Plan sought for Omakau reserve

Clouds at Omakau Golf course, in April 2018

The future of Omakau’s reserve is set to be given more direction.

Last week the Vincent Community Board agreed to notify a draft reserve management plan for the Omakau Recreation Reserve.

Situated in Leask St and Alton St in Omakau, the reserve covers about 71ha, including the Omakau Golf Club course.

In a report to the board, council staff said the reserve did not have a reserve management plan at present.

Such a plan will provide for future development of the reserve and reflect any pressures, constraints, conflicts and opportunities for the management and development of the reserve and will accommodate growth experienced in the Omakau community.

The Reserves Act 1977 makes it clear that all recreation reserves must have a reserve management plan prepared by their administering body and that body has the responsibility of ensuring its management plan is under continuous review, so that the plan is adapted to changing circumstances or in accordance with increased knowledge.

A management plan would assess the resource and other planning considerations such as

A reserve management plan will provide for future development of the reserve and reflect any pressures, constraints, conflicts and opportunities . . . pressures, constraints, conflicts and opportunities.

In December 2019 the board received a report on the establishment of a new multi› purpose community facility on the Omakau Recreation Reserve.

Funding for the community hub was included in the 2021-31 long›term plan with up to $1 million through a loan, reserve fund contribution and general reserves.

If a reserve management plan is developed for the recreation reserve, consultation will be undertaken on the reserve management plan and will not be required separately for the community hub.

More than half a dozen groups use the reserve throughout the year.

The Omakau Recreation Reserve committee is a subcommittee of the board which runs the camping ground and maintains some of the reserve.

The reserve has enthusiastic and committed volunteers who assist in managing the space on behalf of the council and the community.

The Omakau Golf Club leases part of the reserve for its course.

Other groups using the reserve are the Manuherekia Valley Hub Group, Matakanui Combined Rugby Football Club, Omakau Squash Club, Omakau Hockey Club and Fire and Emergency New Zealand.

In the 2019 staff report, the conclusion was the reserve needed a new multipurpose community hub facility that could cater for large social gatherings.

It would replace the Omakau hall and rugby clubrooms and would also have other amenities such as car parking and a playground.

Public toilets also need to be installed in the Omakau business area.

The Omakau community has already engaged widely in conversation around the proposed community hub facility, so it was not considered necessary to notify the public of the board’s intention to prepare a reserve management plan but rather to notify a draft plan for submission. It was important all sporting and community groups that might use the facility provided input into the plan, the board said.