Busy times as election approaches


Community Board Notes

The last couple of months feel like they have been fairly busy and productive for our community board. It was good to see the oak tree removed from the zigzag path in the centre of town. While it was a nice tree, unfortunately it was in the wrong place.

Council plans to upgrade the zigzag with new surfacing and rails, and the tree’s roots would have pushed up the new surface, and its droppings coated the rails in a black tarry substance as time went by. We look forward to engaging with council further on the upgrade and I am personally excited about freshening up this part of Lawrence.

We have also settled on the new location for our waste transfer station opposite the golf course, in large part thanks to the work of councillor and board member Mel Foster. The board is progressing with the establishment of a freedom camping area just out of town and gathered on site early this month to look at options and nut out some details. I understand that while there was some hesitation in the Owaka community when a freedom camping area was first mooted, locals there now appreciate what it brings to their town.

Other works in progress include beautification of the Hospital/Wetherstons Creek area behind the shops, a walking track out to Gabriels Gully and implementation of the ‘‘Our Place Community Plan’’.

Lawrence/Tuapeka residents are welcome to come and speak at the start of our meetings in the public forum. To organise this they need to contact the board chair no later than 24 hours before the meeting.

Local body elections are happening this September and nominations for the community board open July 15. This year we will have at least one vacancy, so I would encourage anybody who has an interest in local issues and a modicum of community spirit to stand. Being a board member has been a rewarding and interesting role for me in my close›to›two terms.

Finally, I would encourage all voters to take an interest in the upcoming elections. There are certainly some contentious issues at play, not least Three Waters. To comment or moan from the sidelines is apointless voicing of opinion. To be involved with the decision› making process you need to at least research candidates and actually vote or, better yet, stand for a position yourself and be an advocate for change from the inside. National voter turnout for local government elections in 2019 was only 42%, and I stand by the old adage that if you can’t be bothered voting, you certainly don’t get to moan.

Lawrence›Tuapeka Community Board member Matt Little