Independent Commissioner Paul Cooney released the decision for RMA2018/203 - Williamson Park which you can view here. An appeal has been received by the Environment Court. A copy can be found here. There will still be additional layers of compliance required before an event is able to be held. This includes food and alcohol licensing requirements and the obligations of the hireage contract between the promoter and Council as owner of the reserve. The Whangamata Community Board has also drafted a policy to help staff when booking events for Williamson Park which can be viewed here. Our Council applied for resource consent because Williamson Park is a council-owned reserve and the rules relating to festivals and events in our Proposed District Plan have recently been amended, which means a resource consent is now required for any event where 500 or more people gather. 195 public submissions were received on our proposed 15-year resource consent to allow a total of 20 day-time and seven night-time events, to be held every year at Williamson Park reserve in Whangamata. Our Council applied for resource consent because Williamson Park is a council-owned reserve and the rules relating to festivals and events in our Proposed District Plan have recently been amended, which means resource consent is now required for any event where 500 or more people gather. The consent ensures that existing events such as Beach Hop, Brits at the Beach, Matariki festivities, Anzac Day and markets are able to continue and grow. It will also allow for new events to happen at Williamson Park. You can view the resource consent application through our Consent Tracker tool on our website here. #RMA/2018/203 Williamson Park Policy for events Download on the top right-hand side of this page. The allocation of events will be firstly utilised for the following events/festivals that have been traditionally held in Williamson Park: Anzac Dawn service (1 day) Brits at the Beach (1 day) Sporting events - (2 days) Beach Hop (5 days) Surf club events and Whanga week (4 days) Summer holiday events (5 days, 3 nights) Matariki or community festival (1 night) Staff may allocate the following day events and night events to concerts that are delivered to a high professional standard through promoters/organisers with a proven track record: Should any of the above events/festivals not be required in a 12-month period (advised in writing by the community organisation) then the staff may reallocate days or nights that become available (within the Council’s resource consent) to community-organised non-profit events. Any concerts, and associated services delivered to manage the effects of a concert, organised by professional promoters/organisers will be delivered with no ratepayer contribution. There will be no concerts delivered by professional promoters over the period 25 December to 4 January. Professionally delivered concerts by promoters will be held outside of this timeframe as the township is already at capacity over this period and concerts can be utilised to attract more visitors in the off-peak and shoulder seasons. Staff will liaise with the Whangamata Community Board at the earliest opportunity. Concerts booked for the park will not target solely the youth age group. One-off resource consent over summer 2017-18 A resource consent application to hold three evening events over summer 2017-18 at Williamson Park, Whangamata was approved. This was a one-off consent for 2017-18 summer season and is separate to the resource consent application for events to be held at Williamson Park over a proposed 15-year period. Click here for more information. Development Over the past 10 years the use of Williamson Park in Whangamata has grown substantially with the park providing a platform for a significant number of events over the Christmas period and into the shoulder months. The well-loved park has been rejuvenated by the following: Removing up to 100 of the old pine trees Planting native coastal trees throughout the park. Building a new boardwalk along the dunes in front of the Surf Club area Building three large shade structures while new trees grow Realigning the road to create more open space Redesigning car parking for ease and safety Opening up new pedestrian areas and improving access to the beach. Installing new lights for added security. Stage one of the Williamson Park re-development has been completed. Click here to read more. Stage two - Shade structures Installation of four shade structures at Williamson Park is scheduled to begin on Monday, 17 September 2018. “The Board are keen to make good on their promise to provide shade at Williamson Park, in place of the trees that were removed as part of the planned improvements to the much loved Williamson Park,” says Ken Coulman, Whangamata Community Board Chair. “The Board are very keen to see four shade structures, including two family BBQ areas installed at the park before next summer. Two small shade structures will be situated over existing BBQ tables by the surf club, with two larger family BBQ areas located close to the pond, where they sit beside existing trees and the park contours so that they limit any impacts to views.” Download the presentation and proposed designs here or on the top right-hand side of this page.