Formerly New Zealand's High Commissioner to the Cook Islands and MP for the Northland Electorate of New Zealand.

JOHN CARTER - MAYOR OF THE FAR NORTH DISTRICT OF NEW ZEALAND


Moving forward together

12 December 2019

Christmas funding windfall

With Christmas fast approaching, it is natural to take stock of the last 12 months. It was a busy year for the district, and for me personally. In October, we held our triennial local body elections and it was great to see so many candidates step up to represent their communities. I was humbled by the support many of you gave me. I am very aware of the trust you place in your elected representatives and it will be a great honour to serve you for another three years.

With the Christmas holiday break just weeks away, we can expect to see an influx of visitors to our district. The summer population boom places a significant extra load on our infrastructure, especially water and wastewater. We closely monitor water supplies, but we already know this holiday season will require extra vigilance. Both the Northland Regional Council and NIWA have confirmed lower than normal levels of rainfall recorded in recent months, with NRC warning a dry summer is possible for Mid and Far North areas. You can help by making sure all visitors are aware of the need to conserve our finite water supplies.

Our roads and other facilities will also be much busier in coming weeks. The Council does all it can to attract funding so the burden of building and maintaining these facilities is not borne by ratepayers alone. This week, the government confirmed that nearly $1.4 million in tourism-related funding is earmarked for the Far North. The Tourism Infrastructure Fund will help us to upgrade public toilets at Waipapa and Waitangi Jetty, enhance car parking at Cable Bay and Taipa Beach, improve outdoor showers at Paihia Beach and install security lighting at Kerikeri Stone Store. The busy tourist route to Puketi Forest will also receive $793,584 to help seal the remainder of Pungaere Road. Finally, the Council will receive $75,000 to help us review boat ramp and water access, and freedom camping in the region. This funding boost will help us to make the Far North a better place to live in and to visit.

As always, Council staff and contractors will be extra busy over the holiday season. They will visit tourism hot spots, collect rubbish and clean public toilets. They will ensure drinking water keeps flowing and other vital services continue to run. They do a fantastic job so we can have a trouble-free summer.

If you plan to drive this holiday season, please be patient. Don't take unnecessary risks and remember it's better to arrive a few minutes late than not at all. Take care of yourselves, whanau and the others on our roads so we can all enjoy a well-deserved break.

On that note, I hope you have a safe and enjoyable Christmas and New Year with whanau and friends. Look after each other and I wish you a great Far North summer.

 

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