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Hahei Press Release

The Hahei Ratepayers Association have put out their own Press Release - distributed by Reihana at yesterday's meeting. You will note the different tone from the TCDC Presser put out at 3.30 yesterday.



Hundreds of Hahei residents gathered at the local hall on November 28 to voice concerns regarding the latest plan by the Department of Conservation, iwi and Thames Coromandel .District Council to build a walkway along the coast. "Everyone at the meeting welcomes visitors and the opportunity to share beautiful surroundings with visitors from near and far. In general they support the idea of regional economic development," said meeting chair Bill Stead

Locals ate clearly happy to share Hahei's beauty with the current 200,000 visitors per annum, but they also wish to promote a healthy and safe community that needs to be resilient in the face of rapidly growing tourism. ''Welcoming even more visitors into a tiny community must be done with the community's blessing and the visitor's health, safety and welfare in mind/ says Stead "With visitor numbers already going up by 15,000 per year, the Great Walk proposal has shone the spotlight on the many problems already facing this small comm.unity, and these are all problems exacerbated by the influx: of visitors."

When populations grow exponentially as they do in Hahei over the summer "decent infrastructure needs to be in position before  further visitors  can be adequately welcomed,"  says ratepayer spokesman John North, "There is nothing iconic about boasting the region's only unswimmable river, the Wigmore Stream, that pours straight into the sea, when the sands are not blocking its outlet. Current drinking water supply barely copes with the present summer influx. Infrastructure must be fully operational,not just dismissed with a, "we will deal with that later" comment For starters there is a need for more clean water, parking, signage, footpaths, toilets, traffic, and proper zoning."

The organizers of the Great Walk need to do several things according to residents who attended the meeting. Community members need to be included in the management of the project because it directly  affects the community. The organisers need to bring up to standard the current infrastructure that not only services the small community but  the nearly quarter of a million domestic and foreign tourists. With existing infrastructure already failing there has to be a halt on any activities that will compound the problem. And ifthere is to be a plan to increase the tourist visits then the costs of the infrastructure required to assure safe and pleasant visitor experiences need to be fully paid by national, regional and district-wide funding, in that order. Regional rates presently fund the Cambridge Velodrome to the tune of $11million. Cathedral Cove visitor numbers dwarf those visiting the Maungatautari Ecological Island Trust that has received more than $5million from regional rate-payers.

Residents attending Saturday's meeting were adamant the costs of expansion to meet tourist demand should not fall on the shoulders of Mercury Bay rate-payers.

CONTACT Hahei Ratepayer Association, BillStead ph 021 025 22091 or John North ph07 866 3310



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Reader Comments (3)

It is perfectly true that the Hahei community have a lot of issues around infrastructure that need to be dealt with. This was originally spelt out in the Hahei Community Plan pre 2010, a plan which is only being revised now to try and make the concept of a Great Walk fit within its context.

Although most do not perceive it, Community Plans do carry some significant weight - as was demonstrated in Whangamata some years ago when a reference was made to a certain Government Department.

So the Hahei community are not powerless, given their present Community Plan which any revised one must be based on.

However, what hacks me off is Reihana Robinson 'moving in' on the Hahei community making press releases for their Ratepayers Association, would you believe. It is obvious that is what is happening given the typical Reihana gooble about the fact that "some Regional rates presently fund the Cambridge Velodrome to the tune of $11million...(and that) Cathedral Cove visitor numbers dwarf those visiting the Maungatautari Ecological Island Trust that has received more than $5million from regional rate-payers".

The Velodrome and Maungatautari old subjects hashed to death by Reihana many times in the pastover and over like a stuck record and, it would seem, she is unable to let them go.

Hahei would achieve a lot more more without this Chinese torture of the Reihana show-biz parade. That will simply cheese off the Council and make it much harder for them to make traction.

December 10, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterDal

You may well be correct Dal - I won't argue the toss over Reihana's involvement, but I do know from my own discussions regarding Hahei that good manners prevail, possibly to a fault, but certainly toi the extent that appears to prevent the full extent of the local concerns from being communicated in a forceful manner. Leach appears to take advantage of this tendency, and 'bull-dozers' his views is his inimitable manner. Bill and John are professionals, polite and determined to avoid conflict. Reihana is as you well know, more combative. If that "cheeses-off" the Council, too bad in my opinion. If her views are representative, then they need to take greater heed than in the past, and I believe they are.
The Walk has huge potential - that is without question; it is simply a question of how Council takes Hahei with it - I hope they have learn't lessons, but have seen no evidence of that having occurred to date.

December 11, 2015 | Registered CommenterBill Barclay

Yes, there are issues at Hahei that need to be sorted out with calm heads, but Reihana is always part of the problem, not part of the solution. Up til now, Bill and John have handled the situation appropriately and appear quite able to continue like that..

December 11, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterDal

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