Matthew Martin is a senior reporter at the Rotorua Daily Post

Hamurana residents express concerns

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Hamurana and Awahou Ratepayer and Residents Association chairman Jerry Douglas pictured here in 2011.
Hamurana and Awahou Ratepayer and Residents Association chairman Jerry Douglas pictured here in 2011.

Issues around a zoning change in Hamurana have seen residents tell Rotorua district councillors what they really think.

About 50 members of the Hamurana and Awahou Ratepayer and Residents Association met recently for its annual meeting, inviting district councillors to attend.

Of 13 councillors, Rob Kent, Mark Gould, Janet Wepa, Charles Sturt and Dave Donaldson attended, with mayor Steve Chadwick.

Association chairman Jerry Douglas said a zoning change at Hamurana under the council's district plan resulted in section sizes in the area being halved from 8000sq m to 4000sq m, against some residents' wishes.

"We were pretty upset about the way the re-zoning has gone ahead. We were effectively advised by council back in 2014 there would be no change to zones," he said.

"But the change was pushed through with the council basically saying because there were no appeals they wouldn't be changing their minds.

"We were then told there was an appeals process, which we were not aware of until after it had finished."

Mr Douglas said most submissions were against the zoning changes.

"This is a lifestyle area and we don't think the infrastructure would be able to cope."

Mrs Chadwick said the meeting was a "good political foray" with residents telling councillors what they really thought.

The net result of the planning change would be a total of 35 more residential units and council policies did change over the years, she said.

"It's not intensification. But, I sensed they were not happy with the change. The lesson is you need to watch what happens with the district plan and you can always lodge an appeal," Mrs Chadwick said.

"It's not a huge impact, but they made it quite clear they did not want any change. It was their chance to have a go at us, and they did."

- Rotorua Daily Post

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