July WMRA meeting recap

Another well attended West Melton Residents Association meeting at the Community Centre.  Guest speakers included Murray England, Water Assets Manager (5 Waters) at the Selwyn District Council and Nick Stoneman, a member of the Hornby Community Patrol and Community Patrols New Zealand.

West Melton Water
Murray gave a comprehensive presentation, beginning with the history of the West Melton town water supply, then an overview of the current problems and the SDC’s plan to resolve these.  Murray explained how each of the 3 township bores had sequentially failed water quality tests and the steps SDC had made along the way to keep the potable water supply safe.  Currently, the Royston Common bore is offline, due to a recent change in water quality, where tests indicated the presence of ecoli following heavy rain.  The two bores from Preston Downs are currently ‘carrying the town’.

The SDC is currently executing a $650k upgrade to the town water supply which includes a UV treatment plant for the Royston Common bore as well as new filtration options to mitigate turbidity issues in the supply.  Murray expects the Royston Common bore to come on-line in November and the turbidity filters to be fitted in January 2015.

Murray also spoke about planned changes to the allocation of water in the township, highlighting the irregularity and disadvantages of the current allocations. Murray indicated the allocation could be reduced to around 400 cubic metres, but with higher pressure. Murray asked to return to a future meeting to discuss these options further.

Murray’s full report is available here.

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West Melton Community Patrol
Nick gave a thorough introduction, outlining his experience in various New Zealand Community Patrols as well as a good overview of how Community Patrols New Zealand operate in other towns and suburbs.

“Crime has arrived in West Melton” asserted Nick, before describing the recent spate of burglaries in the area.  Nick urged the committee to ‘keep their eyes peeled’ for any suspicious behaviour, especially during the day involving a man in a white Subaru wearing a high visibility vest who claims to work for EQC.

Nick appealed to the committee to back the establishment of a community patrol in the township.  He indicated that 20-30 volunteers would be needed, to contribute around 4hrs / month to the patrol.

Sue Griffen also appealed to the committee to consider this new approach, indicating that a good place to start might be with a public meeting involving a representative from CPNZ.

The committee resolved to run an online poll to get an indication of the community’s interest in this.  This poll is available here.

Other topics
Other topics briefly discussed at the meeting included the inclusion of the West Melton School Kapa Haka group at Sunday’s 150th ceremony.  WMRA will write an invitation to the group.

The planned Gillman Wheelans development on the SE side of the township was discussed with reference to water usage, domain access and roading requirements including a safe crossing point on SH73.  The WMRA resolved to invite Hamish Wheelans to the next meeting for a general discussion.

WMRA had confirmation that the war memorial to be constructed at the West Melton School would include open public access to the structure for memorial events.

If you’re a local resident and interested in contributing to the discussion of these and other topics, you’re welcome to attend our next meeting.  See the contact page for the latest schedule of meetings.