman. Hayward is Te Whatu Ora Waikato chief nurse and Adams the nursing director at Pinnacle Midlands Health Network. Both are now honorary professors at the university.

Open Day

St Peter’s School Cambridge has an Open Day next Thursday (March 16) and on Saturday April 1, the Owl Farm has a public open day.

On yer bike…

In its ninth year, The Big Bike Film Night will celebrate cycling in all its shapes and forms, as part of the lead up to the Cambridge Cycling Festival. The film night will screen at the Tivoli Cinema in Cambridge on April 24  with a series of short films.

Writers’ nights

Two upcoming ‘Girls Nights’ events at Waipā libraries will take the shape of mix and mingle evenings with groups of women authors.   The first is at Cambridge Library tomorrow (Friday) and the second at Te Awamutu Library on March 17.  Both start at 5.30pm.

Absences noted

Takena Stirling

Waipā councillors and committee members absent from meetings will now have to give a reason why they cannot be present under new conventions introduced this term. Two councillors – Bruce Thomas and Takena Stirling – were absent from Tuesday’s Strategic Planning and Policy committee with only Thomas giving a reason.

Pirongia plans out

Formal consultation will begin later this month on new plans for the Sainsbury Road Reserve in Pirongia. Consultation will begin in March and span two months. Formal hearings will be held in May with a final plan for the reserve presented for adoption in June this year.

Footbridge installation

A crane arrived in Te Awamutu’s War Memorial Park earlier this week to install a second footbridge. The first new footbridge was installed in the park in June last year as part of a wider plan to improve pedestrian and cycling access across the Mangaohoi Stream. The work is part of a major makeover for the park.

Two become one

Waipā now has a new Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) policy replacing two existing ones as part of a rationalisation project after staff noted there might be confusion by having two policies and procedures for different situations. It will sit underneath the council’s Privacy Policy.

Public places

Waipā council staff will review the existing Public Places bylaw which regulates a wide range of issues such as street dining, mobile trading, signage in road corridors and vehicle parking. It is primarily concerned with rules for promoting car user safety, placemaking and community liveability. The bylaw is nearly five years old and must be reviewed before October 30.

Fees up

A new Waipā fees and charges schedule will go out for public consultation with some increases more significant than others. A new $798.50 marquee charge – for marquees over 200 square metres – was debated fiercely by councillors but retained.

2 March 2023

Cambridge Skatepark

Temporary closure for Cambridge skatepark, pump track

The Cambridge skatepark and pump track will be temporarily closed next week as work continues on finishing the facility.

Contractors will be reinstating the bank around the side of the pump track and rear of skatepark, contouring soil and regrassing the hill. Bollards will be installed at the pump track side of the park and the entire skatepark will be sealed.

The closure is in place from March 6 – March 10 and is weather dependent.

Ingham’s bid

Ingham Motor Group has lodged a resource consent application to redevelop the site on the corner of Lake and Queen streets in Cambridge for a car dealership. The consent also required a contaminated site management plan as the site – formerly Bunnings – has been identified as potentially hazardous.

Taonga handed over

A family member of a Lake Mangakaware landowner surprised iwi and Waipā staff at the weekend when she presented a taonga her grandfather found several decades ago. The adze head  was discovered near the site of an old pa. Ngāti Hikairo and Ngāti Apakura were present for the handover of a cultural impact report on the lake, near Ngāhināpouri and got a bonus with the taonga.

Clark turning 101

George Clark

Former Waipā stalwart George Clark will celebrate his 101st birthday on Wednesday March 8.

For his birthday last year the former Te Pahu farmer, who now lives in Waihi Beach, received cards from the Queen and then PM Jacinda Ardern.

An article with pictures and a story about his centenary, supplied by daughter former prime minister Helen Clark, was one of the top online articles on The News website last year.

Birthday celebration

Cambridge High School’s library will celebrate its 50th birthday later this month. An event on March 23 will also mark the official opening of the GN Marshall Archive Room. George Marshall was the school’s principal from 1964 to 1972 and died in 2018 aged 93. He left an endowment which is being used to establish the archives.

Fun run, walk back

The 11th annual fundraising Waipā Fun Run returns after a Covid enforced absence to Victoria Square in Cambridge on Sunday. The charity event run by St Peter’s Catholic School and sponsored by Lugtons will see $1 from every entry fee go towards a not-for-profit counselling agency.

Cambridge Lifeskills provides free counselling for children and young people aged 5-15.

The event has become a favourite among families, schools and businesses. One of the best attended Fun Runs attracted about 650 people. Part of its appeal is that it offers a range of courses for runners and walkers of all ages, including 10km and 5km walk and run options, a 2km School Challenge and a 5km Teams Challenge.

Registration will be open at Victoria Square from 3pm to 5pm on Saturday, and from 7am on Sunday. Racing is due to start at 9am and prizegiving starts at 11.30.
St Peter’s Catholic School’s Donna Warwick said the community had again surpassed itself by offering a selection of great prizes.

New audit member

Lou Brown

Te Awamutu councillor Lou Brown has been added to the Waipā council’s Audit and Risk committee joining independent chair Bruce Robertson, mayor Susan O’Regan and fellow councillors Andrew Brown, Roger Gordon and Mike Montgomerie.

Business chance

Fifty $120 places in online business courses which look at sustainability are being offered free by the Waipā District Council. The courses are run by the Sustainable Business Network. The funding for 10 places in five courses comes thanks to a subsidy from Tax Management NZ and money managed by council for the Environment Ministry.

Lions chip in

The Lions Club of Te Awamutu have pledged $3000 to the Lions’ Gabrielle Relief Fund and is inviting businesses, organisations and residents to make donations too. “We do not have a target for donations made by the Te Awamutu community – but the sky is the limit as ongoing support for those affected will be needed,” Te Awamutu Lions President Brendon Hand said. The Lions fund has already contributed $30,000 for flood relief work.

Makes you smile…

Waipā District Councillors were told a daily newspaper would have a photographer at their Tuesday meeting to update the publication’s mug shots. But the promised rare appearance from another media did not eventuate.

Flagpole work starts

The Anzac Green flagpole in Te Awamutu has been taken down for work to commence on removing a rotted segment. It is planned to have the work completed ahead of Anzac Day.

Museum stats

Despite the physical closure of its facility, Te Awamutu Museum staff provided education services for 1155 student visits, 18 schools, 12 different programme and 45 sessions for the six months ending December 31. Delivery of the programmes is part of the museum’s Enriched Local Curriculum contract with the Ministry of Education.

Rural sports finalists

Luk Chin

Tamahere’s Luk Chin and Cambridge’s Nicky Chilcott are finalists in the New Zealand Rural Sports Awards. Both are leading lights in harness racing.

Chin, an anaesthesiologist, is a veteran breeder, trainer and driver and Chilcott was the first New Zealand woman to train and drive 500 winners.  The awards night will be held in Palmerston North on March 10.

Lotto winners

Two Lotto players who bought tickets in Waipā are each $21,038 better off following the weekend’s draw. Tickets bought at Victoria Station in Cambridge and Pak,n Save in Te Awamutu were two of 11 Division Two winners.

Festival programme

The Cambridge Autumn Festival programme is out listing events taking place from March 24 to April 2. The highlight is the Main Street Carnival and Art Market on March 26 where the footpaths will be brimming with original art, photography, jewellery, pottery, sculpture, woodwork and more. The festival finishes with a family friendly concert in the Town Hall featuring Youth Orchestra Waikato.

Website hits

Millions for Masonic, an article about a $4 million upgrade to the iconic Cambridge hotel, is The News’ best read story online the last fortnight followed closely behind by our piece on Selina and Emma Oliver volunteering for the FIFA Women’s World Cup tournament. The News home page, Battling the Big Storm and mayor Susan O’Regan’s column on kiwifruit shelters round out the top five.

Our Battling the big storm wrap on Cyclone Gabrielle’s impact on Te Awamutu was our best read online story in the last fortnight following closely by our story on the Te Ara Wai costs. The home page, news briefs and Painting a future for kōkako round out the top five.

23 February 2023

Te Miro chops in…

Te Miro farmer Paul Manion is doing his bit for the cyclone relief effort by organising an event on Saturday to raise much-needed funds.

Paul is joining forces with other farmers in the area to run what they are calling The Great Te Miro Chop from around 8am on Saturday, February 25. One of their number has a supply of leftover logs after having his timber milled, and it is these logs that will be available to be split into firewood for sale.

Paul said they have linked the Te Miro Chop to a Farmlands Co-Operative national initiative entitled the 2023 Cyclone Gabrielle Relief Fund in which Farmlands pledge to match customer donations to a total value of $50,000.

“We’re hoping we can make around $7000, which once doubled would be $14,000,” Paul said. “It’s not huge and we know it won’t change anyone’s life over there, but it’s more about sending the message that we do care about them and want to do something to help. If other groups did the same and raised similar amounts, it would add up to an amount that really could make a difference.”

Paul is asking people to call ahead so the Te Miro Chop can be held as safely as possible. He can be contacted on 027 662 6212.

Stockade for housing

Riding for the Disabled currently uses the Stockade Reserve.

A large open 4ha space near the centre of Kihikihi locally known for decades as the “Stockade Reserve” has been identified as a much-needed section for housing.

Until recently Riding for the Disabled operated out of the land but Waipā District Council recently purchased land on Herbert Street which the charitable organisation can move onto.

Deputy chief executive Ken Morris said in a report to the Finance and Corporate committee this week it gave the council an opportunity to develop a conceptual masterplan for a housing development.

The planning work would also look into the possibility of the new Kihikihi skatepark being based there.

Stockade Reserve is bounded by Grey, Rolleston, Hall and Whitmore streets. Sometimes also called the Government Paddock, it was the site of the British Army military stables during the Land Wars of the mid to late 19th century.

The work, to be done in four stages, will cost $26,000 and produce a proposed plan.

The site is currently zoned as a reserve which would have to be changed for housing purposes.

“There is potential in this for the reserve zoning to be shifted elsewhere, to enable this land to be used for ‘highest and best’ purpose. These aspects will be considered in the master planning work,” said Morris.

“Council’s vision is for pleasant, medium density housing that would be designed alongside the community.  We don’t want is something plonked in the middle of town that’s not supported.”

A masterplan was unlikely to be available before August this year.

Library membership

Membership at Waipā’s two libraries in Cambridge and Te Awamutu continue trending upwards as do book issues. Cambridge has 21,538 members and issued 147,529 books in the three months starting October 1, while Te Awamutu has 16,096 members and issued 78,526 books, the council’s Service Delivery committee was told this week.

Boy racers out

Roads in Cambridge, Maungatautari, Te Awamutu, Kihikihi, Pirongia and Ōhaupō will be closed between 9pm and 4am under Waipā council plans to curb antisocial driving. The behaviour is often intimidating, creates litter issues and excessive noise. In rural areas, the noise frightens stock, as well as disturbing residents, council Transportation manager Bryan Hudson told the Service Delivery committee meeting this week.

High vis reps

There will be no mistaking Te Awamutu-Kihikihi Community Board members following the board’s decision last night to invest $250 in high vis vests for members attending community events.

Survey complete

Analysis on survey responses asking Te Awamutu residents about a brand to replace Rosetown has been completed. A working group comprising all Te Awamutu-Kihikihi Community Board members, Shane Walsh and Maria Heslop from the Chamber of Commerce and Bill Harris from Ngāti Apakura will now produce a report and make a recommendation to the community board.

Te Kanohi fees

Waipā’s four iwi representatives – known as Te Kanohi – will receive meeting fees rather than an annual payment, under a recommendation tabled at the Finance and Corporate committee this week. A $450 half day and $550 full day meeting fee, plus mileage, will be paid. The annual fee will come to about $16,300 – up by $3300.

Property sales stall

John Miles’ resignation as Property Projects manager at Waipā District Council has delayed the disposal of property programme, which is  essential for much of the work identified in the Long Term Plan. The position will be filled early next month.  Finance staff will identify how much of the programme can be completed in this financial year ended June 30.

Clocking the risk

The Cambridge Clock Tower will be given a detailed seismic assessment. A heritage architect, who was engaged to make a condition assessment, recommended commissioning a report to ascertain if the tower is an earthquake risk.

Chimes challenge

The Kihikihi War Memorial Tower clock’s $70,000 upgrade has hit a snag because council staff have been unable to deactivate the chimes at night. Waterproofing, painting, upgrading the clock face and hand refurbishment all went well. Clockmakers will finalise the electronics and have the chimes fixed by next month.

Batteries all go

The Te Awamutu-Kihikihi Community Board’s trial collecting batteries at Pak‘n Save has been a big success. More than 442kg of household batteries have been picked up by Urban Miners at a cost of $1991.03 to the community board. The board was to discuss at its meeting last night (after The News went to press) whether to continue the trial.

Speech winner

Year 12 student St Peters student Sonali Pera has won the United Nations Association New Zealand Speech Award 2022 competition recently. The annual secondary school competition provides students an opportunity to learn more about the UN and developing public speaking skills.

Garden fees

Hamilton Gardens’ enclosed gardens will come at a cost to non-Hamilton residents. Hamilton City Council has opted to charge visitors a $10 fee to the themed gardens – but there will be a concession arrangement for Waipā and Waikato district residents. The charging regime will be introduced when the Gardens’ Visitor Entry Precinct project is completed – likely to be late this year or early 2024.

History lessons

Two historically-linked events will be held in Te Awamutu next week as part of Waipā Libraries Heritage month. From 10.30am on Wednesday a virtual tour is on offer at Te Awamutu Library, entitled From Then to Now – Changing Times for Te Awamutu’s 1920s Commercial Architecture. On March 4, also from 10.30am, is a presentation and tour hosted by the Te Awamutu branch of the NZ Society of Genealogists. Entitled Stories from the Dead Centre of Town, the presentation will include an introduction about the graveyard and the old St John’s Anglican Church, as well as stories from a selection of Māori and pakeha burials

16 February 2023

Help from on high

The Bay of Plenty Coastal Region rescue helicopter was called to Leamington Domain on Saturday to take a car crash victim to Waikato Hospital. The call followed a two-car crash near the intersection of Shakespeare and Campbell streets. The Cambridge Volunteer Fire Brigade was called to ensure the domain, which was being used by members of the public, was cleared so the chopper could land and take off safely.

Website Hits

Our front page story Build and be damned about kiwifruit cloth shelters was the most read online story in the last fortnight followed by Waikato medical professional Luk Chin’s On the buses proposal. Other kiwifruit cloth shelter stories – Landowners see red and Getting a taste of kiwi came in third and fourth with Lifeline for Autumn festival carnival rounding out the top five.

Hamilton Gardens charge coming

Hamilton Gardens’ enclosed gardens will come at a cost to non-Hamilton residents. Hamilton City Council has opted to charge visitors a $10 fee to the themed gardens – but there will be a concession arrangement for Waipā and Waikato district residents. The fees will apply to visitors 16 and over and concession rates will include annual passes for non-Hamiltonians.

The rates are yet to be determined. The date new charging regime will be introduced when the Gardens’ Visitor Entry Precinct project is completed – likely to be late this year or early 2024. Access from Waipā to the gardens for cyclists on the Te Awa River Ride opened with the completion of a link from Tamahere.

9 February 2023

Traffic build up in Cambridge’s CBD.

Parking tickets

The pre-Christmas parking crackdown in Cambridge and Te Awamutu by Waipā District Council resulted in 93 parking infringement notices – mostly for motorists overstaying their time. Parking in Waipā is free but there are time restrictions in place in the Te Awamutu and Cambridge central business districts.

Looking at the past

The search for history around Te Awamutu’s Anzac Green continues – but with more questions than answers. As work gears up to renovate the flagpole on the green, district councillor and Te Awamutu RSA member Lou Brown hopes more information about the history of the green will be uncovered.

He understood the flagpole has been in place since 1923. But information provided to The News suggests it may have been added later.

A correspondent reported Te Awamutu’s museum collection has historic photos of the green – but without the flagpole.

The News picked up a copy of the 1984 book Frontier Town – A History of Te Awamutu 1884-1984 at a Hamilton market on Sunday, but a quick scan failed to shed more light on the issue, other than to confirm the cenotaph had been erected in 1923.

It does note that Teasdale St – the green in on the corner of Teasdale and Bank streets – was named after John Burgess Teasdale, a Waipā county councillor who died in 1927. The town’s first Bank of New Zealand building was on the junction of Bank and Alexandra streets.

• Do you know more? Email [email protected]

Storm fallout

Three February meetings scheduled for Alexandra Park have been transferred to Cambridge Raceway after last week’s deluge of rain washed part of the Auckland course away.

Quarries on hold

Two quarry applications in Ōhaupō and Maungatautari remain on hold while Waipā council waits for further information. Rukuhia Land Company has applied to operate a sand quarry in the Ōhaupō rural zone while Beacon Hill Contracting, which had been unlawfully operating a sand quarry at Oreipunga Road, is seeking resource consents to authorise the activities.

Dog numbers

There are about 270 unregistered dogs in the Waipā district. The animal control team is working through the list and issuing infringement notices which carry a $300 fine.  Staff impounded 68 dogs in the three months up to Christmas. Owners claimed 49 of them, seven were put down and six rehomed. Meanwhile Waipā’s dog rules will be reviewed following an initial engagement period which resulted in more than 300 people providing feedback. Now a draft policy and bylaw will be drafted and go out for public consultation in April.

Funds available

The second ground of applications to Waipā District Council’s Community Discretionary Fund opened this week.  Funds are administered by the Pirongia Ward Committee, Cambridge and Te Awamutu-Kihikihi Community Boards, and support community activities or projects in the Waipā district.

New playground

Work to revamp John Rochfort Park on the corner of Hall and Bryce Streets in Kihikihi will begin this month as part of a new $300,000 playground. Read more

Dog rules reviewed

Waipā’s dog rules will be reviewed following an initial engagement period which resulted in more than 300 people providing feedback. Now a draft policy and bylaw will be drafted and go out for public consultation in April.

2 February 2023

St Andrew’s Craft and Collectable Fair January 2023. Photo: Mary Anne Gill.

The St Andrew’s Craft and Collectable Fair on Anniversary Day Monday went ahead despite the inclement weather and was a success, said organiser Ian Dunn.

Thirty stallholders from Auckland decided to cancel because of flooding issues. “At midnight the night before we had about two inches of rain in Cambridge and I wondered ‘oh no’,” said Dunn. But by daybreak, the rain had stopped, and the fair went ahead. “I’ve gone back to them all and thanked them for coming.” Stallholders reported sales were steady while one jewellery retailer reported record sales over previous years.

Tractor trek

More than a dozen tractors are leaving the farm and heading out on the roads in the Waikato for a two-week trek, starting in Cambridge next week, to support a children’s mental health programme. The trek, which is strongly supported by Rotary clubs, is the brainchild of Phil Aish, an ex-farmer himself. His daughter Cat is a Mental Wellbeing educator who tackles the issue of mental health with children through the use of teacher training, education, awareness, resources and presentations. The trek will be officially launched at Cambridge Middle School from 8.30am on Monday February 13. She will visit Te Awamutu the following day and Roto-o-Rangi on Thursday.

Rain a bonus

Heavy rain will have been a help for Lake Ngā Roto where cyanobacterial bloom was reported last week. At this time last year the lake was a graveyard for wildlife during a long hot dry period. Waipā District Council is advising against people using the lake for water activities while the bloom is present.

Hearing set

Independent commissioner Alan Withy has ordered all submissions on a retrospective resource consent application for kiwifruit shelters and shelterbelts within the permitted setback regulations at 582 Parallel Road be with him by February 10 for a February 22 hearing. Withy can decide then whether the application is granted or declined. The News has received several emails from readers about the issue and will follow the story closely both online and in print. Do you know anything?

Meanwhile our Getting a taste of kiwi  story from last week dominated our online page views with 43 per cent of the hits. Our home page was second, this News in Brief third, Remembering the days fourth and news the Cambridge transfer station is reopening creeped in at fifth just narrowly edging out Jo Davies-Colley’s Community Board column A focus on planning.

Step up

Susan O’Regan

Waipā mayor Susan O’Regan is on the hunt for smart, inspiring young people to join a national leadership programme. The Tuia Leadership programme is aimed at outstanding rangitahi Māori who have the potential to be leaders and contribute to their community. It involves a young person working alongside their local mayor to gain insights, receive one-on-one mentoring plus share their views and insights into what is important for youth. Applications close February 6.

Read more.

Festival canned

Festival One organisers cancelled the Christian event on Saturday morning after rain made the Whitehall site a quagmire of mud. Bands played on Friday night to half the ticketholders and through Saturday as the site was unpacked. Organisers will refund funds on ticketholders wristbands if received by February 27. Weather permitting, the 2024 event will be held from January 26-29.

School roll growth

Several Waipā schools are experiencing strong roll growth and numbers at all schools across the district are expected to be up when the first term begins this week, says the Education ministry. New classrooms are at Te Awamutu College, Te Awamutu Primary, Goodwood, Cambridge East and Cambridge Middle School. A new contributing primary school will open in Cambridge West early in 2025.

Another Chin victory

Luk Chin

Octogenarian Luk Chin watched from the back of the field again as Safrakova and Alana finished one-two in the Cambridge Gold Cup handicap trot on Monday at Cambridge Raceway. The previous week in the final heat, it had been the other way around. Chin was driving Jasinova, the third of his horses in the race, which finished seventh.

Cambridge driver Matthew White had to use all his skills to get around a galloping Kimkar Dash to win the Group 3 Waikato Trotting Breeders’ Stakes guiding Resolve in the feature at Cambridge Raceway last week.

Matthew White guides Resolve to victory in the Gr.3 Waikato Trotting Breeders’ Stakes (2700m)

26 January 2023

Cambridge Town Hall welcomes new manager

Simon Brew – new Town Hall general manager

Work to boost the usage of the Cambridge Town Hall and freshen up its facilities will pick up the pace this year with the Cambridge Town Hall Charitable Trust announcing the appointment of Simon Brew as its new general manager.

Born and bred in the Waikato and an old boy of St John’s College in Hamilton, Brew is returning to his roots, relocating back to the Waikato after many years in Wellington.

$6m overpaid

Te Whatu Ora Waikato (formerly Waikato DHB) says 6000 staff members were overpaid during the cyber outage in 2021, most by only small amounts. The organisation is now endeavouring to recover the $6 million owed. The DHB will not chase anyone overpaid by less than $20, said Jacquie Sherborne, acting executive Organisational Support. Read more.

Website hits

Well over a third of all hits to our website in the last week have been to our story about Cambridge drivers being driven to anger at roundabouts. Our social media post had nearly 200 comments and reached 50,000 people. Blame at the roundabouts was evenly spread between locals and new residents while district councillors were also held to account. The rest of the top five were: Home Page, Road works set to connect Cambridge, Wonderful Waka and The News ….. in brief.

Linking the generations

Dennis Lloyd flanked by Bunnies manager Sheree Jones, left, with youngsters Ava Jones and Chloe Beattie, and Cambridge Resthaven resident Linda Gorham, at the launch of ‘The Resthaven Bunnies’. Front from left are Blaze Collins, Maree Campbell, Jessie Haywood, Olive Pickering, Mel Burt with Sagato Kennach and Matthew Taylor. Photo: Michael Jeans

A new community venture linking the generations is tying together Cambridge Resthaven and Bunnies Childcare and Pre-School. The initiative kicked off with a morning tea at the Resthaven Village Centre that brought together Resthaven village residents and Bunnies youngsters.  Guest of honour at that event was Cambridge ‘good sort’, 91-year-old Dennis Lloyd, known for giving children soft toys on his daily walkabouts through town.

Dennis was presented with two large boxes of soft toys for him to give away. They were collected by the Resthaven residents and Bunnies families.  Resthaven residents and the Bunnies youngsters, who ranged in age from 17 months to just over three years, enjoyed toys and party food before the Bunnies group delivered a Christmas singalong. The gathering was the brainchild of Resthaven resident Linda Gorham and Bunnies manager Sheree Jones.  Both are keen for what has been called ‘The Resthaven Bunnies’ to become a regular fixture and are planning the next one for February.

Linda said the ‘surrogate grandparents’ would be welcome to join the activities, enjoy the singalong and read stories to the children, while Sheree said the venture offered an opportunity for Resthaven residents to build relationships with the young generation.

Road works

Transportation manager Bryan Hudson at developments on Hamilton Road.

Major road works will begin next month along Cambridge and Hamilton roads in preparation for development and growth in Cambridge West. The first stage of works will include road upgrades on Hamilton Road, between Vogel Street and just past Kelly Road. It will also involve extending the existing Hamilton Road cycleway and adding a signalised pedestrian crossing on Hamilton Road outside Little Thinkers kindergarten. New bus stops and shelters are planned for outside and across the road from the new medical centre. Read more.

Piarere push

Campaigner John Hansen says the positive reaction to last week’s story in The News about his call for a flyover, rather than the roundabout proposed by Waka Kotahi, to be built at the intersections of highways 1 and 29 at Piarere has reinforced his confidence. Read more

Driver shortage

Waipā District Council has conceded normal collection schedules can’t be maintained for “the foreseeable future” as a consequence of a national shortage of drivers. The council’s contractor Metallic Sweeping is struggling to find trained Class 4 drivers and has also been hit by staff illness. Metallic Sweeping managing director Clive Peter said the company was working with consultants to fast-track skilled drivers from overseas and had offered staff a finder’s fee to find new work mates.

Riding for funds

Two men are on their bikes for a good cause this week. Hamilton’s Keith Hobson, 76, is cycling 1000km over 12 days to raise money for the Waikato Westpac Rescue Helicopter while Te Kuiti’s Kieran Powell, riding with a broken his wrist, is circumnavigating the country to raise funds for Hospice Waikato as a tribute to his grandmother who died aged 97 in August.

19 January 2023

Going spare

Prince Harry’s memoir ‘The Spare’ has generated steady but not overwhelming interest from Waipā readers. Waipā outreach librarian Dee Atkinson said the book was on order from the publishers and that by Monday 18 holds had been placed on it across the public libraries in Cambridge and Te Awamutu. Paper Plus in Cambridge and Te Awamutu are taking orders for the book, which is also in stock at both The Warehouse stores.

Car yard coming

Waikato-based car dealer John Ingham has dismissed rumours the development of its building on the former Bunnings site in Cambridge is not going ahead. Final touches are being made to the resource consent application following discussions with contractors acting on behalf of Waipā District Council. Ingham said instead of doing one dealership on the site, there was likely to be two. “It will be the end of this year before we put a spade in the ground though.”

Pedestrian counts up

Cambridge pedestrian stats for December show close to 95,000 shopped in the central business district – well up on the previous two years, says the Cambridge Chamber of Commerce. Many visitors, including international tourists, stopped in town on their way to other destinations, said the chamber.

Recession or not?

Former Reserve Bank governor of the Central Bank of Bosnia and Herzegovina and columnist for The News, Peter Nicholl gives his views on the coming year. Read more.

Nail salon pinged

The Employment Relations Authority has ordered Royal Nail Spa in Cambridge to pay a former employee $14,209.53 in wage arrears and $2500 in penalties along with $2500 to the Crown after the salon breached its statutory obligations and failed to act in good faith. The authority found Royal Nail failed to retain a copy of a signed employment agreement, keep a wage and time record, did not pay the correct adult minimum wage or holiday pay on termination. The authority reserved costs.

Plus one …

The first tenant – national retailer Postie – has been confirmed in the Leamington Village development. It will be the 110 year old company’s debut in the Cambridge market – it already has a store in Te Awamutu. Postie (formerly known as Postie Plus) is expected to open mid next month.

Record E-Waste pick-up

Urban Miners collected 72 car loads of e-waste in two hours on Sunday in the first collection of the year. The organisation’s new truck – a 1995 Isuzu Elf – was donated by Waipā District Council last year and got put to good use with heaps of TVs, computers and microwaves. The first Te Awamutu e-waste collection will be held on 29 January at the Te Awamutu Sports Rugby Club.

Busy parks staff

Waipā parks staff have hit 2023 running after 300mm more rain fell around the district in the last three months than usual. Once the rain stopped late last week, staff were out weeding and cleaning up.

Croquet winners

Leamington’s Ngaire Lucas, left, and Te Awamutu’s Christopher Johnpillai were named the winners at Leamington Croquet Club’s Mixed Club Day held on January 9. The event was Leamington’s first tournament of the year and drew players from Claudelands, Hamilton East, Te Awamutu and Putaruru. Monthly Mixed Club days are casual gatherings intended to pass on skills to newcomers and give players the confidence to enter tournaments. This season marks the Leamington Croquet Club’s 90th anniversary. In November 1932, the then Waikato Independent hailed the one-time pasture and swamp area at Leamington Domain as now providing “splendid facilities for tennis, bowling, croquet, cricket, hockey and football” for the people of Leamington and Cambridge. By October 1933, facilities were enhanced with the building of a clubhouse.

12 January 2023

One of the major events on the Waka Ama calendar – the national sprint championships – will start on Lake Karāpiro on Sunday. It runs to and running through to January 21.

Church music fest planned

A Festival of Church Music at St Andrew’s Church is being brought to Cambridge for the first time. The Auckland and Waikato branches of the Royal School of Church Music (RSCM) event will run over three days from January 20.

Up to 40 singers and church musicians from around New Zealand will get together on the Friday evening, with Saturday set aside for fellowship, meals and workshops.  The celebration of church music will culminate in a sung Eucharist Service at 10am on the Sunday, a 4pm service on the same day, featuring items by famous composers.  The Sunday services are open to the public.

RSCM Waikato secretary Merv Hunt said while other church music initiatives had been held  in Cambridge this was the first time a festival such as this had come here.  The most recent similar event was a five-day RSCM Summer School held in Auckland five years ago, he said.

Top marks

St Peters is celebrating a 100 per cent pass rate in International Baccalaureate exams for 2022. All students entered have been awarded the full diploma.
The results follow three challenging years of pandemic learning and disruption for students and the results rank among the best seen at St Peter’s since 2009.
Highlights included Julie Brouwer being awarded a bilingual diploma, and five students – Amisha Sadani, Jack Dams, Paige Hughes, Jessica Walton and Fleming Wang – being among the top 40 scholars. The school’s average grade was 34 points; the world average was 30.9. The school also recorded four A grades for Theory of
Knowledge and three A grades for Extended Essay, two A grades for English Extended Essay (Masha Gavrilova and Rheannah Rapley) and one A for History (Fleming Wang).

New Year honours

Anita Mazzoleni

A total of four Waipā-based people were recognised in the New Year Honours List.

Karen and Ken Morris both receive the Queen’s Service Medal while Anita  Mazzoleni becomes an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) and Eric Murray joins an elite list as a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (CNZM).

See: Honours for Waipā residents

Our top 10

Online visits to the Cambridge News website last year smashed all previous records and were 105 per cent up on 2021.The home page came in at number one with 14 per cent of the views followed in order from two to 10 by: Tea without Marg, Online Publications, Woman dies after freakish winds topple tree, Fire chief dies, The long and winding road, Honouring Don, Susan O’Regan elected Waipā mayor, Library plan driven out and The News…in brief.

See: The News grows online

Four on robbery charges

A 13-year-old boy is among four people arrested following a string of robberies in the Waikato. Waikato Police announced at the weekend that they had arrested a man and three teenagers following an operation targeting aggravated robberies. The Armed Offenders Squad was called in before a raid on a property in Rukuhia on Sunday.
Detective Senior Sergeant Scott Neilson said a 13-year old, two 17-year-olds and a 29-year-old were arrested without incident. It is alleged the four have been involved in offences over several months. “Offending such as aggravated robberies has a real impact on victims, their families, and the community. A considerable number of resources have been involved in the operation, and today’s outcome is a good result,” Neilson said.

The 29-year-old faces charges of theft, unlawfully using a motor vehicle, and driving while disqualified. He appeared in the Hamilton District Court this week. The three teenagers who are before the Hamilton Youth Court face a series of charges of including aggravated robbery.

Reader injured

A meter reader is in a critical condition in Waikato Hospital this week following an incident in Kihikihi. Police are appealing for details of sightings of two vehicles. One, a red Daihatsu Terios, registration LKN281, belongs to the injured person and the other is a silver Nissan Primera, registration DHA220. Both vehicles are believed to have been driven to Kihikihi from Tihiroa. An ambulance was called on January 5 to Oliver Street where the meter reader had suffered serious head injuries.

Business awards

Entries for the Waipa Networks Business Awards will close in just over a month – on February 13. Organisers, the Cambridge Chamber of Commerce, are also calling for nominations for the Leader of the Year award. The award is open to any chief executive in the region.

Gas leak

Bowen St between King St and Princess St, and Williams St between Grosvenor St and Stafford St in Cambridge were closed on Tuesday while a gas leak was  stemmed.

Quake felt

The magnitude 5.1 earthquake which rocked Te Aroha and was felt extensively throughout Waipā at 5.39am on January 4 was a major talking point on social media. Our online call to see who felt it attracted more than 200 comments. The quake was 6.7 kilometres deep.

See: Earthquakes felt in Cambridge

Weather forecast

As Cyclone Hale brought an end to a predominantly dry spell over the start of the New Year, the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, NIWA, was forecasting more of the same for the first three months of 2023 – warmer than average temperatures and more rain than usual, particularly in the east of the North Island.

22 December 2022


Labradors are the most popular breed among registered dogs in Waipā.

Bella and labradors top the Waipā dog poll

If your dog is called Bella and you’re out for a walk and call out her name, be prepared to have several dogs come bounding up to you. Bella is the top dog’s name in Waipā followed by Molly, Charlie, Ruby and Poppy. And it’s odds on one of the dogs will be a labrador as that’s the most popular breed in the district with 1271 of the 9434 dogs followed by collies (642), huntaways (491), spaniels (465) and Jack Russell and fox terriers (both 413).

The council has rehomed 42 dogs in the last year including Duke who was impounded five times in the past year and the council animal control staff have finally found him a new home and hope to have seen him for the last time. Not a lot is known about the name and breed of the 318 unregistered dogs on the council’s database other than owners can expect to see an animal control staff member soon.

And it’s a merry ….

The Cambridge News will next publish on January 12 and we will update our website and social media platforms during the break. Email us any news tips on [email protected] Merry Christmas from the editorial team of Roy Pilott, Mary Anne Gill, Viv Posselt and Steph Bell-Jenkins. See you in 2023.

Website visits

You can never beat a good baby story. The picture/story Mama… Mia, featuring Cambridge community board member Alana MacKay, husband Phil and new-born Mia, accounted for 25 per cent of all visits to the site in the last week. The also rans were: The News …. in brief, Hit the Target, A serving of pickleball, Council looks at Māori land.

Alana and Mia MacKay

Covid warning

Te Whatu Ora – Health New Zealand Waikato is warning Waikato residents to plan ahead as Covid infection rates rise. Covid-19 Directorate executive lead Maree Munro said there were 3000 active Covid-19 cases in the region and it was important to check when medical centres and pharmacies will be open. Free RAT kits can be ordered online at the Covid-19 website. Waikato hospitals are open over the holiday period and emergency departments will continue to provide urgent care.

Restricted fire season

A restricted fire season has been declared for the Coromandel from 9am today (20 December) until 1 February 2023. District Manager Daryl Trim says the fire season has been changed to reduce the risk of fires getting out of control with the expected influx of holidaymakers in the area.

No dumping please

Hospice Waikato is urging people not to dump their post-Christmas leftovers at their op shops in Cambridge and Te Awamutu.

Funding secured

Waipā District Council has secured up to $5.24 million from the government’s Better Off fund. The money has been allocated from a $2 billion fund to help councils pay for community improvement projects as part of the Three Waters reform. Funding will be used for Te Ara Wai Discovery Centre, a resource recovery centre, Lake Ngā Roto management plan, CCTV cameras, Te Awamutu/Ngā Roto/ Pirongia cycleway connection and a feasibility study for a new Cambridge library.

Fire call

The Don Rowlands Centre at Karāpiro was evacuated during last weekend’s Christmas rowing regatta following an electrical fault. Cambridge volunteer firefighters found the problem resolved when they arrived – the power had been switched off. All that was then required was to ventilate the building.

River project

A project to retrieve foreign objects dumped in the Waikato River has received $250,000 funding. Deep Dive Division will work at seven sites from Narrows Landing, through Hamilton city to Ngāruawāhia retrieving dumped items.

More potholes

Waka Kotahi says the latest round of bad weather has affected both road conditions and progress on road renewals. The roading agency says a number of new potholes emerged following rain in the middle of last week.

15 December 2022

Café for pool

A café will be built within the Cambridge Perry Aquatic Centre at no cost to the Waipā council. Access to the café will be available to both internal and external customers via kiosk type windows and operated by a third party on behalf of the Waipā Community Facilities Trust.

It will be in an existing service accessway to the 50m pool, adjacent to a Waipā Networks transformer enclosure, which will have to be moved.

Charitable Trust scholarships

Charlotte Risi, Chloe Cawte and Gemma Barham of Cambridge High School were among 31 recipients of David Johnstone Charitable Trust grants presented in Hamilton last week. Each student received $6000 to start their tertiary career. Hundreds of Waikato school leavers have realised their potential in tertiary education in science, engineering, teaching and technology thanks to Johnstone’s determination to give other ambitious, hard-working young people the gift of learning. He died in 1990 and the first of the annual scholarships were awarded in 1993.

Ava’s a winner

Karāpiro School student Ava Williams has featured in the 2022 Fred Hollows Foundation New Zealand Humanity Awards. Principal Tina-Maree Thatcher said Ava, who was nominated by the school, was a role model “and we are delighted to celebrate her success… we will follow Ava’s future humanitarian endeavours with interest.”

Ava Williams with teacher Daniel Churstain.

Hit the Target

A community newspaper advertising campaign calling for registered and enrolled nurses and midwives keen to return to work at Waikato, Thames, Te Kuiti, Taumarunui or Tokoroa hospitals, has hit the target. Read more.

Top five stories

Our online readers to loved the news in brief feature we launched last week.

It was the top page with more than 37 per cent of all visitors. The rest of the top five were: A warning about photos, Ready for the Special Olympics, Cambridge girl from beginning to end and CJD blood ban will be lifted.

Welcome back

Philip Coles

Mike Pettit

Two councillors on leave since they were re-elected to the Waipā District Council on October 8 have been welcomed back and sworn in.

Philip Coles and Mike Pettit missed the pōwhiri and swearing in of Waipā’s mayor and councillors on October 31 at Lake Karāpiro and meetings held in the intervening period. Now back from leave, they made their declarations at the council meeting this week.

They had been unable to act as members of the council until the ceremony.

Ready for foot and mouth

The spread of foot and mouth disease in Indonesia has Emergency Management operations staff in Waipā, and the rest of New Zealand, on red alert. The Ministry for Primary Industries is leading national planning, Waipā Emergency Management operations manager David Simes told the Regulatory committee this week.

Basic scenarios were worked through at national planning workshops where lessons identified during the Covid 19 pandemic were considered. New Zealand has never had an outbreak of foot and mouth disease which is caused by a virus that infects cloven-hooved animals – cows, pigs, sheep, goats, deer, alpaca and llama – but not rodents, cats, dogs, birds, or horses.

It is an animal health disease and unrelated to the human hand, foot and mouth disease common in young children.

Kiwifruit on high ….

An application to build artificial shelters for a Cambridge kiwifruit orchard is heading to the High Court.

Independent commissioner Alan Withy granted the land use consent in August, but a neighbour applied for a judicial review which will be held at the High Court in Hamilton next May 13.

Owners GDP Orchards at 383 Parallel Road want to build vertical and horizontal (overhead) artificial shelter and cryptomeria shelterbelts breaching setbacks and site coverage requirements in the Rural Zone.

Further down the road, at 582 Parallel Rd, Kiwifruit Investments Ltd has applied for a retrospective land use resource consent to build vertical and horizontal artificial kiwifruit shelters.

Owners started planning vines at the former grazing block and asparagus plot earlier this year and have already planted 15ha with another 8.5ha to go. A hearing date has yet to be set.

8 December 2022

Grinch in town

Vandals smashed lights around the base of Cambridge’s public Christmas tree on Sunday, only hours after a successful parade. Community board chair Jo Davies-Colley said the board would replace them at a cost of about $400. “Hopefully it doesn’t happen again. We want the town looking festive,” she said.

Hall St sealing

Relief is finally near for Hall Street residents in Cambridge who have complained for years about their ‘third world’ street which they say resembles a cross country course. Design is underway to seal the road edge after residents said the designated ‘heritage’ street was a victim of incomplete roading and poor maintenance by Waipā council.

River ride opens

The last section of the Te Awa River Ride from to Riverglade Drive in Tamahere to Howell Avenue in Hillcrest will open tomorrow – 13 years after the ride was started. The 65km ride from Karāpiro to Ngāruawāhia passes through Hamilton, Tamahere and Cambridge.

River slips

Further slipped has occurred from the Cambridge Wastewater Treatment Plant along the Waikato River banks beneath the rapid infiltration beds. Waipā District Council and Waikato Regional Council are both monitoring the slips and planning remedial planting once a safety plan is in place. Cambridge’s new $110 million wastewater treatment plant will be one of the most advanced operations in the country when it opens in four years. In the meanwhile, it is operating on a short-term consent.

Route extended

Construction on the Cambridge Road urbanisation extension to just past Kelly Road in Cambridge will begin early next year. The transport corridor will extend walking, cycling and mobility options and add further bus stops, lighting and another signal pedestrian crossing.

Footpath renewals

Princes, Vogel, Taylor and Fort streets in Cambridge had footpath renewal works completed in October while 500m of new path was completed in Milton Street, Roading manager Bryan Hudson told the Waipā Service Delivery committee this week. Cobblestones were also laid outside the Hazlemere Crescent shops in Te Awamutu and a new foothpath is planned in Collinson Street, Pirongia early next year.

Drivers recruited

Publicity generated when there was a shortage of drivers to pick up glass recycling resulted in the recruitment of new drivers, Waipā Waste Minimisation officer Sally Fraser said. Having new drivers learning the duties and routes means there have been some missed collections, but this will improve.

Bus numbers on the up

Regional bus services from Cambridge and Te Awamutu into and back from Hamilton are now ahead of pre Covid levels. Easing of Covid restrictions and half price fares are responsible, Waipā Roading manager Bryan Hudson says. Total Mobility data, for those with mobility issues or disabled, is not available but usage there is also expected to be up on pre-2020 levels.

Namings approved

The Waipā Service Delivery committee approved six new road names – Mangahia Lane, part of the Reid Road development near Ngāhinapōuri, Keri Rua Road, Hauhake Terrace, Whakahaumako Road and Bruce Cochlane Lane, all in Leamington. Mangahia Lane is near a stream of the same name, Keri Rua means digging the holes and refers to the borrow pits that have been a prominent feature of the cultural landscape, Hauhake means harvest and Whakahaumako means enhance, a reference to horticultural soils. Bruce Cochrane is named after the Cochranes Transport owner and is a right of way road off Cambridge Road.

Council says yes

Three applicants to the District Promotions Fund have been granted funding. Waipā District Council allocated a total of $14,000 from the fund, including $8000 for the Takapoto Classic, a week-long international show jumping event in February, $1000 to the Mountain Bike NZ National Cross-Country Series Race 3 at Pirongia next February and $5000 to help fund a two-day tournament in April as part of Cambridge Football’s 75th Jubilee celebration.

Top five online stories

Our best read stories on line at last week were  Karāpiro changes ahead, Gaye joins the team, Community ‘disconnect’, Filling in where needed and A council still divided.

Glitches galore

We have to fess up, several mistakes slipped through our usually reliable checking system last week. We sent you to pages to read stories that weren’t there, said Gaye Bezzant played goal and not golf and had mayor Susan O’Regan sitting next to Bruce Wright when it was Fonterra chair Peter McBride. The previous week we reported Cambridge’s new wastewater treatment plant would cost $28 million. The estimate is actually $110 million.

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