Issue No. 420 - 25 June 2009
Council apologises for ongoing Splash Centre woes
Mayor Michael Laws has publicly apologised to the residents of Wanganui, and especially users of the new Splash Centre facilities, as ongoing mechanical and design defects plague the centre.
"On behalf of the council and its contractors, I want to express my apology for the problems that continue to afflict this flagship family amenity. No-one involved with the new extension – designer, contractor or council – can escape responsibility for the continuing problems.
"That we are still experiencing pool closures some 14 months after the extension was opened is a sad state of affairs. I want to thank the Splash staff and the Wanganui public for their patience because mine has certainly expired on this issue."
Mayor Laws said that two reviews had identified different issues and causes "but we are no closer to a solution. Today another attempt will be made to fix the problems, but I'm not holding my breath".
An upgrade of existing plant will be carried out on June 25 although it will take another couple of weeks to establish the effectiveness of the changes.
Electrical work for the plant upgrade commenced on Monday and there will be a 4 hour shutdown of the Splash Centre after 8pm Thursday to upgrade the heat pump and upgrade the air movement system.
After initial indications from council engineers that the poor performance was due to contractors and sub-contractors, "council staff have now informed me that the original design seems to be at issue too. In short, the design may not achieve what it was supposed to. We are closing pools when the outside temperature gets cold - around frost and freezing point. The heat pumps are not doing their job in ensuring temperatures remain constant across all the pools."
Mayor Laws said that the revamped Splash Centre is "an outstanding amenity when it works. It has few national rivals. The problem though is that in cold weather it isn't working properly. And 14 months of asking why has not provided us with a definitive answer."
An extensive and independent review has been requested by Mayor Laws and a full report will go to the next Council meeting on July 20. As well, council has briefed its lawyers to determine any legal liabilities. A daily watch has been established to determine the differing pool temperatures.
"Doggy doo" blitz
Wanganui District Council's Animal Control team is planning a blitz during the next two months to encourage dog owners to deal with "doggy doo" in the appropriate manner.
Community Development Committee Chair Cr Ray Stevens recently raised the issue of some dog owners not disposing of "doggy doo" in the bins provided or taking it home to dispose of.
"Dog owners have many responsibilities under our Dog Control Bylaw – and picking up and disposing of their dogs' droppings is one of them," Cr Stevens said.
It is an offence for owners not to clean up after their dog. If they are caught not clearing up they can receive an infringement notice, which is like a parking ticket, with an instant fine of $300.
The Animal Control team will be having a blitz in Springvale Park, and other parks, where the problem seems to be on the increase. During the school holidays people will be on duty in some parks to encourage owners to clear up after their dogs, handing out plastic bags and raising awareness about the consequences of not picking up dog droppings.
"Mars Petcare New Zealand has supplied sachets of dog food to assist with this campaign and any owners 'caught in the act' of cleaning up after their pooch will be rewarded. The company is a great supporter of our Animal Control service and we appreciate their ongoing commitment."
Dog owners can find lots of useful information on this page, including a Dog Owners Handbook which contains information about all aspects of dog ownership and the locations of dog exercise areas in Wanganui.
Shakespeare at the Sarjeant Gallery
Shakespeare at the Sarjeant: An entertainment devised by and featuring David Charteris
For the last three years David has been the guest performer at the Palmerston North Shakespeare Festival writing a new show about Shakespeare or his words each time. This year's performance is also being shown in Wanganui at the Sarjeant Gallery and is based on Cole Porter's lyrics from Kiss Me Kate, the musical version of the Taming of the Shrew.
Door sales on the night are $10 and enjoy a glass of wine with the show.
Community organisations working within the Wanganui District are advised that applications for Community Contracts for the 2009/2010 financial year (1 July-30 June) are now invited.
The Community Contracts programme provides funding to community organisations who provide service initiatives that:
There is $100,000 of contestable funding available for the 2009/2010 year. Please note that the Community Contracts Fund is separate from the Impact Fund which supports initiatives that attract visitors and deliver a significant economic impact to Wanganui, and deliver sustainable programmes that raise the national profile of Wanganui.
Community organisations interested in Community Contract funding can obtain a specific application form, explanation notes, guidelines and criteria from:
The closing date for applications is Monday, 27 July 2009, at 5.00pm.
Thinking of applying?
1 July 2008 – 30 June 2009
Time is running out to apply for a rates rebate for the 2008/09 year. Applications close at the end of June.
The income threshold for rates rebate is $21,180 and the maximum allowable rebate is $530.
Eligibility for a rates rebate is determined by:
To assist you with your application, please bring in the following:
Ratepayers need to apply to the Wanganui District Council for a rates rebate. Those who are eligible will then either have their rates reduced by the amount of the rebate, or receive a refund if the rates have been paid in full for the year. The Department of Internal Affairs reimburses the Council from Crown funds.
NZ Geographic Board consultation on Wanganui spelling
The NZ Geographic Board's formal consultation period for the proposed change of spelling from Wanganui to Whanganui is from 14 May 2009 to 17 August 2009.
Members of the public have three months to make submissions supporting or objecting to the proposed name change. If a person objects to the proposal, they can suggest an alternative proposal or support the existing name.
Written submissions can be made by email, fax or post and sent to:
Further information about the submissions process can be found on the NZ Geographic Board website at www.linz.govt.nz.
Details of the following vacancies are available on this page:
Building Services Officer
Customer Services Advocate (After Hours)
Upcoming Council meetings
We welcome members of the public to attend our meetings
Council – Tuesday, June 30 (2.00pm)
Community Development – Tuesday, June 30
Hearings – Thursday, July 2 (Committee Room 2, 9.00am)
Finance and Infrastructure – Tuesday, July 7
Unless otherwise noted, meetings are held at 3.00pm in the Council Chamber, 1st Floor, Municipal Office Building, 101 Guyton Street, Wanganui.
Agendas are available at the Customer Services Counter, Municipal Office Building, 101 Guyton Street, Wanganui, and the Wanganui District Library two working days prior to the meeting.