Through September 2014 the Karamea Community Consultation Group asked for feedback about the long term future for our community.

People shared their views through exercise books available at various locations around the district and via Initial Consultation Survey form online.

Submissions from the online survey are displayed below.

#1 - Thursday, 4 September 2014

The Place We Live In:
I'd like to see a 'natural cemetery' established, ie one that can have trees planted, park-like.

Movement in Karamea:
I am hoping the new tower and improvements to existing telecommunications will improve reception for mobile phones and speed for the internet so that we can do business effectively here - as well as for recreation eg Netflix.

Community Health and Wellbeing:
More adult education opportunities

Community Economic Wellbeing:
I would like to see a commercial enterprise established for dairy and horticultural products.

What is the Best Thing About Karamea for You? :
The isolation and wide open spaces.

If You Could Have Any One Thing You Wanted in Karamea, What Would it Be? :
Make Market Cross more exciting and people-friendly.

#2 - Friday, 5 September 2014

The Place We Live In:
*Enveloped by the forested mountains of the Kahurangi National Park and sealed in by the Tasman Sea
*Natural beauty abounds in every direction
*Karamea is at the end of the world's largest cul-de-sac
*Have a fantastic number of resources for such a small community…medical centre, school, playcentre, kindergarten, library, swimming pool, museum, restaurants, cafes, organic food shop, churches, radio station, hardware store, supermarket etc
*We have an excellent medical service
*There are many talented and well-educated professional people living in Karamea

Not so +ves

*Some people are somewhat insular, parochial, provincial, lacking in social etiquette and xenophobic.
*Some people who have lived in Karamea a long time think and feel that they have more rights than others.
*There is an autocratic hold on community progress and development by a small number of people.
*Living in Karamea is more expensive than living elsewhere in New Zealand…everything must be freighted in at considerable extra expense…another example would be that power is 5c per KWH more expensive than Christchurch
*There is a lack of skilled tradespeople…for example a plumber
*There is a division in the community between the farming and non-farming sectors…this is largely due to lack of empathy on either side.

Movement in Karamea:
*Roads in and around Karamea are generally quite good.
*Roads for tourists to access Karamea attractions could be improved. For example, the road to the Oparara Basin and the Heaphy Track (unsealed section)
*The road to Westport is the Karamea regions lifeline, it is a conduit for essential goods and services and also to bring visitors to the region…we need to prioritse this road and ensure that it is well maintained (which I consider is currently the case…i.e we need to ensure road maintenance continues at the current level or better).
*Long-term, I think there is significant potential to further develop the Karamea Aerodrome as a means of bringing people into the region and servicing the local community. There may soon be sufficient demand for a local air service to be established.

Not so +ves

*The local bus service to and from Westport is expensive for local people, perhaps the cost for locals to visit Westport could be reduced?
*Internet service and mobile phone reception is limited as discussed at considerable length, but there seems to be good news on this front that will address the issue.
*The dissemination of community information, news, Council activities/initiatives, public announcements etc is not working at all well…great improvement is required in this area. The community Web site is a great facility that is currently underutilised, as is Karamea Radio as a means of sharing information and generating community discussion and debate.
*The Karamea Information Centre Web site needs and overhaul as it is (in the fast-moving world of the InterWeb)…antique.
*The Karamea Information and Resource Centre needs a new committee, new ideas, and new direction

Community Health and Wellbeing:
*Karamea has a great playcentre, kindergarten and area school all efforts should be made to maintain these facilities.
*The Karamea Medical Centre provides and great service to the community and the health nurses do an exceptional job
*Times have changed and people's interests have also shifted. Events that encourage interaction among the people from all sectors of the community are very important. A good example is the cheese-making challenge…it involved people from the dairy farming sector and everyone else…a great community event. The dessert evening at the Bush Lounge was also a great success…non-partisan events should be actively encouraged.
*Karamea has a very low crime rate
*Karamea has clean air, water and a healthy environment.

Not so +ves

*The fall school role is a concern, I think we should have a serious look at the possibility of accepting international exchange students at Karamea Area School.
*There is a lack of recreational facilities and activities for young people.
* There is a disparity in wealth, power and influence distribution in the community.
*Civil Defense strategy needs a complete rethink and overhaul.

Community Economic Wellbeing:

*Karamea's economy is reliant on dairying, tourism and some horticulture. The future for these sectors seems bright, with tourism having the possibility of greatest growth. Tourism should be encouraged for the overall economic prosperity of the region.
*The recent seed-savers and food resilience initiative was a positive step for Karamea locals to take charge of their future food security by sharing resources and materials for the greater good of the community.
*In the event of a major catastrophe (like a serious earthquake that blocks the road to Westport), Karamea has the ability to provide locally grown food for its population.
*Karamea has an excellent climate, abundant rain, fertile soil and plentiful sunshine. It is an excellent environment for food production. Local food production in Karamea should be encouraged and orchestrated to ensure food security and resilience for the community.

Not so +ves

*There is a lack of employment opportunities for people
* Household incomes in Karamea are lower than other rural regions of New Zealand
* A serious downturn in the dairy or tourism industries would severely impact on the local economy of the Karamea region. Other economic activities should be encouraged to strengthen the overall resilience of the Karamea regional economy. More horticulture, more Internet-based professional services, artisans, craftspeople etc.

What is the Best Thing About Karamea for You? :
Living with freedom in a peaceful, clean, fresh and spectacularly beautiful natural environment well away from stresses and rigours of urban life.

If You Could Have Any One Thing You Wanted in Karamea, What Would it Be? :
For mountain biking to be permitted on the Oparara Valley Track:


· *Track exists and is currently not being utilised…a latent asset in our community

· *MTBing would enable people to ride through the track and return, addressing the problem of underutilisation (walking track problematic as no means of return…track is not a walking loop)

· *Opening the track to MTBing would be of significant benefit to Karamea tourism operators and, by association, the whole Karamea community

· *Of the annual 1,000 Heaphy Track riders, 800 leave town. If we could encourage 50% to stay two nights, that would amount to an extra 800 bed nights in Karamea ($200 per night = $160,000 p.a.)

· *Augment the Heaphy Track MTB experience (by offering additional activity…efficiency)

· *Promotion easy, when you finish the Heaphy you’ve got to see the Oparara, it’s amazing!

· * Heaphy Track is bringing MTBers to Karamea, we need a marketable MTB track to encourage them to stay and spend money in the region (opening the Oparara Valley Track to MTBing provides that reason)

· * Attract MTBing holidaymakers to Karamea as well as catering to dedicated Heaphy Track riders. (Track will provide and additional year-round activity for visitors to Karamea and make Oparara Basin accessible without use of motor vehicles, which may reduce road maintenance)

· * Oparara Valley Track would be a great warm-up ride for Heaphy Track MTBers riding form Karamea to Collingwood.

· * Provide healthy activity for Karamea people, kids and adults.

· * If track is deemed in need of additional work to make MTB ready (I consider this to be unlikely) Oparara Valley Trust has the funds available ($200,000) (This would also provide employment for Karamea people…a stated objective of the OVT)

· * 100% of Karamea tourism operators and most residents I have spoken with support this proposal

· * 100% of MTBers (large recreational group) I have spoken with support this proposal

· * Improve utilisation of Kahurangi National Park assets in Karamea region (Oparara Basin) (Largest limestone arches in the Southern Hemisphere)

#3 - Monday, 8 September 2014

The Place We Live In:
Freshair , open spaces, the roar of the ocean, amazing sunsets and mild of the best places in nz...except for the distance to bigger centres when needed, internet speed and lack of employment opportunites.

Movement in Karamea:
As mentioned better internet speed will aid electtonic comms within the district, but a higher pofile of this website and more regularly updated profile would be great. Have just found out about thr facebook page, have not looked at this yet but soundsgood. I would like to enjoy the cronicle more , but sadly the lack of material makes it a bit empty.
A regular transport service between little wanganui would be great for the elderly who dont have transport.
I like the idea of a walking track along the karamea river bank from market cross to the estuary

Community Health and Wellbeing:
I worry about the dropping school roll and the lack of opportunity to keep our youth here. Im not sure what the answer is but would love to see this turn around.

Community Economic Wellbeing:
Again not sure what the answer is but we need greater employment opportunites to keep youth and families here

What is the Best Thing About Karamea for You? :
Much of what was said earlier ie environment, climate, beaty and people.

If You Could Have Any One Thing You Wanted in Karamea, What Would it Be? :
Easier access to bigger centres , ie nelson via rad through wangapeka or mohikinui way......

#4 - Wednesday, 10 September 2014

What is the Best Thing About Karamea for You? :
Far enough removed but not too far.

If You Could Have Any One Thing You Wanted in Karamea, What Would it Be? :
Ultra fast broadband.

#5 - Thursday, 11 September 2014

The Place We Live In:
A big play ground down buy the church and some picnic tables like they have in Westport. So when visters come into karamea with kids they will stop and play And for the community as well. There is not a lot for the kids to do. And we don't wont to lose our swimming pool we have. The kids love going there in school hours in there class groups. We are so lucky to have one..

Movement in Karamea:
A barbque built do at the Karamea estuary at the end off the walk way it is a beautiful spot. The walk way down there has so meany people going down it. That was a good idea to put the track there

Community Health and Wellbeing:
We all need to get out a bit more together.

Community Economic Wellbeing:
We need more kids so we need more jobs for people and familys

What is the Best Thing About Karamea for You? :
Nice and quite great place to bring the kids up. there is fishing fresh air bush,beaches and safe

If You Could Have Any One Thing You Wanted in Karamea, What Would it Be? :
Not having to drive over that winey hill to get to Westport.

#6 - Thursday, 18 September 2014

The Place We Live In:
Remote and isolated - its a mix of good and not so good. Wonderful environment but distance is a challenge for many reasons - economic, social (e.g. keeping in touch with family), digital connectivity and so on .................

Movement in Karamea:
Be great to realise the opportunity for better walking and cycling options based on Market Cross as a hub. Improving cycle "friendliness" is challenge with our narrow roads with very little (if any!) shoulder but developing a long term strategy with BDC and other agencies is the key. How about a pedestrian crossing in Market Cross and some traffic calming options as well?
Which raised another issue - the confusing signage - where is Karamea?

Community Health and Wellbeing:
Great health services from our rural nurses, especially for a community of our size - and the "flying doctor" service courtesy of Gloriavale (sp?)

Community Economic Wellbeing:
Probably the biggest challenge. The logistics cost of getting products to population centres mean that finding horticultural and other traditional land based products that can be sustainable long term is hard. We need to grow our community numbers with younger people and families but we cant do that with our current economic base. Need to link into the future Coast wide strategy based on a special lifestyle in remote locations but connected to the rest of the world. But we also need to be a more welcoming and inclusive community to attract the sort of people who would want to live here for cultural as well as environmental reasons. Need a lot of thought and commitment this one!

What is the Best Thing About Karamea for You? :
The potential it has to be the sort of place where people who have a close relationship with the natural world, who celebrate difference and have a sense of community and participation in that community will want to live (and stay!).

If You Could Have Any One Thing You Wanted in Karamea, What Would it Be? :
A place in Karamea (the district) which is seen as the "heart" of the community where people naturally gravitate to when they want to connect - and which is also welcoming to visitors and can be accessed 24/7. I think that location should be in what we currently call "Market Cross" (which is neither a market nor a cross!) and which should perhaps have a different name?

#7 - Monday, 22 September 2014

The Place We Live In:

Is claustrophobic. Only one road access which is suspect at best. No barge, no air service, expensive transport options for all freight that has to trucked in. We are attached to the rest of the world by the road through the bluff which makes us an island in the bush. How long can you survive without that road? 3 weeks maybe, 3 months? na. It is not only food we will run out of but fuel to keep vehicles going and gas to cook with. Back to the old days. Wood fire!
If we stay this isolated, maybe a prison should be built here to add employment for those non inmates. Anyone visiting the inmates would need somewhere to stay and more people would know about Karamea. Someone to sell our houses to! So we can escape.

Movement in Karamea:
The roads are too narrow for today's vehicles. The Oparara track should be upgraded to cycling quality urgently. More cycling should be encouraged.
The internet is very poor by anyone's standards. The phone call quality is marginal a lot of the time. Cell phone coverage is somewhat patchy and substandard for this day and age. Bring on fibre.
A stopbank walk/cycle track from wharf road to the lastresort would be good.
More use of the fantastic Karamea website is needed.

Community Health and Wellbeing:
We are well catered for.
Just need places for old folks to retire here with dignity and comfort. A small retirement village would be good for employment as well.
Its a shame the hall did not get built but support has dwindled. The last Resort cafe can be hired for most things and indoor sports is hardly a goer now with less young people. The secondary school should be closed and students subsidized to go to a school of their choice.

Community Economic Wellbeing:
The place needs a completely new industry like fish farming, cucumber glass houses, bottled water, wooden toys, potted plants for export. There is plenty of water going out to sea every day: use it.
Without a second or third access this place is never going to develop into anything exciting. Lets road direct to Nelson up the Gorge for a 2 hr drive connection. Also, a road to Collingwood for the tourists. The Heaphy track will never boost Karamea on its own.

What is the Best Thing About Karamea for You? :
Mild climate and natural attractions.

If You Could Have Any One Thing You Wanted in Karamea, What Would it Be? :
A road to Collingwood with bells on.

#8 - Thursday, 25 September 2014

The Place We Live In:
This place has a wonderful natural environment and very agreeable climate.
The opportunities for outdoor activities - walking, fishing, biking, caving and bird watching are a real asset.
There are good community facilities given the small population. Good meeting spaces at RSA , Bowling Club, Last Resort. School Hall and Little Wanganui hall are good spaces for larger functions . Market Cross is a Centre for the community, particularly when there is a Saturday market.
The community is resourceful and supportive, as seen after the Easter storm this year.

Movement in Karamea:
What about more walking/cycling tracks around the township - to the bridge, along the stop banks. People walking have time to stop and talk to each other - great for community spirit.

Community Health and Wellbeing:
Excellent medical centre with supportive, concerned, capable staff.

Community Economic Wellbeing:
The area seems a little depressed economically, but there are opportunities that could be developed which may provide a boost.
It may be possible to capitalize on the extensive variety of birds in there area, particularly in the estuary, by building hides to encourage birdwatchers. The bush tracks offer the chance to see robins, fern birds, blue duck, weka (common here, but not in other parts of the country) and if camping overnight, kiwi. When these are considered in conjunction with the variety of wading and migratory birds that can be seen in the estuary, there is an opportunity to develop ecotourism with a focus on birds. The Operara and Fenian tracks provide easy access to the bush and the estuary walkway provides access to the sea birds. With an increasing number of baby boomers reaching retirement age and exploring NZ the market for this type of activity is likely to expand.

What is the Best Thing About Karamea for You? :
I think the knowledge swap in mid winter is a brilliant way to bring people together - long may it continue!

#9 - Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Community Economic Wellbeing:
Karamea is a place full of producers who seem unable to find their market. A commercial kitchen in Market Cross where producers, growers etc. could legally produce and market their products would be a valuable community asset. Local produce and be sold in the local market and beyond. The community owned RSA building seems an obvious setting for this operation with the local market already setup outside and the national market targeted through the Global gypsy shop. Distribution networks are already in place and a centralised spot, managed by a paid member of the community, would act as the depot. Green dollars may be a part of this venture but it needs to be based on a genuine economic thread. We can all grow and make things but we each cannot grow or make everything.

#10 - Tuesday, 30 September 2014

The Place We Live In:

-The area is beautiful and we should do everything we can to look after it.

-Our history, culture and heritage are important and maybe we could look at more ways to celebrate them together as a community.

Movement in Karamea:
-Speeding: There is a lot of speeding through Market Cross making it unsafe for children and the elderly especially. I think the speed limit approaching Market Cross on Bridge St needs revision and also ways to ensure the road can be crossed safely at any time of the day. A lot of towns these days have signs telling you what speed you're traveling at when you approach the town and the speed limit lowers from open road to residential, because drivers are often unaware. Perhaps something like this could be used and/or speed bumps and/or pedestrian crossing. I'd hate to see anyone get hurt (or worse) before we bothered to do anything about it (the population is low enough as it is!).

-Footpaths: There aren't many places you can push a pram safely without being on the road because there are only footpaths on one side of Bridge St, Waverly St and Wharf Rd and not much more. If you wanted to walk from Bridge St around the corner to Umere Rd, you aren't allowed to walk through the Info centre/petrol forecourt. There's just a dodgy uneven part concrete, part grass corner to be negotiated then no footpath to wait on while you look out for traffic coming from four directions as well as cars coming from/into the forecourt. It's not safe. In general I think there needs to be more thought for people who like to walk around the town and their safety.

-Cycling on the left side of Waverley Street by the dairy factory there is no clear indication or road markings to show where you should be as the road widens. The gravel coming out of the driveway onto the road is not safe for cycling either. I think it needs to be safer for everyone including kids biking home from school. -Market Cross is lacking car parking spaces in the busy season.

-I like the suggestion of a bus/shuttle to Little Wanganui, especially for the elderly who don't drive, and don't want to rely on others to take them.

-I believe this website is under-utilised by the public. It's an excellent one-stop shop for information, weather, events, notices etc. How can we get more people to use it so everyone in Karamea with an internet connection can have access to what's going on all in one place?

-It's been said that the chronicle doesn't have enough in it, but how can we get locals to contribute more instead of relying on the information centre to come up with articles to inform and inspire us every two weeks?

Community Health and Wellbeing:
-The Winter School this year (and in the past) was made possible by folks volunteering their skills and businesses/homes, or hiring the R.S.A. This year it was run by the Art's Council who received no funding at all to hold the classes, so to hire the R.S.A is a risk if not enough people attend to cover the cost. The feedback for the Winter school was great and I would really like to see more options for low cost venues so they can continue.

-Some may remember the Adult Community Education classes which were excellent and like the Winter school they brought together people who may not normally associate with each other. Sadly most of the A.C.E. funding was cut. Also a few years back through Development West Coast, Trade & Enterprise NZ used to run courses aimed at helping small businesses in many areas and they were free and very well attended showing the need for them here. There is apparently no longer funding through Trade & Enterprise, but some courses are still run at a cost (as well as the cost of traveling to them). I would love to see courses here again that are relevant to peoples needs and tutored by experienced professionals so that small businesses can get the knowledge and help they need.

-I think the seed-saving idea is wonderful and i hope that continues.

Community Economic Wellbeing:
-Some of the biggest costs living here are petrol and power. No-one seems interested in looking at alternatives to these or what the rest of the world have already been doing for years. I think it's very sad that we are content to pay these ever increasing costs and the flow on to more expensive groceries, freight, bus service etc.

-More outside contractors are being hired to do work here (ie D.O.C.track work) while locals are out of work that could and should be doing these jobs and have done them in the past. Despite popular belief the unemployed here are actually capable and willing to work but the amount of jobs available currently is very little. And if you are not a farm worker it's even less. Some horticulture that up until recently provided regular work is being forced to be taken out of town to be packaged. Jobs that were once reasonably secure are now gone for good.

-Some employers get away with treating their employees badly here because they know there is a lack of jobs so employees have to put up with it. People rarely make complaints because they don't want to be blacklisted in such a small town so they don't exercise their employment rights. I think some employers need a wake-up call.

-A lot of jobs are part-time/casual/seasonal/on-call. Not a lot to rely on.

-Ultra-fast broadband coming next year is great, but it's not a solution to economic well-being.

-Because we are rural and rural populations are decreasing all over the country we need a serious look at the future.

-How much the school role has steadily decreased is alarming. This affects school funding, and teacher/support staff jobs available at the school.

-In short, I don't see much prosperity, sustainability, job security or economic future for us or our children at this rate.

What is the Best Thing About Karamea for You? :
-Our surroundings and clean air

If You Could Have Any One Thing You Wanted in Karamea, What Would it Be? :

#11 - Tuesday, 30 September 2014

The Place We Live In:
A unique, challenging, dynamic, wet, warm, green, resource rich, isolated, sandy, muddy, grassy, flat, rolling, mountainous wilderness, on the edge of a massive national park, uneclipsed by humanity's progress, economically and youthfully uncertain with an abundance of amazement and vast gaps in a social fabric knitted together with independence and dependence and global resource and communication, historically and presently a place of possibility and peacefulness and limited broad band /cellular waves, but lots of waving, why would you live here, why wouldn't you live here.

Movement in Karamea:
great for horses and cars if we were more fuel dependant. clean burning coal fired cars would be ideal, look at the rimu, an abundant resource sold for a song only to be precious not so long after, and small planes from Wellington, what a state change from the artisan capital, in less than an hour you land in undoubtably one of the most exotic locations in the country. a look at whats tabled so far would suggest getting out and and landscaping market cross, and lace it with awesome wakling tracks and trees

Community Health and Wellbeing:
more community gigs, music, kids ( family's cometh to karamea and procreate) lets make mums and dads keen on karamea, healthy money, jobs, school, water, wetlands, riparian strips, gateway to the great outdoors. 7 generations of foresight, plant trees, think outside the square, look after the elderly, inspire the children.

Community Economic Wellbeing:
Healthy money, produce and spend locally, export more than import, more finished product, rimu furniture, dairy products- cheese and yogurt, medicines, outdoor conservation academy, eco adventure interpretation tourism, reign in those heaphy trackers, nature sanctuary

What is the Best Thing About Karamea for You? :
deserted beaches, clever people, stimulating conversation, lack of I phones, sunsets, water

If You Could Have Any One Thing You Wanted in Karamea, What Would it Be? :
more kid, musics and cool walkways and wind transport along the beaches at low tide, hearing stories from the old folk and outdoor café/ cinema/ stage

#12 - Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Movement in Karamea:
having the chronicle available on line

What is the Best Thing About Karamea for You? :
the people and environment

If You Could Have Any One Thing You Wanted in Karamea, What Would it Be? :
road thru the wangapeka to tapawera

#13 - Thursday, 2 October 2014

The Place We Live In:
yes, it is there.... needs some attention so we do not look so slummy....that dairy needs some public art to make it look a little less of an abandoned eyesore.

Movement in Karamea:
swimming pool. Swimming pool. Community kitchen/community hall.

Community Health and Wellbeing:
Pool encourages health and well being of all ages. teach all those that do NOT know how to swim whom live on an island (how can one live in NZ and not know how to swim?) Community kitchen could encourage local business. And community education/commumity hall a place to have public events.

Community Economic Wellbeing:
Encourage more diversified farming to offer employment.

What is the Best Thing About Karamea for You? :
solitude, community, natural beauty

If You Could Have Any One Thing You Wanted in Karamea, What Would it Be? :
swimming pool

#14 - Friday, 10 October 2014

The Place We Live In:
Clean air
easy, uncomplicated
Beautiful native backdrop and relatively unspoilt beaches
Fantastic climate
It would be nice to know how clean/unclean ouur rivers are on a regular basis
Karamea is a seaside town but it doesn't feel like it. It just feels like any other rural community. It's a shame it doesn't feel as coastal as it could.
The town lacks a hub.

Movement in Karamea:
Great that connectivity is being sorted out - we need that if we are to attract people to our community - particularly those whose work is based in other places but they can live here, work from here, spend their income here and form part of the community here (especially the school).
Traffic too fast through Market Cross and not always safe crossing the road there
Traffic also too fast from Maori Pt onwards to Market Cross as a lot of people walk there in the summer particularly. Also no safe walking place there.
Not enough safe local walking and cycling (estuary walk is great)
Intersection at Market Cross is an unsafe muddle
Not enough safe walking/cycling in the vicinity of the village and also in greater Karamea area
Footpaths are uneven or there are none - not good for elderly walkers and zimmer frames
Information doesn't seem to move freely in Karamea. The Chronicle doesn't seem to reach people so much now.

Community Health and Wellbeing:
Good community spirit when it's essential but lacking in the in-between times.
More adult learning would be good - gets people with common interests together.
We need to do more things together to break down barriers and as a way of introducing new people to the community.
Seem to be quite a few isolated people around - but maybe they want it that way...

Community Economic Wellbeing:
We need a few more permanent residents with more diverse occupations to make Karamea hum.
Need to make more of what is uniquely ours - end of road, special climate, safety, gateway to Kahurangi Park...

What is the Best Thing About Karamea for You? :
Safe place with a great climate in a magificent natural environment

If You Could Have Any One Thing You Wanted in Karamea, What Would it Be? :
For community members to respect and get on well with each other across all sectors of the community

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