Pests, Roads, Funding, Trails and Have your Say to the Council Draft Plan

Returning to normal, our meetings have started back up at the Torkar Rd Bowling Club, thanks to all who attended to catch up on what’s happened, and whats (not) going to happen.

August 5th at 7:00pm is our next meeting – sharing with the “Have your say on the draft Franklin Local Board Plan” presentation from our Council. Your opportunity to provide feedback and help shape their decision making.

Predator Free Franklin initiative – THANK YOU to all who got involved with the local boards program. Over 200+ residents involved; 304 rat, and 137 mustelid (ferret/stoat/weasel) traps delivered. Down with them rats, Up with them birds. All the requested traps are now delivered. If you missed out on getting a trap – email me, we’ll see ya right – or come along to the hub day.

I’m catching very little at the moment. Job done? I don’t think so, just rats don’t like the wet? Please update trap.nz with your catches, that will keep the funding working.

A trap for dad for father’s day? (or bait?) The next “Hub Day”is planned for Sunday 6th September at Waiau Pa Hall 10:00-12:00 midday. Come along for additional traps (rat, possum, ferret), bait and dispensers, and presentations on how to best get rid of them pests. 

Cycle trails. Work in progress. Hoping to have an update at the next meeting. Really looking forward to not driving around cyclists on our main roads. Not optimal.

Our Crazy roads. Many crashes, many deaths and serious injuries. The 5 thousand additional cars a week coming into NZ – mostly Auckland prior to Covid seem to be all on our local roads.

Much anger on display at our last meeting, with our local board members unable to sway Auckland Transport (council) to raise the new limits. Expect delays from emergency services as volunteers race in at 60 & 80 kph to the firestation.

Our local black spot – McKenzie road dip aka “Mt McKenzie” continues to claim vehicles. 3 in a day. Locals know to respect this Bermuda Triangle of roading. I chased up council logged cases on this, got a reply back from no-reply@council saying the potholes were fixed, case closed. Good to know. (argh!)

Yes – the new speed limit is 80 on Linwood and McKenzie. Please pull over and let people pass if you think 40 and 60 are the new limit. If you see 7 cars waiting behind you – the law demands it. To all you tail-gaters out there – learn the 2 second rule (4 if towing or wet or McKenzie) and “breath”. 

Local improvements  – playgrounds, skatepark, community center, beach access stairs. These are on “hold”. Significant Covid related shortfall of Council funding has impacted delivery of these items. Since the previous meeting – Council has agreed on the “3.5% rise” option resulting in less funding cuts, our local board members asked for patience and another 12 months before any renewal funding is available. 

On that note- this is our new normal – no lavish funding for playgrounds suggests an opportunity for our communities to provide and fund playgrounds with maybe less expensive “Natural” structures – and a more creative use of our resources. This George Nelson approach got our existing skateboard bowl and BMX track built. If you have idea’s and energy – bring them to the August 5th meeting. For the future kids, and those who’ve missed out.

Awaroa Trail. Our local waterway has been our State Highway 1 from the Waikato River, to Auckland for over 900 years! I’m really looking forward to seeing Waikato and Waiuku traffic sailing past our yacht club and reserve on the way to Awhitu, Cornwallis (bike ride to Whatipu?) and linking up to the new high speed rail transport terminal at Onehunga (any day now).

Right here, Right now!

Paul Arthur