A focus at the Tararua District Council meeting last month was the management of its budget.

The annual plan and rates for 2017-18 were approved after a detailed analysis by chief financial officer Raj Suppiah and his team.

With rates rising just 2.3 per cent the team was confident that ratepayers would not be put under too much financial pressure, with 85 per cent of ratepayers paying less than the average of $69 per property for the year.

Three years of low increases still meant the spending on the three key focuses of infrastructure, economic development and operational costs could be met, with a huge sum of $42 million on capital investment in infrastructure over three years affordable.


The council also looked at issues facing local communities.

Following a presentation last meeting by Akitio resident Chris Horrocks, concerned about the danger of rips at the Akitio beach, the council resolved to pay for the production and installation of signage after consultation with the Akitio Ratepayers Association.

A request to reimburse the cost of the building consent for renovations to the Ormondville Anglican Church was received favourably, $500 from the Heritage Protection Reserve being part payment of the $830 bill since the church was also hired out by the public.

Pahiatua's street-light failures drew attention, Chris Chapman of the Tararua Alliance promising to liaise with Contact Energy and its Power Co contractor to speed up the process of dealing with lighting failures.

Councillors reported to the council that visits to pensioners in council flats which now all had heat pumps installed revealed a high level of gratitude from residents.

New Zealand representative volleyballer Jacarn Peeti-Webber was awarded the cost of his accommodation ($440) at the forthcoming USA High Performance Championships. Councillors were conscious that their generosity early in the previous year had exhausted the fund, requiring community boards to make up the shortfall.

A request from residents of Pahiatua and Woodville for electric-car recharging centres revealed that they were being rolled out by the Government nationwide to strategically sited towns, Eketahuna and Dannevirke being those chosen for the present in Tararua.

Regret was expressed by councillors at the vandalism in Ferry Reserve.


Councillors think this reflects the effects of the gorge closure, meaning there are fewer motorists to witness these events.

In the absence of CCTV cameras, locals are asked to be vigilant and to report incidents.

The Manawatu Gorge closure and news of more rockfalls over the weekend had all eight councillors and Mayor Tracey Collis motivated to visit Woodville to talk with retailers.

Some help is being sought from NZTA to provide signage promoting Woodville shops and upgrading the Saddle Rd.

Eketahuna Main Street's success at the annual Community Board Conference from May 11 to May 13 was again applauded, Mayor Tracey Collis saying the community was thrilled and very surprised to win the two trophies which were displayed at the council meeting.