The FNDC draft long-term plan proposes to spend $43 million on three new roads in central Kerikeri. This does not include the acquisition of land, which has cost $6.7 million so far.
The plan also proposes that an extra $100,000 of ratepayer funding for placemaking projects. That is projects to make the district more liveable.
Ratepayers are being asked to comment on the $100,000 of placemaking funding, but not on the $50 million- plus roading. I find this very unusual. How is $50 million of roading, in one specific place in the district but paid for by everyone, not significant enough to include in a consultation document?
There are many other roading projects that could use $50 million.
A common complaint is that of unsealed roads. Part of my job as a councillor is to do research. I have found that the average metal depth of unsealed roads in the Far North is 70mm. This is less than one third of the amount the council's own engineers recommend – 250mm. Given the size of the Far North road network (1650km of unsealed roads), this is a huge job.
Councillors have talked about a Far North roading strategy to be completed, so that they know what all the projects are so that they can make an informed decision. What would you like?
Just because the FNDC LTP consultation document does not ask the question, it doesn't mean you cannot answer it.
Would you like to see more funds spent on improving/strengthening unsealed roads first, before $50 million is spent on new roads for Kerikeri? Would you like a new roading strategy for all areas of the district to be completed first, before $50 million is committed to these three roads?
Central government has recently allocated funds for a new roundabout in Waipapa. I am pleased about this, as it is a much-needed piece of infrastructure. Ratepayers will not have to pay for this project.
I said that I would do my research. I said that I would do the work as a councillor. Now is the time for me to inform you about what is proposed for the Far North District Council to spend your rates money on.
Keep posted for my updates over the coming weeks. Please submit to the LTP about where/how you would like your rates funds to be spent, and if you disagree with any items in the LTP.
Here is the link to make an on-line submission, if you wish to do so:
COUNCILLOR FELICITY FOY