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Mangawhai Matters Society Incorporated - Chairman's Report 2023

To those of you who could not make the AGM yesterday and to those who were there and could not hear my mumbling (which I understand was most of you) my actual report is below. This year we have not been in the public eye as much as we have in previous years - but there has been an enormous amount of work going on in the background. Joel represented us on the waste water advisory group and this process highlighted a number of issues, especially around financing. We have continued to put pressure on the Council over Development contributions. At the moment they are around $27k per section. If you divide the number of connections the proposed upgraded system will accept, into the $60m cost the Development Contributions should be closer to $50k. We believe the council needs to lift the DC to this level or we will have a repeat of the last debacle which has left us in debt in excess of $25m and a system that is almost at capacity - which means there is no way of clearing the debt. We continue to push to get more people on the KDC electoral roll. Around 40% of Mangawhai’s ratepayers are not on the roll so we are severely under represented. One of the hinderances is the hoops you have to go through to get the form and fill it in. We are pushing for a simpler process. In the meantime, we continue to encourage all non-resident ratepayers to enrol despite the difficulties in doing so. We have put in a comprehensive submission to the district plan review, which I distributed to members some time back. Our submission is based on concept that an Urban City approach will compromise the Character of Mangawhai. It is better that modest growth is managed in character with the local area. Mangawhai Matters has been invited to two meetings with the council on the district plan and there appears to be a strong correlation in our thinking. However the plan itself is now in doubt, which I will explain later. On this basis, MM have met with the developers of Freck Farm. Their Plan Change is due shortly and we will be giving it the same scrutiny as Mangawhai Central. The greatest amount of our time has been on the Sustainable Management Plan for the harbour. We have raised $40,000 for a scoping project which has been carried out by Terry Hume a well known and widely experienced specialist in coastal processes. We have also carried out an economic survey of the harbour including such things as the cost of volunteer labour etc. that goes into maintaining the harbour and environment. Along with this we have completed a survey of the contribution of holiday visitors to our retail businesses and employment. Looking forward we have a daunting list of issues to face in the future which we will be working our way through. There are three major developments in the pipeline:

  • Frick Farm - They have an Urban Plan change proposal for 200 lots almost ready for submission.

  • The Rise - Has submitted a plan change for 380 lots which has been accepted by the KDC.

  • Black Swamp - Up to 600 lots. No firm proposal yet.

Add in Mangawhai Central and we are talking at least 2200 new sections coming on stream. That will more than double the housing in the area. We will be working to ensure the character of the town remains in the face of these pressures, and that the infrastructure is in place and funded before such developments can go ahead. We are also aiming to ensure the district plan does not promote under-sized sections given the ongoing need for rainwater collection, limited sewage capacity, and the growing attraction of Mangawhai to active families. The LTP or the District plan do not mention any funding for infrastructure improvements to cope with a doubling in size. We have always stated that we are not against development, but we will fight for the infrastructure improvements before they happen. For example, the Northern Transport Alliance says that Mangawhai and the district roading network can only cope with 850 more houses. The impact of adverse weather on our access roads suggests even that is optimistic. Our local roads are also limited, yet we seem to be faced with plans that could easily treble that number. Consequently, we are very concerned at the possibility that the District plan will not be completed. $2 million has been already spent on it and now it appears to have been cut from the budget. My real concern is that if we do not have a district plan someone else will do it for us, especially if we are obliged to merge with Auckland or Whangarei now that the report on the Future of local Government has been received by the Government. It is important that we retain our local voice if we are not going to be subject to me-too plans that override local concerns and circumstances. Coupled with this is another area of concern, where do we end up under this new Local Body Act. – Auckland or Northland. Our own preference is to stay with, Northland but we will poll people throughout the district to see their preferences and then fight to ensure we end up in the region the community identifies with. It is a bit of a worry that under Three Waters we will end up in Auckland - the issues that region faces are quite different to ours. Wherever we end up if we do not have a comprehensive district plan, someone else will be doing it for us. I would like to introduce Misty Sansom and Colin Leach who have joined our committee since our last AGM. Both bring a lot of strength to our team. I would also like to say Thank You to Carol who was 'encouraged ' to become our treasurer in the early days. She has decided to step down and get some of her life back. Aso a huge thank you to the committee who have done great work again this year and have put hundreds of hours of work into our projects. They are extremely supportive and make my job very easy. I am very proud to be standing here as their representative. And finally, thank you to all of you here today who have given us so much support over the years. It quite humbling to have this much interest and support which certainly gives us the encouragement to continue what we are doing. Thank You, Doug Llyod - Chairman

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