Masterton Monthly Wrap

Message from the Mayor

The term “three waters” has been in the headlines a lot recently – but it’s a phrase that is unfamiliar to many. The explanation is pretty simple. The “three waters” are drinking water, wastewater (sewage), and stormwater – the three water services that councils all over the country deal with. The Government is reforming how these water services are delivered to communities. The top priority is ensuring everybody has safe drinking water, but the reforms also look at how the other two waters could be managed. Last month, Masterton District Council, along with most councils in the country signed up to being part of the reform process – that means being part of the conversation and open to discussions with other councils about working together to deliver water services.

By signing up (via a Memorandum of Understanding) our council has access to $4.4 million in Government funding for water projects, with an emphasis on drinking water. It may be a cliché, but in this case, the decision really was a no-brainer. It was passed unanimously by our council. I want to be very clear that signing the MOU does not bind us to future reforms, just sharing data and other information in good faith. We will only ever continue with the reform process if there is a clear benefit for our current and future residents and ratepayers. We are yet to hear details of how the reforms may develop in future, but at this stage we need to be part of the conversation and that is what signing the MOU has achieved. Also on water, now that we are in spring, after a winter that seemed to race past thanks to pressing issues like COVID-19, it is time once again to consider how we manage our limited water supplies.

By now, we should all be aware that restrictions are a normal part of summer, but as gardeners we can all take steps to prepare for what is coming. Look out for advice on things like mulching gardens and collecting rainwater as we all do our bit to keep the Waingawa River – the source of our drinking water – healthy.

Finding the Right Spot for our Space

We’re making positive progress to identify the best spot for a new multipurpose community facility to replace our old town hall. Conversations with our community over the past few years have given us great insight into what may be good options for Masterton and we’re now well down the path of developing plans for a new facility. That’s included finetuning what could be included in such a facility and what benefits we expect it to have for our community.

There are six key things we want a facility to deliver for Masterton. We want it to:

  • meet the needs of the Masterton community and contribute to the wellbeing and liveability of the Wairarapa
  • embrace our Māori culture and multi-cultural community
  • utilise Green Building design for efficiency and environmental benefit
  • be multi-purpose, and suitable and well utilised for future generations
  • be affordable for our community
  • be located somewhere that encourages activity, provides easy access, and fits in with existing community facilities.

At the moment, our initial list of requirements to be included are a flat-floor space that can be used for different purposes (like performances, conferences, exhibitions) and suits the size of the Masterton community, meeting rooms and a central point for council and community-related information. We’re also exploring whether we can, or should, include a “black-box” performance space, café, library and an outdoor event space. A decision on the preferred location will be made within the next few months, once further investigation about feasibility of different sites has been undertaken. This will give the council clarity around the existing town hall site and options for that building if it is not the preferred location.

Town Centre Revamp Taking Shape

In June, the council pressed the green light on starting Masterton’s Town Centre Revamp in lower Queen Street, and plans are taking shape. We’ve confirmed what the revamp is going to look like and have asked for potential contractors to let us know if they’re interested in doing the construction work. We’re hoping to finalise the contractor before the end of the year, with an aim to get started on construction in March/April next year. As you’d expect, there will be some disruption during the construction period and we’re working with business operators about how we can best manage this. The revamp of lower Queen Street will include widening and upgrading pedestrian areas, seating, better lighting, and planting new gardens and trees. Of course, this is just the start of a larger revamp of Masterton’s Town Centre. You can read all about it at:

Masterton’s Air Quality – August

The amount of pollution in Masterton’s skies exceeded World Health Organisation guidance limits on eight days in August – an improvement on both June and July. However, pollution was recorded as “moderate” on 17 days (more than the 13 days in June and 14 days in July) and “low” on six days. Helping to clean up our smoggy skies is easy: make sure wood is dry, and untreated, ensure your fire burns bright and hot so it doesn’t produce smoke, and don’t shut the fire damper (air vent) down overnight.

Note: measurements are based on fine particle air pollution (PM2.5) of which WHO allows three days a year exceeding the guideline limit. For more information visit our Air Quality page.

Engineers and Fabricators - We Want You

Are you a fabricator or engineer based in Wairarapa? We want to hear from you. We’ve got exciting projects coming up and we’re keen to see where we can use local expertise. We’re looking for engineers and fabricators that can make street furniture like rubbish bins, tables and benches to be used in Masterton’s Town Centre Revamp project. We’re also looking for people to supply features for Masterton’s new skatepark, like railings and other skateable furniture. If this sounds like something you or your business can provide, we’re keen to hear more. Please send us your CV or portfolio of work showcasing your ability and experience to deliver the work above. Keep in mind the products will need to be durable, suitable for the needs of less abled members of our community and finished to a high quality. Email your information to [email protected] before the 30 September.

Birth to Earth

You’re invited to take part in the annual whenua (placenta) burial at the Henley Lake Whenua Garden.

Saturday 12 September, 10am – 11am
Henley Lake – Colombo Road Carpark

This event is free to attend but registration is required. To register, send your name and contact details to [email protected] or send a message to Masterton District Council on Facebook.

What’s On

Awards and Grants Committee meeting – Wednesday 9 September – 9am
Kiwi Room, Waiata House, 27 Lincoln Road, Masterton

Birth to Earth – Annual whenua (placenta) burial – Saturday 12 September – 10am
Henley Lake – Colombo Road Carpark

Te Wiki o te Reo Māori – 14-20 September

Council meeting – Wednesday 16 September – 3pm
Kiwi Room, Waiata House, 27 Lincoln Road, Masterton

Mental Health Awareness Week – 21 – 27 September

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