Community Newsletter

Biosphere Working Group Update

At the end of May, an historic meeting was convened by the Biosphere Working Group in the Kuaotunu Hall between all the volunteer groups working around the Kuaotunu Peninsula - this was the first time they had all met together!

Together with Scott Simpson, Joe Davis of Ngati Hei, and representatives from DOC, each group had the opportunity to outline their work, their successes and their long term aspirations for restoring and replenishing our environment. Over 50 people livened up the hall and listened to some amazing stories of great work being carried out by our communities' volunteers.
The Biosphere Working Group, made up of two representatives from each of the three Residents & Ratepayers Associations, DOC and Ngati Hei will now meet again at the end of this month to summarize the potential synergies and messages from this Hui and map out agreed next steps. There is no doubt there is a powerful combined will in our communities to leave the peninsula in a richly restored state for our grandchildren.

Reports and meeting notes of our progress can be read on the Our Environment page of the Kuaotunu website.

Kindy in Expansion Mode

The Kuaotunu Steiner Kindergarten has just blown out the candles on another very successful Lantern Festival that was thoroughly enjoyed by the children and parents alike.

Children from the Kuaotunu Kindergarten gathered around a fire at night celebrating their Lantern Festival 

Photo Credit: Felicity Jean Photography

The Kindy is really blossoming - our roll numbers are growing and we have a lot of demand, so we are now looking at how we can incorporate a dedicated room for younger children.

This will involve some investment in building works, so we are exploring ways to fund this and other projects that will enhance the opportunities and experiences for our tamariki within the Steiner environment.

We would like to engage more within the community by establishing a "Friends of the Kindergarten" program that will give those interested in supporting us a way to do so that fosters a longer-term partnership.

Please reach out to Matthew Linnecar (Chairman of the Kindergarten Trust) if you wish to discuss ways in which you can support the kindy. His email address is matthewlinnecar@gmail.com

Speed Limits, Footpaths and Traffic Calming

And still we wait…

In last September’s newsletter we reported that your KRRA (Residents & Ratepayers Association) committee had been talking to TCDC about trialling some traffic calming measures in the village over the 2020 summer season (i.e. last summer).

We also advised that we were still working on the decades-long request from the community for the 50km speed limit at both ends of Kuaotunu to be extended, and that we had received a letter from NZTA advising that they were “aiming to start the speed limit review process in the first quarter of 2021" (read the full letter here).

Your committee was very excited to hear that senior representatives of both TCDC and NZTA planned to hold a meeting with KRRA about these matters in February of this year, and to take maximum advantage of this meeting Courtney Linnecar (on behalf of KRRA) organised a petition regarding the need for more footpaths.

This petition was very successful and the meeting (which finally happened in May) was positive and constructive. Our hopes were high…

In a nutshell the current status on each of these issues is as follows:

  • Traffic calming - a very disappointing response from TCDC (read it in full here).
  • Speed limits - we are currently getting no response to our requests for update from NZTA.
  • Footpaths - the provision for more footpaths that had been in TCDC’s Long Term Plan was removed and there is no indication of when it might be reinstated. However the proposed extension of the existing footpath from the boat ramp to opposite Kingfisher Way is due for completion later this year.

Your committee will continue to keep the pressure on both TCDC and NZTA on these matters. Any other ideas or suggestions for achieving progress are welcome!

Kuaotunu Library News

The library continues to be well utilised with over 160 families as members, and we are pleased to see that the children and young people’s section is very popular.

We notice that some quality books intended as donations are being left on the outside shelves. If you would like to donate books but are unable to access the library please contact one of the committee members to ensure that your books reach the library shelves. 

The outside book shelves are intended to recycle culled books and double ups, and these books are available free to the community.

We are appreciative of Bob de Leeuw’s ongoing support, most recently supplying and installing the handrail for the library ramp.

Our thanks also go to Hirini Rolleston, TCDC, who organised the installation of the traffic barrier adjacent to the ramp to stop any vehicles hitting it. Please be aware though, as it could be a trip hazard for folk if they are standing around this area.

The Doyle children have kindly constructed a suggestion box for any requests for specific titles or genre, or suggestions in general, so please feel free to use it to advantage. This is up on the library cabinet.

If there is anyone who would like to become a Friend of the Library this would be appreciated. It would entail replacing books, tidying and a general clean. Refer to the poster in the library.

Please contact a committee member for any queries:
Marguerite Muellers   07 866 2626        soulartnz@yahoo.co.nz
Denise Young:           07 866 0450         evansanddenise@gmail.com 
Maxine McRobbie:     07 866 4341        mcrobbies@xtra.co.nz

Winter Wellness Alive and Well at the Hub

Despite the weather, the Happylocal Hub has been humming with community activity. A Winter Wellness Workshop program has been a sold-out success so far, showcasing local experts covering topics like Te Reo Māori, Sustainable Food Sourcing, Fermentation, and Capturing the Light (Photography).

But the fun isn't over yet, upcoming workshops include:

  • Reading the Night Sky - A Beginners Guide to Stargazing in the Kuaotunu Peninsula Dark Sky Community  
  • Yoga for Trauma - a mini-series
  • Ladies Night - Building an Online Community
  • How to move out of your inner critic mindset and into your creator mindset to beat imposter syndrome.

In addition to the workshops, we have been hard at work expanding the local services on offer within the Holistic Health Clinic. As of last month locals have been using our Infrared Light Therapy panel here at the clinic, as well as visiting a physiotherapist, a child psychologist and a naturopath and nutritionist, in addition to our local GP whose clinic has already proved popular. 

In the near future an acupuncturist and even a Tomatis practitioner will be joining our busy clinic. We hope you enjoy the opportunity to access these services so close to home.

Thank You from the Kuaotunu Bird Rescue Trust

Annemieke Kregting of the Kuaotunu Bird Rescue Trust would like to thank all those people who so generously responded to her recent appeal for assistance to purchase an Oxygen Concentrator and to install a kitchen facility for the preparation of food.

As a result of the donations made both of these projects were able to be achieved. For those of you who follow the Trust’s Facebook page you will have seen that many injured birds have already been able to be treated with oxygen where necessary, significantly helping their recovery.

Annemieke would like to thank all of those local tradesmen who contributed to the installation of the kitchen, including Dave and Jazz FitzGerald of Fitz Furniture, Scott Bradley of C2C Plumbing, Ben Kregting of Kregting Electrical, and Anthony Yeomans of Mercury Bay Plumbing. The tapware and sink were donated and supplied by Malcolm and Chrissy Box of Aquatica.

KAMAG Relaunch - Watch this Space!

KAMAG are currently planning an awareness campaign to enlighten members of the community who were not around in the 1980s and 90s to witness the struggle to protect our beautiful corner of Aotearoa. 

The ongoing presence of a mining exploration licence over the Kuaotunu Peninsula and the observation of exploration activities at Hahei this week reminds us that we cannot afford to be complacent. Keep your eye out for the calendar of events and more, coming soon.

This newsletter is brought to you by the Kuaotunu Residents and Ratepayers Association Inc (KRRA). KRRA thanks the following people for their contributions to this edition: Maxine McRobbie (Kuaotunu Library Committee); Brent Page (Biosphere Working Group); Matthew Linnecar (Kuaotunu Steiner Kindergarten); Annemieke Kregting (Kuaotunu Bird Rescue Trust); Courtney Linnecar (HappyLocal Hub); and Carolyn Wadey-Barron (KAMAG). 

We’d love your feedback on this issue - please email your thoughts and suggestions to info@kuaotunu.nz.  

Like to contribute an article to this newsletter? We welcome contributions about events, happenings, projects etc that are relevant to the Kuaotunu community. Please note that the Newsletter Editor has the final say regarding content and may edit content if required.

To find out more about the Kuaotunu Residents and Ratepayers Association, such as the date of the next meeting, how to join, agendas and minutes of previous meetings, etc, please click here. You are welcome to attend any committee meetings, these are usually held  every 6 weeks on a Thursday.