Train service improvements start with a business case

We know that sometime within the next decade we should have a new Expressway from Ōtaki to Levin. Now it seems there may be hope for an improved, electrified, train service in that timeframe too:

The Government is fast-tracking a bold plan to extend Wellington’s commuter network to Levin, and the growing population north of the capital.

Electrification and boosting the network beyond Waikanae will be considered as part of a $1 million business case wanted by Transport Minister Michael Wood, and welcomed by regional leaders.

KiwiRail had plans to look at the business case in three years, but Wood now wanted it started “in the coming months” and delivered next year. …

It was too early to say when work would begin or what the commuter service would look like, but it would enable more frequent and faster services, he said. …

Wood said the upgrades would include replacing 130 kilometres of railway tracks and 200km of rail “sleepers”, replacing or improving 45 bridges, and improving safety at almost 30 level crossings.

Source: Government fast-tracks plans to extend Wellington’s commuter rail network to Levin.

Should we hold our collective breaths?

Horizons rates to increase

Horizons Regional Council adopts their 2021-31 Long-term Plan, 22 June 2021:

Horizons Regional Council today adopted its 2021-31 Long-term Plan.

The Long-term Plan (LTP) will guide the way Horizons manages the region’s land, air and water resources, and how they will help to make this part of New Zealand a great place to live, work and play. …

“Following submissions and deliberations, Council has identified which work programmes we will continue and which will require increased expenditure.

“This includes additional funding for Council’s priorities areas of freshwater, climate change and biodviersity, as well as public transport, environmental education and some changes to river management schemes. …

As a result of today’s resolutions, rates for Year 1 will be increasing by an average of 8.4 per cent across the region, an average of 8.2 per cent for Year 2, and an average of 6.5 per cent for Year 3.

“It is important to keep in mind that these rate increases are only an average and the rate impact will differ from district to district due to factors such as changes to property values, and specific rating inputs such as river schemes and urban passenger transport rates for certain areas,” says Cr Keedwell. …

Anyone wanting to check what their next rates invoice will look like can use the rates search tool available here.

Dog registration fee increase

Horowhenua District Council recently set the fees and fine schedules for dogs and other animals for the coming financial year. Most fees have increased slightly over last year:

These fees and charges were adopted by Council at the 25 May 2021 meeting and will be effective from 1 July 2021.

Fees may be paid during July 2021.

Fees include:

  • De-sexed Pet (Urban & Rural) (Class 3 & 17): $79.00
  • Entire Pet (Urban & Rural) (Class 11 & 14): $132.00
  • Failure to register dog: $300.00
  • Failure to keep dog controlled or confined: $200.00
  • Failure to keep dog under control: $200.00
  • Failure to carry leash in public: $100.00.

More details: Animal Control – Fees & Charges – Horowhenua District Council.

Plastic recycling — only types 1, 2 and 5

From Horowhenua District Council Recycling Changes:

We’re making a few changes to our kerbside recycling that will affect you. Due to some plastic types not being able to be recycled in New Zealand, from 31 May 2021 we’ll only be accepting plastics 1, 2 and 5 in your kerbside recycling. Clean cardboard, paper, tins, cans and glass will continue to be collected.

The information in our ‘Recycling made easy’ flyer will help you understand what you can and can’t recycle in your recycling wheelie bins and crates.

BTW: recycling dates are listed on the right-hand side of the WBRA website. Next recycling day is Monday 24 May 2021. Then 07 and 21 June, 05 and 19 July.