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Thank you to all who have sent messages via different media. If you had asked me six years ago, newly elected to this position and one month after the September quake if I would have survived into a third term, I would have expressed my doubts. However, a unified Council and community have returned much the same council for three terms in a row and for this we are grateful for your support.
The next three years will be dominated by the recovery of the regeneration areas in Kaiapoi and Pines-Kairaki, by a variety of water issues and by planning for current and anticipated growth. Fortunately we have a Council that has one of the soundest financial footings in the country.
Thank you for your support and we look forward to working together as a Waimakariri District to meet our challenges.
This event is happening in Kaiapoi and Oxford next week. Lesley Elliott tells the story of her daughter Sophie’s relationship with Clayton Weatherston and the signs of abuse that friends and family did not recognise. Lesley has travelled all over New Zealand speaking to raise awareness of the signs of abuse in hope to avoid another tragic death like Sophie’s.
This comes form the NZ Herald and is about Auckland, but it actually applies to the whole country.
This is the time of the year when endangered birds like the wrybill, black-fronted tern and black-billed gulls return to the Ashley-Rakahuri to breed. Local primary schoolchildren have made their own birds – currently they are on the front lawn of the Council building in Rangiora, but expect the flock to land elsewhere in the district in the coming weeks!
Breeding areas are usually marked, so keep well away, and don’t let dogs off the leash. The wrybill nests are isolated almost impossible to see, but the terns and gulls nest in colonies.
Six years ago today, a defining moment in our history occurred. In this part of Canterbury, our communities often talk about things as before or after the earthquake.
So much has changed and we found ourselves going in directions we never thought we would. Some of those things have been for the better. Yesterday’s fantastic day in Rangiora, following the pain in the town centre, would never have happened (nor would have the pain). We, like other districts and towns in New Zealand, would be arguing over the strengthening of commercial and public buildings. Not Kaiapoi or Rangiora. Not Oxford.
But we haven’t finished yet and some of what lies before us is exciting. The plan for the regeneration areas of Kaiapoi and Pines-Kairaki await final ministerial approval, but there will be a lot more to do as a community when we get down to the detail. I look forward to that!
The draft plan that Minister Brownlee has issued for comment (after being prepared by our community) is, in the common jargon, “high level”. The next doing stages will require more detailed engagement with community and planning. I think that is something we can all enjoy.
Well, nominations have closed and we have elections for all positions except the Ohoka-Swannanoa subdivision of the Oxford-Ohoka Community Board where there are three nominations for three positions.
It’s great to see a large number of people putting themselves forward to serve our community.
Check the Council website for the names.
The Darnley Club is celebrating 25 years providing day elder-care for the community of Kaiapoi and beyond. A huge number of volunteers have helped over the years: as carers, cooks, drivers, committee members and so on. For most of that time they have operated 5 days a week in the Council-run Kaiapoi Community Centre.
I have decided to stand for re-election to the Waimakariri mayoralty later this year.
It has been a privilege to serve in Waimakariri’s response and recovery after the earthquakes. Our community and council have showed tremendous unity of purpose and have agreed on the priorities that we needed to set. While we are not out of it yet, the way community groups, business and property owners, council staff and my elected colleagues have worked together has taken us a long way forward.
Over the last two council terms since the earthquakes a number of major repair and replacement projects have been completed by the Council, including the Ruataniwha Kaiapoi Civic Centre, the Kaiapoi Aquatic Centre, the Rangiora and Oxford Town Halls, the Rānui Mews housing for the elderly complex in Kaiapoi, the former Rangiora Borough Council Chamber and the Trousselot Park playground and skate park, also in Kaiapoi. Major repairs have also been carried out on war memorials in Cust and West Eyreton and on many pavilions and community buildings. While not earthquake-related, a new bridge across the Ashley has been completed.
Within the next few months, major upgrades of Williams Street Kaiapoi and High Street Rangiora will be completed, following a long period of keeping town centre business alive through the use of temporary buildings, particularly in Rangiora. There is a strong sense of anticipation in both towns.
In looking forward over the next three years, I see a continuation of the flood remediation work started in the second half of 2014 which should bring greater security for such areas as Fernside, Mandeville, Ohoka, Rangiora and Kaiapoi.
All of this has been against a background of unprecedented population and housing growth caused mainly by the red-zoning of about 7000 residential properties in Christchurch and Kaiapoi in the latter part of 2011. While our underground infrastructure has been able to cope, there has obviously been a lot of traffic congestion. This has been caused by the unanticipated red-zone population shift getting ahead of planned motorway building in Christchurch.
I see at least two areas of work that will continue into the next Council term. Staff and contractors have made great progress in repairing infrastructure and that will continue and should be helped by the finalising of the Red Zone Recovery Plan currently out for consultation. Working with the Government on that Plan is another major piece of work and is likely to continue into the new term. I want to be part of that.
I have found the last five-and-a-half years working with our community a tremendously rewarding experience on a personal level. While many have been through very tough times, and in some cases still are, I am one of the many who feel that they have been able to make a contribution. I don’t feel that I have finished yet.
Authorised by D L Ayers, 279 High Street, Rangiora 7400
Each night this week the temporary shops have been disappearing from Rangiora. Since mid-2012 they have been helping to keep High Street alive by providing spaces for dislocated retailers. Now, with the new shops being built, they are no longer needed. Most are to be used as sports ground facilities.