Council has adopted the LTP and although it has set aside $100,000 to study Kerikeri roading, yet again Kerikeri has failed to achieve the Ring Road around the CBD. Although It is included in the Kerikeri/Waipapa Structure Plan 2007 and we have been submitting on it for 11 years without effect, it is not programmed until 2022 (we are not holding our breath).
Council has decided that it will initiate a district wide roading strategy and has moved funding for the proposed Kerikeri South East bypass and Waipapa to Kapiro Roads, from years 1-3 to years 4 and beyond, to implement the initiatives from the strategies. It has resolved that these projects may be included in future LTP documents upon the recommendation that they have priority as part of a district wide roading strategy that shall be prepared prior to the 2019-20 annual plan. The strategy shall consider and rank all capital works and roading projects for all areas of the Far North District.
We have a deep sense of frustration. A Strategic Roading Plan may well be needed but this Council resolution has successfully conflated urban roading needs for our fast-growing town, with other district wide potential needs. Kerikeri’s growth appears to have attracted little planning interest - even a rejection from some Councillors. The LTP (P 25) describes Kerikeri as having a population of 6,500, which is a flawed basis for planning and a significant underestimate. (see the item above) and notes that 85% of the population growth in the Far North between 1996 and 2016 has been in Kerikeri and then ignores it.
The Structure Plan is still largely relevant; the main change since 2007 is a large population increase and its consequences. As stated in the item above it is a concept plan and needs to be supported by the LTP, District Plan and financial planning. It appears that we will have to wait until after 2028 for the next 10-year plan. We are focussing on these planning issues not for selfish Kerikeri residents but for the efficiency of the town which serves so many of the Far North residents who use our services and facilities.
This raises questions as to whether Kerikeri is being well served? Are all Councillors acting at large in the best interests of the district or are some excessively parochial? The FNDC was cobbled together in 1989 from 6 Counties and boroughs. Would Kerikeri and the Bay of islands area be better served with something like the old Bay of Islands County by seceding from FNDC?