18 September 2020

Ngongotahā residents are invited to learn more about local infrastructure projects and provide feedback on plans for their community at a public information session next week.

The information session will cover significant transport infrastructure projects being delivered by Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency and Rotorua Lakes Council, and joint initiatives by Rotorua Lakes Council and Bay of Plenty Regional Council to address flood resilience.

Rotorua Lakes Council’s Infrastructure General Manager, Stavros Michael, explains community feedback, along with Ngongotahā being identified as an area for potential future growth, has been the catalyst for getting these current and future projects underway.

“In response to community concerns, Council commissioned a study to identify infrastructure safety issues in Ngongotahā and develop potential solutions. We are now seeking community feedback on these solutions to determine which option to progress with,” he says.

Community feedback will help enable Rotorua Lakes Council to seek funding from NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi to implement the safety infrastructure changes in the Ngongotahā Village and State Highway 36 road corridor, guide any improvements within the village, and will also be used to inform Council’s 2021 – 2031 Long-term Plan.

Mr Michael says “Ngongotahā village has a number of unique characteristics that need to be taken into account with any changes to its infrastructure. State Highway 36 runs through the centre of the village – it’s a route used by large trucks and is seeing increasing amounts of traffic travelling south, as well as having local schools and care homes nearby.

“It’s important to find the balance between the village community and local businesses’ needs, as well as the needs of those drivers who regularly use the thoroughfare from the surrounding areas. Feedback from the community will help to determine what those needs are. Proactively addressing traffic safety concerns will also help us to move forward with locality plans and residential development.”

Public consultation on the proposed options to improve safety through Ngongotahā village opened on 9 September and finishes on 7 October 2020. Waka Kotahi started the SH5 Tarukenga to Ngongotahā safety and SH5/SH36 roundabout improvements project earlier this month, to make the stretch of state highway and busy roundabout safer.

Waka Kotahi Principal Project Manager Steve Cox is encouraging anybody who lives along the route or are regular users of the SH5/SH36 roundabout to go along to the information session.

“We will be speaking in more detail about the safety improvements that will be made to the road, and the plans to manage traffic while the roundabout upgrade is underway. We will also be answering any questions the public has on this project,” says Mr Cox.

For Bay of Plenty Regional Council and Rotorua Lakes Council, the session will also be a chance to share the latest on the Ngongotahā Flood Review Project after last month’s scheduled update had to be cancelled because of COVID-19 restrictions.

Project Manager Elva Conroy says recently announced Crown Infrastructure Partners funding means parts of the flood mitigation engineering works can progress sooner than anticipated, and she is keen to share the details of that good news with the community.

The evening will see representatives from Rotorua Lakes Council, Waka Kotahi and the Bay of Plenty Regional Council present information on their projects, followed by an opportunity for people to ask questions and find out more.

The public information session will be held at the Ngongotahā Bowling Club, 11 Domain Avenue, on Wednesday 23 September between 5:30pm – 7:30pm.

To learn more about the proposed options for safety improvements in the Ngongotahā village and to provide feedback, go to www.rotorualakescouncil.nz/letstalk. You can also email feedback to info@rotorualc.nz or provide it over the phone by calling 07 348 4199.

If you have any questions or want to subscribe to the SH5 Tarukenga to Ngongotahā safety and SH5/SH36 roundabout improvements project newsletter email www.nzta.govt.nz/t2n or email connectrotorua@nzta.govt.nz.

For more information on the Ngongotahā Flood Mitigation Plan, visit https://www.rotorualakescouncil.nz/floodreview or contact letstalk@rotorualc.nz.

For further information email news@rotorualc.nz