Support for DOC to sub lease office
The Taupo District Council and Department of Conservation could be sharing premises in Turangi shortly.
An extraordinary Turangi/Tongariro Community Board (TTCB) meeting was held on Thursday where a request from Department of Conservation (DOC) for temporary lease of office space in the Turangi Service Delivery Centre was reviewed.
On April 11, 2017, DOC first presented their application to sub-lease the building which is currently home to Turangi’s council workers. The application was denied. At the May 9 TTCB meeting, DOC representatives Allan Munn, operations director for the Southern South Island and Debbie Atkinson, administration manager, presented their application again.
The application involves DOC temporarily subleasing 264sqm of the service centre for three years.
Karen Balasoglou spoke on behalf of DOC at the extraordinary meeting. She said their current rental situation was no longer suitable as they have issues with noise and some other challenges.
Andy Hema, chairman of the TTCB, said if DOC did not find a place that was suitable within Turangi, the 17 staff members would have to look to base themselves somewhere else – either Ohakune, Whakapapa, or Taupo.
‘‘Of course, that reduces foot traffic that will be within our community and as a board that is certainly something we would not like to see,’’ he said.
Turangi councillor Tangonui Kingi, is in favour of the sub-leasing arrangement, and said the facility has been under utilised for a number of years.
‘‘It is certainly my opinion that our community is in a place of testing times and I for one can not sit here and allow an opportunity like this to walk away,’’ he said.
While most councillors were in favour of subleasing, Cnr Zane Cozens has previously lobbied for Turangi to have its council building rebuilt.
Taupo District Council chief executive, Gareth Green, said TTCB has recommended council sublease part of the Turangi Service Centre to the Department of Conservation and if that recommendation passes at this month’s council meeting, they will undertake some remedial work .