News in brief ….

Updated – 29 February 3pm

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

Earlier story – 28 February 6pm

Plan delay?

Waipā council could follow its neighbour Waikato district’s lead in recommending work on the 10-year Long Term Plan is paused in favour of an enhanced annual plan for the 2024-25 financial year. Significant policy changes driven by central government, coupled with a lack of clarity around funding and affordability issues have made it impractical to accurately plan the next 10 years of budgets and work programmes. Waikato chief executive Gavin Ion said.

Jazz it up

Max Brown

Cambridge-based Olympians Max Brown and Ellesse Andrews feature in a soul-stirring anthem ahead of the Paris Olympic Games. ‘Ain’t Just Dreaming’ came about when Olympic cycling silver medallist Ellesse Andrews, Tokyo 2020 Olympian Max Brown and the New Zealand Olympic Committee came up with the idea to write a song that would resonate with their fellow athletes. Max plays guitar on the song and Ellesse sings backing vocals.

See: Cambridge cyclists and canoeists feature

See: Tutoring strikes a chort

Warning lifted

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

Pathway opens

Duke Street

The Bryce Street section of Cambridge’s pathway project between Hamilton Road and Queen Street opened on Monday. Two-way traffic also returned to the street. Bryce Street between Queen and Alpha streets is now closed until early April while trees have been cut to make way for a boardwalk cycleway between upper and lower Duke streets.


 

Libraries busy

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

More commissioners

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

Appeal lodged

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

Bridge complete

Underneath Victoria Bridge during painting and refurbishment. Photo: Mary Anne Gill.

The Victoria Street (High- Level) bridge repair and painting project is finished. The work cost $3.61 million – $210,000 more than budgeted. Additional works adding to the cost included scaffold design, strain gauges and wind monitoring equipment, enclosing asbestos, bird spiking to deter pigeons in key areas, graffiti guard paint, weed and tree felling on the banks for scaffolding and above deck the handrails were cleaned and spot painted.

Technical issues

Technical issues prevented the Cambridge Community Board meeting from being livestreamed last week. Equipment used in the Wilson Street building was formerly in the council chambers in Te Awamutu before an upgrade took place. Chair Jo Davies-Colley had earlier told The News she hoped use of the microphones would improve so the public could hear what members said.

King St closed

Workers struck a gas line in King Street between Grey and Victoria streets in Cambridge on Monday. Cambridge Fire Brigade attended while the road was closed and First Gas fixed the problem.

Double take

The sight of a double-decker bus around the streets of Cambridge, Te Awamutu and Kihikihi was a trial undertaken by Waikato Regional Council staff to test the bus’s routes for low-lying trees and access issues before its introduction later this year.

Land surplus

Taotaoroa Road surplus land.

A 1.57ha rural zoned recreation reserve in Taotaoroa Road, 7kms east of Karāpiro could revert to the Crown with proceeds potentially coming back to the Waipā council which administers the land and leases it for a peppercorn rental. The property is irregular in shape and only suitable for grazing. Its estimate market value is $600,000.

Top band

Coterie, winners of the best new artist award at the Aotearoa awards, will headline the Night of Champions afterparty at Cambridge Raceway on April 12.

Skiff gift

Tegan O’Dwyer. Photo Art of Rowing

Cambridge High School rower Tegan O’Dwyer, 17, has been presented with a single skiff by Laslo Boats and Aon for winning the girls’ U17 single skulls event at last year’s Maadi Cup at Lake Karāpiro. The skiff has been named the O’Dwyer and will remain with the school. Organisers says a quiz night held to raise money for Cambridge High School rowing crews raised about $10,000 last week.

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