The council has sent letters to about 8000 Far North property owners this week to highlight how they can help protect unique indigenous species and habitats on their land.
They are required to identify Significant Natural Areas (SNAs) by Northland Regional Council and obligated to protect these under the Resource Management Act and by the Far North District Council's District Plan.
A SNA has high ecological value because of the rare or endangered native plants and habitats within it. Typically, says the FNDC, this will be an area of native bush.
Some landowners are questioning what constitutes a significant natural area. One Okiato woman said all she has on her property is a two-branch pohutukawa and flax yet it's been flagged.
A Russell woman has 200 square metres of an 850sq m property in pohutukawa, manuka, pukapuka and the rest in non-native fruit trees. It has also been flagged.
The proposed District Plan will include specific rules for SNAs related to clearing vegetation or when subdividing and this is when landowners may need to apply for resource consent.
Potential benefits of identifying remaining sensitive areas includes protecting the district's archaeological, geological and cultural heritage, boosting science, research, and educational opportunities, and increasing tourism, especially eco-tourism.
Far North mayor John Carter says some compensation is available when protecting sensitive areas through a council conservation covenant or a private covenant. This can include rates remission for voluntary conservation covenants.
Property owners who are contacted about SNAs will also receive a feedback form. This will allow them to give the council more detail about their property and the SNA. They can also make a formal submission when the Proposed District Plan is publicly notified this year.
The full extent of the mapped areas can be seen by viewing the FNDC's Draft District Plan online at letsplantogether.org.nz . The feedback period closes on May 24.
Be in to win: Sounds interesting
Bay News is giving away free tickets to hear renowned Kerikeri sculptor Chris Booth talk about his key artworks around the globe plus a hint of new works to come.
The 45-minute presentation and slideshow will be followed by a question-and-answer session and a chance to meet the artist.
It's part of the Turner Centre's new Sounds Interesting series, which will feature a talk by a noteworthy Northlander roughly every two months.
Booth's presentation will be in the venue's main auditorium from 7pm on Friday, May 28.
Tickets cost $10 but we have three double passes to give away.
To be in to win all you have to do is email firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, address and phone number by 5pm on Sunday. We'll contact the lucky winners on Monday.
Booth's large-scale works can be seen worldwide, including in the Netherlands, the UK, France, Germany, the US, Canada and Australia.
Closer to home he is responsible for the sculpture on Kerikeri Domain and the Rainbow Warrior Memorial at Matauri Bay. He has also designed a climate change-themed sculpture to be built at the Kerikeri roundabout.
Council and the consultation process
Far North District Council was to hold a drop-in session at Russell town hall on Wednesday (May 12) to discuss the Draft District Plan.
The council's website said it was an opportunity for residents to have one-on-one time with planners to understand the plan and be supported to give feedback.
Not everyone agrees with the one-on-one methodology. Long-time Russell resident, Louise Irvine, says it would be much better in an open public meeting, to get everyone's viewpoint.
"There should be a proper meeting where we can all air our views and maybe if most of us turn up at start time they will be forced into an open meeting."
The Russell Protection Society is urging members to do just that. The Russell member of the Bay of Island-Whangaroa Community Board, Manuela Gmuer-Hornell, asked for council representatives to accept an open meeting. They refused.
"I can only do so much," she said wistfully.
Council says it's an informal feedback period to inform residents what's in the Proposed District Plan, which will be publicly notified this year. Once notified, residents will then be able to make a formal submission on the proposals.
Paihia to have CCTV cameras upgraded
Focus Paihia, together with the NZ Police, have been successful with an application to replace and upgrade CCTV cameras.
Money from the Proceeds of Crime Fund will allow more cameras installed from Opua to Watea. The funds raised also include a maintenance budget until 2024.
The upgrade is expected to improve the quality and coverage of the system and is expected to enhance safety and community wellbeing in the area, as well as providing another investigative tool for police and enforcement agencies.
Focus Paihia said that without the assistance of Senior Sergeant Peter Robinson to get the application over the line, it might never have happened.
Water treatment plant on track for completion
The Kerikeri water treatment plant is on track for completion by the end of May.
Earlier in the month, United Civil Construction advised it had connected 319 of about 350 properties in the area of benefit to the pipe network that will take wastewater to the plant, which is 4km southeast of Kerikeri.
The district council will invoice those properties for a subsidised connection charge of $734 when they are connected to the new network.
The council is also developing a budget for the work required to decommission the existing treatment plant on Shepherd Rd.
The $27 million Kerikeri Wastewater Project is the council's biggest infrastructure project to date. By way of comparison, it cost $19 million to build the Heritage Bypass and remove the road bridge near the Stone Store. The Government funded the entire cost of that project.
Pie and Pud Train, Saturday May 15 departing Kawakawa Railway Station at 4pm. For the mathematically inclined, the 2 д R train – 2 x pie. Contact by May 13 (today) to book your seats with your choice of one savoury pie, one dessert pie, one drink per head. Anne: 021 171-2697.
Kerikeri Theatre Company presents The Sound of Music by Rodgers & Hammerstein, unquestionably one of the most beloved musicals of all time. This ambitious production is directed by Kylie Penn from the Magic PlayHouse and stars Lucy Victory from London's West End in the lead role of Maria. There's a high-calibre cast of over 50 actors and singers. Performances will take place between the July 7 and 11 at the Turner Centre with evening and matinee performances. Ticket prices range between $18 and $38. Seating is limited, bookings essential.
• Email Sandy Myhre at email@example.com if you have any news you'd like to see in Bay News.