November 2013

In this issue:

Yashili factory - artist's impression CSG workshop Rangiriri section Cambridge sod turning

Work underway on Chinese infant formula plant in Pokeno

Yashili factoryWork is well underway on Yashili NZ Dairy Company’s $220 million infant formula plant in Pokeno, following the recent granting of consent following a Commissioner hearing the application on behalf of Waikato District Council.

Around 50,000 tonnes of formula will be exported each year, largely to China, from the 6.7ha light industrial zoned site within the Pokeno Structure Plan Area. Production will be 24/7 with an estimated 120 staff employed.

This is the first significant industrial development in the north Waikato since the area became part of Future Proof in December 2012.

The application was fully notified with 27 submissions being received. From the council’s District Plan, light industrial zone objectives, policies and development standards were considered by the Commissioner.

The consent was granted subject to a number of conditions including noise and lighting standards, visual appearance, traffic management, community liaison and landscaping requirements. Under the council’s Development Contributions Policy, Yashili will also be required to pay development contributions towards council stormwater and roading infrastructure.

The new plant is the largest investment to take place in the district in recent years and will bring an estimated $72 million a year to the Waikato and $191 million nationally.

Waikato District Council Consents Manager AnaMaria d’Aubert says the consent was a complex application involving a number of expert advisors and the first real large-scale development in the industrial block of the Pokeno Structure Plan Area.

“The consent was a real test of our internal systems, the decision-making process and regulatory time frames, considering the size and scale of the development. The nature of the proposal meant we had to fully notify the application, but we saw good local involvement which Yashili responded well to. By the end of the hearing a number of opposing submitters had withdrawn or changed their position on the development and I think this is a good reflection of the manner in which the community, the applicant and council worked well together for a positive outcome.”  

No appeals were received on the decision and Yashili hope to begin production in February 2015.

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Healthy rivers a step closer

CSG workshop

Stakeholders discussing sector
representation on the CSG at the August
workshop.

Final membership of a group that will play an important role in developing policy for restoring and protecting the health and wellbeing of the Waikato and Waipa rivers is a step closer.

Community applications and stakeholder nominations for representatives to be on a Collaborative Stakeholder Group (CSG) for the Healthy Rivers: Plan for Change/Wai Ora:He Rautaki Whakapaipai project have recently closed.

Healthy Rivers: Plan for Change/Wai Ora:He Rautaki Whakapaipai is occurring in the Waikato and Waipa river catchments, including all of the Future Proof sub-region.

A total of 65 applications and nominations have been received for the 20-strong CSG, comprising 16 sector representatives and 4 community representatives. 

Once formed, the group will represent stakeholders and the community in developing a regional plan change, and will make recommendations to the project partners – Waikato and Waipa River iwi and Waikato Regional Council.

A wide range of sectors will be represented on the group, including dairy, local government, environmental NGOs, Maori interests, energy, sheep and beef, horticulture, forestry, tourism and recreation, rural advocacy and water supply takes. Sectors were responsible for their nominating their own representatives.

Three of the 16 sector representative seats were yet to be allocated, and sector stakeholders were invited to make nominations for these.

Nearly 130 stakeholders from a diverse range of organisation discussed the formation of the CSG at an all day workshop in late August.

“The workshop was a really positive start to this collaborative project,” said Waikato Regional Council’s acting policy and transport group manager Tracey May.

The CSG membership is likely to be announced later this year.

The proposed plan change is expected to be notified in November 2015. More information is available at www.waikatoregion.govt.nz/healthyrivers.

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Waikato Expressway honours the past and opens the future

The Rangiriri Section looking south across Glen Murray BridgeIn Rangiriri

Work on the Rangiriri section of the NZ Transport Agency’s (NZTA) Waikato Expressway project is now well underway. A range of environmental controls, including sediment ponds, were put in place during September and October in preparation for the coming construction season.

A new off ramp is being constructed at Glen Murray Road and this will eventually form part of the completed Rangiriri Interchange. Meanwhile, traffic travelling over the Glen Murray Bridge is being diverted down this new north facing ramp to a new temporary intersection with SH1 (about 100m north of the existing intersection). A temporary diversion which will carry traffic alongside the existing SH1 while the Rangiriri Interchange is being built, while at the Te Kauwhata end of the 4.8km section, the team is establishing a shoulder near Plantation Road off SH1. Construction of the new Te Kauwhata bridge is timed to start in late November or early December, with the piling of the foundations. The dual northbound lanes on SH1, north of Rangiriri, were also reduced to one lane (with an 80km/h temporary speed limit) in October, to make room for the construction of the Te Kauwhata Interchange.

The NZTA is working closely with Waikato Tainui to support the upcoming 150 year commemoration of the Battle of Rangiriri, planned for Wednesday, 20 November.  In September, the NZTA also installed some stone columns in preparation for the recreation of the historic Battle Trench. Prior to the commemorations, people can attend a free public presentation on the history of Rangiriri at 7.30 pm on Wednesday, 13 November at the Waikato Museum. Supported by the Agency and the NZ Historic Places Trust, well-known Waikato Archaeologist Warren Gumbley will present 'The Battle of Rangiriri (1863) – Honouring Our Past’, a short film detailing what he also found as part of a six-week excavation of the battlefield, Rangiriri Pa site and British Military redoubt. Bookings are essential - find out more in the Agency’s media release at: http://www.nzta.govt.nz/about/media/releases/2942/news.html

Sod turning in CambridgeSod turning in Cambridge

work on the Cambridge section has continued since August  and in early November a Visitor Information centre for the project opened to the public at the Victoria Road site office, Cambridge.  The Hamilton section reached a significant milestone in September, with the Scheme Assessment Report finalised.  Statutory applications for alterations to the designation and resource consents have been lodged with all three councils and these are expected to be publicly notified in November, when the public will be invited to make submissions. For the Huntly section, applications for resource consents and alterations to the designation for the central section of the project lodged on a limited notification basis were followed by hearings in October.  The project team expects to lodge applications for the southern section (including the four bridges) of the project by the end of 2013.

Waikato River BridgeNgaruawahia section to open in December

The big Waikato Expressway event for this year though is the opening of the Ngaruawahia section in early December. An official ceremony will take place at the new Waikato River Bridge (pictured) on Saturday, 14 December. People will be welcome to attend the ceremony if they wish and the section will be available for people to walk and cycle on afterwards until 3.00 pm that day, prior to it opening to traffic on the Monday. Contractor, Fletcher Construction, has also been completing work on the link road off Gordonton Road, SH1B. This link will allow traffic travelling off SH1B, direct access onto the Ngaruawahia Section. This will remain in place until the Huntly Section is complete. 

Follow the Waikato Expressway project on Facebook and check out the NZ Transport Agency’s Waikato Expressway project website.

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