Electric charging stations mooted in Waimakariri

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By David Hill

Sustainability, dog control, the Garrymere water supply, swimming pool hire charges and a faulty air conditioning unit were discussed at Tuesday’s Waimakariri District Council meeting.

After debating the issue of sustainability at length, councillors voted to facilitate the establishment of electric vehicle charging stations in Oxford, Rangiora, Kaiapoi and Woodend through providing land, but not funding.

Business and centres advisor Vanessa Thompson said the issue of charging stations arose after it was mooted at a meeting of the district’s promotions associations in 2018, with the Oxford Promotions Action Committee expressing a desire to establish one in Oxford.

Strategy and engagement manager Simon Markham said while the private sector was already providing charging stations, with several already established in Rangiora, these were not always available to the general public.

“There is a desire from government to expand the EV fleet in New Zealand, but it still comes back to the issue of what position do you want to take in taking sustainability issues as a representative government body.”

Business and centres manager Simon Hart said he did not see the establishment of public charging stations as competing with existing providers such as Pak’n’Save or the Warehouse.

“We are talking about a different market, we are looking at providing a network so people can travel around.”

Ms Thompson said there were “a range of scenarios available” in terms of providers of charging stations.

Chief executive Jim Palmer said the council needed to have conversation on how to address sustainability, how much it was willing to invest and “what is the leadership role of the council in this space”.

Councillors passed a new dog control bylaw requiring dog owners to maintain control of their animals around horses and banning the exercising of dogs in public places from a moving vehicle.

In response to a question, Mr Markham noted “a moving vehicle” did not include mobility scooters.

The new bylaw takes effect on December 16.

Councillors voted to bring forward funding of $340,000 to allow work to start on upgrading the Garrymere water supply and to complete the project ahead of schedule.

In response to concerns from local school principals, councillors voted by eight votes to three to stagger a planned increase in hire charges for local swimming pools.

Deputy Mayor Neville Atkinson voted against the proposal, saying it was a “tax payer issue”.

But Mayor Dan Gordon said funding for schools in the district was “stretched and these are our kids”.

Hourly rates for hiring out the pool facilities for events such as school swimming sports were due to increase by $100 per hour.

Dudley Pool in Rangiora will now increase from $150 per hour to $200 from January 1, 2020, and then $250 from 2021, the Kaiapoi Aquatic Centre will increase to $175 per hour next year and then $225 in 2021 and the Oxford Community Aquatic Centre to $150 (2020) and $200 (2021).

Councillors also voted to replace a faulty air conditioning unit at the Rangiora Town Hall, approving a budget of $150,700.