Planning for Tirau Domain still in DOC limbo
The Department of Conservation has made ‘‘virtually’’ little progress on the Tirau Domain situation, according to DOC Waikato community relations officer Trevor Irwin.
Last year South Waikato News reported that a delay by the Department of Conservation had meant South Waikato District Council was unable to move forward in its planning for the 5.56ha Tirau domain.
At the time Mr Irwin was work- ing on a report which would be shared with the SWDC on whether the Tirau Domain can be leased and whether having a lessee fits in with the definition of a recreation reserve.
‘‘We have virtually made little progress on that.
‘‘We are aware that it is a matter we need to move on and that is our intention,’’ he said.
The situation, which has been drawn out for three years, arose when central Government ruled in 2009 to introduce the 1977 Reserves Act that shifted ownership from the council to the Department of Conservation.
Mr Irwin said his staff were working on a recommendation but were facing several issues.
‘‘There is the whole question of Tirau being a recreation reserve and in public use. We have to look at whether a lease is an appropriate way to manage. Whether this fits in with why recreation reserves exist. That’s the main matter. Then there is the huge workload we are working through – a pile of papers sitting on our desks we have to get through.’’
However, last week SWDC chief executive David Hall said designs to redevelop the SH1/5 intersection, which borders a section of the domain, were being created and could be drawn up around June of next year.
‘‘So sometime during the current financial year we would like to get some plans developed as to how that intersection is going to work.’’
Mr Hall said there was a reasonable likelihood that plans would require some Tirau Domain land.
‘‘ Whatever happens there, it has a positive and a negative side. The negative is that we may lose some land, the positive is that we may actually get a much better access point.
‘‘Neither of them (access points) are great,’’ he said.