The NECH Guide to Making Submissions on Hamilton City Council’s Draft 10-Year Plan

  • What does ‘making a submission’ entail?

Actually not a lot and it’s not as scary as it sounds! From 29 March 2018 there will be an easy online form on the HCC website. We will also post links on the NECH Facebook page and in local residents’ groups.

  • Why should I make a submission?

The number of submissions is important – HCC will take more notice of public opinion if a lot of people give the same or similar feedback. We at NECH strongly encourage you to have your say.

Note that people tend to be more vocal when they are objecting to something – if you approve of something in the draft plan and you don’t make a submission saying so, then your views are likely to be drowned out by the people who are against. It is definitely worth making a simple submission saying ‘I fully support such-and-such a project and support it going ahead in year 2 of the plan’ if that’s your view.

The more submissions in support of a project, the more likely it is to actually happen. The more submissions opposing a project, the more likely it is to get shelved or delayed.

On projects that are borderline, your submission really could be the one that makes all the difference.

Remember that this is your opportunity to influence Council on how your ratepayer money is spent over the next 10 years.

  • What should I write in my submission?

You don’t have to say much – just what parts of the draft plan you support or object to, and why. If you are able to give personal examples, this will support your views. As an example, a good submission might be something like:

“I support the plan to build a new library in the Rototuna town centre because a closer library would make a significant difference to my family. My child loves to borrow library books but it takes us 25 minutes to get from home to Chartwell library”.

It doesn’t need to be any more complicated than that!

  • Do I have to do a verbal presentation to support my submission?

No. You have the option to request to present your submission in person to the Councillors in May 2018, but you are not obliged to. Most submitters don’t, but it’s actually not as scary as you may think! Plenty of ordinary people, with varying views and experience, speak in front of the Council. There’s no expectation for you to be a professional speaker and you can be accompanied by as many support people as you like.

  • Is there an option for someone else to speak to Council on my behalf?

Yes. North East Community Hub are planning on having a representative speak on behalf of the community in the north-east of Hamilton. If you’re daunted by the idea of talking in front of the Elected Councillors, NECH can represent your views if you tell us what those views are. We’ll make more posts over the coming weeks to gauge local feedback on the issues affecting our area of Hamilton. You are most welcome to contact NECH any time to let us know your views on the draft 10-year plan. We will do our best to represent the interests of our community.

 

Fibre Broadband – an update

*** SPOILER ALERT! ***

NECH is really pleased to announce that fibre broadband is coming to the remaining parts of Flagstaff!
Ultrafast Fibre have committed to installing fibre to the areas missed in the government’s UFB1 and UFB2 roll-outs. Letters will be delivered to the relevant properties this week, network deployment will commence later this month, and Ultrafast Fibre have set up this website so we can keep abreast of the installation progress: … http://www.ultrafastfibre.co.nz/flagstaff/

This is a significant achievement for our community and shows what we can achieve when we instigate and pursue dialogue with the right people. We at NECH are really proud to have been a part of making this happen, and we hope for a smooth and painless installation process!

Fibre Broadband information evening, hosted by Ultrafast Fibre

NECH is pleased to announce that Ultrafast Fibre will be hosting an information evening for residents of the 700-ish homes in north Hamilton that do not yet have fibre broadband.

The event will be held at the Good Neighbour in Rototuna on Thursday 16 June at 6.30pm.

The properties not yet covered by fibre are in the Woodridge / River Road area, north of Woodridge Drive, and in the Borman Road / Glaisdale area. If your property is one of those, look out for an invitation coming soon to your mailbox. The invitation will have details on how to RSVP to secure your place at the evening event.

Footbridge at Magellan Lake – June 2016?

I recently contacted Hamilton City Council for an update on the proposed construction of the footbridge to complete the Te Awa O Katapaki Esplanade walkway at Magellan Lake.

This was the response I received in April from a representative from HCC’s Parks & Open Spaces team:

“I can confirm that we have completed the design work, have the necessary consents and will be putting the construction of the bridge out to tender any day now. We had a few consenting issues to resolve with the regional council which has slightly delayed construction. Nevertheless, we are still on track to get the bridge built prior to the end of June.”

Another update on 3 May confirmed that “The contract has been let for the bridge” so I imagine that we can expect construction to start any day now! Will be interesting to see whether the project will still be completed by the end of June…

I will post updates on the timeframe as and when I get any.

Katy

6 May 2016

Ultra-Fast Broadband to Flagstaff North – an update from Richard Riley, CMO at Ultrafast Fibre

Richard Riley, Chief Marketing Officer for Ultrafast Fibre, spoke at the NECH AGM about the roll-out of ultra-fast broadband (UFB) to the Flagstaff North area. To give a little bit of background, ‘UFB1’ was the Government initiative to roll out UFB to 75% of New Zealand homes. UFF has completed UFB1 across the Central North Island and with the successful uptake (demand for fast broadband services now extremely high) the Government is expanding the initiative through ‘UFB2’ to other towns, which will increase coverage to 80% of NZ premises. However, some areas of Flagstaff North are not covered by UFB1 and are also unlikely to be covered under UFB2.

Connecting to UFB’s next generation services is a two-stage process involving the reticulation of the network past the premise and then subsequent install of fibre to the premise. The first stage is the communal connection which goes along the street (the Flagstaff North area being a relatively new suburb is typically all underground, so once installed, only cabinets are visible). This is the bit that’s currently being done in Everleigh, Bramber, Killegray, Tuirangi, etc. as part of the areas under a small network infill that Ultrafast is undertaking. The second stage is connecting fibre to the individual premises. This involves scoping the work that needs to be done at each property (from the road to the exterior of the dwelling), confirming the location of all of the new assets that will need to be installed at each property, and then the physical work of channelling the duct underground from the grass verge outside the property boundary to a discreet termination point (or small box) on the outside wall of the house, then through the wall to a similar sized box inside. Richard did clearly state that the install is not as simple as installing a jack point on the wall; and he was very keen to point out that it can be quite a disruptive and technical process. Additionally, with high demand, it can now take several weeks before a crew is available to carry out the required installation work at your place; but at the end of that queue with super-fast broadband download speeds of 100 megabits per second and above available, the wait is well worth it. In any case, great care is taken to minimise disruption and mess to your garden and house by skilled and friendly technicians.

Richard explained that installing UFB is not a cheap undertaking for Ultrafast Fibre – when considering the typical costs to deploy the network along the street and then installing to the inside of the premise, it’s several thousand dollars per premise all up. However, in UFB1, these costs are not charged to the end user customer – a standard installation is currently free for residential customers and only a small nominal connection charge applies for business end users. It should be noted though that, not dissimilar to other utility services such as copper broadband, the retail service provider may charge customers a small fee for a connection (often to cover the costs of routers, modems and the like).

Because the cost of expanding the network to enable connections in this area is not covered by the Government funding for UFB, Richard indicated Ultrafast Fibre will need to have an idea of potential uptake in order to put a convincing business case; so is looking at a way to canvas our level of interest and commitment to connect if Ultrafast Fibre did indeed build. If they did commit to installing fibre to the identified areas, it would likely take 3-6 months for the communal build stage to be completed, with individual connections possible after that following a period to satisfactorily test of the network.

One possible benefit of registering your interest early might be that the connection to the outside of your premise could be done at the same time the network is being built along the street (i.e. the communal infrastructure build stage); which may speed up the process (leaving just the internal technical install for a later date). To enable such a ‘fast track’ process, an order would likely be required via your retail service provider, and Ultrafast Fibre may also use the opportunity to look at more innovative ways to manage such a scenario as it could minimise disruption to your premise and speed up the connection timeframe. Richard stressed that this will not bring orders ‘up the queue’ any faster as Ultrafast Fibre remains committed to connecting other end users who have been patiently waiting.

So within the next few weeks, Richard would like to get an idea of the level of interest from the 700-ish homes in the remaining Flagstaff areas not currently covered (the Borman Road corridor, including Limber Hill, Castleton, Denham, Glyll, etc; and the Woodridge area including Te Huia Drive, Featherstone, Amokura, River Road north of Woodridge Drive, etc). That could be via social media feedback or via a community meeting that Ultrafast Fibre would be happy to organise – possibly doubling as a fun drinks and nibbles evening where we can all ask more questions. When I know more about how to register your interest I will post another update.

NECH would like to thank Richard for taking the time to come and talk at the AGM and for Ultrafast Fibre’s acknowledgement of and interest in addressing the UFB interest in northern Hamilton.