Rotorua Lakes Council's Operations and Monitoring Committee met yesterday to discuss a raft of matters in front of a public gallery filled with school children.

Members of the St Mary's School student council sat quietly to observe the first portion of the meeting.

Council-controlled organisations

Rotorua airport chief executive Mark Gibbs told the committee the airport was operating at surplus and in the financial year to date they had seen 57,535 passengers come through the airport and 1606 aircraft movements.

He told the committee the building of the Emergency Operations Centre had been finished and the design of the terminal redevelopment was also finished.


Stage one works of the redevelopment are expected to begin this month.

The chief executive of Rotorua Economic Development, known as Destination Rotorua, Michelle Templer told the committee the city was growing and employment rates were above the national average.

Her presentation stated the total international visitor spend in the Rotorua District was $166 million, up more than 15 per cent on the last year.

The presentation said full financial year projections for the council-controlled organisation showed a balanced budget.

Infracore chief executive Tim Hammond also spoke at the meeting and revealed the past quarter had been positive with business costs down and budgeted profits up.


The council's safe and sustainable journeys manager, Jodie Lawson, provided an update on the CyWay initiative.

Talking about the Ranolf Cycleway, she said monitoring a year ago showed fewer than 10 people on bikes, monitoring in August showed 30.

"The other thing is the number of walkers have increased. We've got over 110 walkers on there ... and it's not yet complete.


"We want to get people out of private vehicles and get them using, walking and cycling."

She said since 2015 the council had built 26km of shared path network and seen a 36 per cent increase in commuter cycling.

Chief financial officer Thomas Colle told the committee the council had been looking at reviewing fleet vehicles and made a request to replace one petrol vehicle with a fleet of electric bikes ... "to encourage our staff to commute across town to meetings on those".

Sport and environment

Sport, recreation and environment manager Rob Pitkethley told the committee a consultant had been contracted to check half the trees in the district.

He said of the district's roughly 12,000 trees, the council asked Infracore to check roughly 3000 of them per year but as they were a bit behind they had asked a consultant to check more.

That consultant will check 6000 trees in the district starting next week. That will take roughly three months.

Group manager operations Henry Weston told the committee a Sports Field Supply and Demand Study final report was due shortly.

The report looks at the district's ability to meet demand as well as the quality of fields.

"I think the probably the initial conclusion is we've got enough [fields] but the quality isn't high enough and we've got to think about the most sensible way forward."

Carbon footprint

The committee also heard from AECOM's sustainability and resilience team leader Maurice Marquardt as AECOM had been engaged to help the council develop a corporate
carbon footprint for the benchmark year 2016/17.

His presentation revealed total carbon emissions for that year were 103,367 tonnes with 91 per cent of the emissions from landfill gas, three per cent from electrify consumption and six from indirect sources.