Matthew Martin is a senior reporter at the Rotorua Daily Post

Councillors get noise update (+video)

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The latest Rotorua Lakes Council meeting was over in the blink of an eye for media and public before councillors moved into a confidential session.

But, in the 11 minutes the public were allowed in the council chamber yesterday councillor Mark Gould asked council staff for an update on noise issues surrounding the new Lumbercube mill on Vaughan Rd.

Council chief executive Geoff Williams replied that would not be a problem, but the update remains confidential as media was asked to leave before it was made.

Mr Gould said the matter was of some urgency and councillors should be kept informed of progress to reduce noise levels.

Since Lumbercube opened last September the council has received 420 noise complaints up until February 14.

The company told the Rotorua Daily Post last week it had spent about $1.5 million on noise reduction measures and should be finished sound proofing by early March.

Speaking to the Rotorua Daily Post after the meeting, councillor Glenys Searancke said she was not pleased the Lumbercube update was not made during the public session.

She said the matter was public knowledge and it did the council a disservice by withholding information the public should be aware of.

Also after the meeting, mayor Steve Chadwick said before the rest of Rotorua was updated the Eastside Residents Action Group, who met with council staff and deputy mayor Dave Donaldson recently, should be updated first.

"The residents will get a letter from council in the next few days, but I can say we got a satisfying report from Geoff [Williams].

The issue has been well looked into and I think residents will be satisfied with that.

"I want the residents appraised beforehand, I don't think they should be informed through the media," she said.

During the meeting, councillor Charles Sturt also raised the issue of how the council should receive petitions from the public.

His call was in relation to a recent petition presented to Mrs Chadwick and council staff regarding the proposed children's health hub and shared library project.

Mr Sturt said there should be a formal procedure put in place to receive petitions in future.

"It's really important if we do get these petitions it should outline how they are received, the process, and how they are answered."

Mrs Chadwick agreed saying she was quite surprised there was not a formal policy around receipt of petitions.

"I do believe myself we should look at a policy formulation about receipt, council response to the petition, and the format for that response to be tabled through the appropriate committee."

Councillor Merepeka Raukawa-Tait said a report regarding the formal receipt of petitions was being worked on.

Rotorua Lakes Council meeting:

* Public session lasted 11minutes 8 seconds

* Councillors then moved into confidential session

* Lumbercube noise issues discussed confidentially

* Plans under way to form a new policy around receiving petitions

* Next meeting March 30

- Rotorua Daily Post

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