Ōtaki Community Board chair Chris Papps wrapped up what she described as “a great three years” when she delivered her assessment of the board’s work in the last triennium.
The board had its last meeting, on September 3. Elections will bring in a new board after the October 12 polling day. Board member for the past three years Kerry Bevan is not standing again, but Chris Papps, Marilyn Stevens and Shelly Warkwick are, along with Cr James Cootes who is on the board by virtue of his role as Ōtaki Ward councillor.
Chris said the board had many achievements in the past three years. One was the opening of the Ōtaki swimming pool after a major refurbishment.
“We always had a great pool, but now it is the jewel in the crown of Ōtaki,” she said. “We have a wonderful splash pad that’s free for all to use. The pool is bright and looks absolutely fabulous.”
She said she heard comments when swimming that people came from other parts of Kāpiti because they preferred Ōtaki’s pool to the aquatic centre in Paraparaumu.
A barbecue at Haruatai Park has been installed, the nearby children’s play area has been upgraded and the basketball court is in constant use. The all-weather tennis courts at the park are also now open to the public. The ratepayer-funded facility was previously only available to the tennis club.
The new dog park in Aotaki Street is getting good use and many playgrounds have had significant upgrades.
A big achievement was getting a better shared pathway on the expressway than was originally planned.
Free public wifi is going into Main Street.
The toilet at the Ōtaki River estuary is installed and operating. The project was begun in the last triennium but finally finished earlier this year thanks to the co-operationn of KCDC, Greater Wellington Regional Council and funding from the Philipp Family Foundation.
The regional council listened to the board’s submission on a proposed rise in the public transport rates for Ōtaki, resulting in a reduced rate rise.
Thanks to the advocacy of Cr Cootes, the board obtained three years of funding for an upgrade of the Ōtaki College gymnasium.
Along with the mayor and Cr Cootes, Chris visited the council flats in Aotaki Street, resulting in more flats being refurbished than previously proposed.
Chris took the lead in talking to NZTA about the sitting bay on State Highway 1 near Waerenga Road.
“This was too short and the parking on the far side of the road made it almost impossible to get out in the flow of traffic safely. After taking numerous photos of trucks parking on the side of the road and sending them to NZTA, the passing lane has now been lengthened and it is safer and easier to exit and head south.”
Meanwhile, the board approved the following funding at its September meeting:
Michelle Young and Karen Su – $330 each to help them attend a summer camp at the University of Xiamen.
Alex Lundie – $330 to attend the Pacific Leaders Programme in the Cook Islands.
Amicus Club of Ōtaki – $500 to help with the cost of transport for members’ trips.
Ōtaki RSA – $500 to help with the cost of engaging a structural engineer to assess the structures of an internal wall at the RSA.
Music Matters – $250 for advertising, transport and venue hire for a concert.
Fernando Figueroa – to help with rental costs to host a Latin America and Spain film festival.
Ōtaki Community Network – $295 to help with room hire cost for its monthly meetings.