Breaking News
Click on the title of a news post to go straight to the article and also add comments...

Recent Posts

Building consent process is going online at the SWDC


South Waikato District Council’s building consent process is going online using a product called AlphaOne.

“We’re very excited about this move,” said Kevin Duthie, Council’s Building Control Manager. “Besides the obvious benefits of going digital, the key driver for this change is to improve the customer experience around building consents.”

AlphaOne is an end-to-end online building consent system. It is a Council and client facing cloud based IT platform that is proven to transform building control workflow and service delivery to the public.

Currently customers phone in to check how their consent is progressing and sometimes an Officer is not available to answer their query. With the new online system, designers, builders, developers, registered users can log in to the portal, and watch the progress of their consent online in real time.

South Waikato is not leading the charge in online building consenting but we’re certainly at the forefront of the pack. Our online building consenting process goes live on 10 July.

Assistance will be provided for the public during a transition period. The building team has been liaising with regular users like designers, builders and developers.

The online consenting process will save time for both staff and those in our community using the system, provide for superior recording, improved reporting, more visibility for users and staff, allowing clients to track their own consents when it suits them.

“We are thrilled to be offer our community an end-to-end online building consent solution that will benefit our many stakeholders,” said Kevin.

New Quiz – don’t take a lay day.

With the next races for the America’s Cup due to start early Sunday morning, we thought it would be a good opportunity to think about some of the different meanings that ‘lay’ can have.

Our new quiz features some of these possible meanings, depending on the context in which ‘lay’ is used. Some cases have become familiar idioms.

So don’t take a quiz lay day, instead lay right into it – don’t be a layabout.

Or as Shakespeare said,“Lay on, Macduff, and damned be him who first cries ‘Hold! enough!’” [As an aside, this quote was commonly given in the old school days to illustrate the use of a quoted speech.]

Access the quiz on the Quiz Page or from here.


Playground Progress

The playground on Overdale Street is having a makeover with some of its items.

The first stage involved the removal of this climbing apparatus.

That left this…

A fews days later…

On Monday this week…


Now its Wednesday…

There are others improvements planned for this playground which will proceed after this first upgrade has been completed – thank you South Waikato District Council.

And the rugby last night showed what it means to try, try, try again. The four score predictions from yesterday were:

British and Irish Lions  35   Chiefs 12

British and Irish Lions  15   Chiefs 18

British and Irish Lions  21   Chiefs 24

British and Irish Lions  42   Chiefs 21

The actual score was British and Irish Lions 34 and Chiefs 6. That makes the green prediction above the closest.

Footpath Extensions Continue

We recently reported on the footpath work in Arapuni Street.


Now, a section further towards the end of the 50kph zone is being prepared for footpath continuation just after Walsall Rise. Looking back towards town is the recently completed footpath.

Hopefully the fine weather is helping with this work.

Tomorrow we’ll show you how the playground work is progressing.

Oh, the rugby tonight! Here are 4 spot predictions from people around town this morning…

British and Irish Lions  35   Chiefs 12

British and Irish Lions  15   Chiefs 18

British and Irish Lions  21   Chiefs 24

British and Irish Lions  42   Chiefs 21

British and Irish Lions v Chiefs Tomorrow in Hamilton

With just 1 day away from the Hamilton based rugby game we though it would be a good time to see how Putaruru looks to promote this tour from an outsiders perspective.

We based these quick photos on roadside visibility starting South from the Timber Museum and heading North to the end of the 50kph area.

They are presented in a random order here and as usual, short front windows can give us reflections from the street.

The flag display in Tirau Street heading North has already been covered so we won’t post these again.

One interesting aspect is that this is a British and Irish Lions Tour – something that this dust message on a parked van reflected.

Oh, and the sailing is 3 v 0 to Emirates Team New Zealand. Will we get to the magic 7 wins first?

NZ Rural Fieldays Bachelors – More Pictures and Video

A video of the night with the Rural Bachelors in Putaruru is on PiP TV, Episode 32.

A direct link is here.

There is no cost to subscribing to our PiP TV Channel and also our on-line Prattler.

We can also share that the actual NZ Fielday Bachelor Winner as announced on Saturday at Mystery Creek, was Matthew McAtamney from Fairlie.

Matthew McAtamney – the NZ Fieldays winner with our Matt from Putaruru Tyres.

The print Prattler will have a selection of images of the night but in the meantime here are a few stills from the video.

Putaruru St John Youth Division hosts the Waikato District Competition

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The Putaruru St John Youth Division hosted the Waikato District Competition for the Penguin and Junior cadets today. Teams came from the wider Waikato District with approximately 85-90 cadets attending.

The events were held at St John Hall on Overdale Road.

Each team put the skills they had learnt at their division within different scenarios – First Aid, Improvisation, Caregivers, Drill, Communication and a fun test for the Juniors. For the Penguins it was First Aid, Improvisation, Caregivers, Inspection, Communication and a Fun Test.

The Juniors age group is from 8 half – 10 years and the penguins age is from 6 – 8 half years.

They were judged and marked on their performance. The team with the highest marks received medals and ribbons. Volunteers became the patients done up with mock injuries.

It was a great time for the young cadets to get involved with this kind of competition as it gives them a lot of confidence when working with people with real injuries.

Fieldays Rural Bachelors Night at The Plaza

A large audience came out last night for the Fieldays Rural Bachelors Night at the Plaza, Putaruru.

After introducing themselves they participated in an intriguing variety of activities, much to the amusement of the audience.

Ross McCulloch – South Canterbury
Gordon Mill – Queensland
Sean Richardson – Taranaki
Kenneth Veen – Waikato
Matthew McAtamney -Fairlie
Scott McKenzie – Auckland
Jason Clotworthy – Northland
Joshua Rushton – Ashburton

The activities included bed making, (after which they had to persuade an audience member to get in), what’s in the nappy, tossing the water bottle, a memory tray, guess the cheeses, what’s in the container, catch a fish, and assemble a ball cock.

There were auctions of goods donated by local businesses, a Young Farmers v Rural Bachelors challenge, smoothie making, ice the cake and the making up and parading of bachelorettes.

The bachelors make up the bachelorettes.

The winner of the Best Product Promoter was Ross and the overall Putaruru Rural Bachelor 2017 Winner, after all the activity scores were counted, was Scott.

The organising group thanks all the sponsors and they will be detailed in the next Prattler coming out in 2 weeks along with video and stills coverage of the evening.

Fieldays Bachelors Tonight at the Plaza and a Photographic Day Peek

Bachelor pad?


Lift that bale…

The Plaza Theatre is being transformed for the Fieldays Bachelors tonight with doors opening at 6:15pm – some tickets will be held for sale at the door – $20 each. The evening starts at 7:00pm and food and drinks are available to purchase.

At midnight last night the clock stopped for the Photograph Our Area activity with all photos to be sent digitally by 4:00pm this afternoon to the previously outlined drop off points. Here’s a brief peak at 2 that have been suppled so far.

Pukeatua Memorial and Church.


Machinery in the early morning.

Footpath Work Continues and Heavy Traffic North Today…

At the end of Arapuni Street, before it becomes Arapuni Road, a short section of path is being added.

The signs make it quite obvious that there is some work going on.

Of course to day being the first of the Fieldays, there were many more vehicles heading north early this morning.


From the beginning hours of today until midnight tonight, the photograph our area day is on. Get you cameras out and check the dedicated page on this site for submission details.

All pictures are to be delivered digitally by 4:00pm this Thursday.

Tomorrow is the PHOTOGRAPHY DAY – wet or fine!

It’s a busy week for activities around the area but the PHOTOGRAPH OUR AREA day is TOMORROW, WEDNESDAY 14th wet or fine.

Schools have been asked to set their own times, but for families or individuals this can be any where between midnight TONIGHT and midnight WEDNESDAY.

All original digital files need to come to either:

by named memory stick to:

PiP Office, 2 Overdale Street

3 Junction Street Putaruru

of if you have a large number of files use the free and have these recipient details:

All photo files need to be received by 4:00pm THURSDAY 15th June, (the next day after the 24 hour shoot).

Please clearly name your files with an identifiable name/contact details.

Remember that these photos must be direct from the camera with no further processing.

All the best for TOMORROW. This special day goes ahead wet or fine!


South Waikato hosts Local Government Zone 2

LGNZ Zone 2 Visit Tokoroa

The South Waikato District Council hosted the Local Government New Zealand Zone 2 meeting last Friday.

Zone meetings are held across New Zealand, providing councils in geographic areas with an opportunity for communication, collaboration and information sharing.

There are six zones in the country; Zone 2 stretches from Gisborne in the south to Coromandel in the north, South Waikato in the west to the east coast.

Mayor Jenny Shattock was pretty excited about hosting Zone 2 as “this is the first time we have hosted the event.”

“It gave us an opportunity to talk shop about various issues facing councils collectively,” she said. “These discussions are essential for councils to learn from each other, use each other’s strengths, ask for guidance and assistance and ensure that we work collaboratively where possible across the sector and region.”

Walking the road rail siding in Tokoroa.

The meeting also provided an opportunity for Council to showcase two of our more bold projects like the Tokoroa Road Rail Terminal and the South Waikato Trade Training facilities.

“Hosting Zone 2 gave us the opportunity to showcase to our peers how a small rural council can deliver on its commitment to retaining our youth in the district, providing for youth training and industry collaboration and our commitment to long term business development and growth that recognises our central position and the opportunity that this, along with our road and rail links, provides in developing a South Waikato distribution hub,” she concluded.


Flags are Flying – Just Pieces of Cloth?

The main highway through Putaruru now has the country flags of the touring 2017 British & Irish Lions rugby team installed on lamp posts along the shopping areas.

On a fairly overcast Saturday morning they looked like this…

British Isles

Just one example of each flag is shown here.

NZ Fieldays Rural Bachelors coming to Putaruru

Emergency at The Plaza – are the bales on bail?

Breaking news… emergency at the Plaza – who let the the bales out? Is it linked to our planned news item today?

NZ Fieldays Rural Bachelors coming to Putaruru on June 15 at the Plaza.

The bachelors will be named on Monday and we will get a press release to let you know who the 8 bachelors are.

We continue to tick off the list and sponsors and those involved in the organizing and judging are all ready to go.

Come and watch the bachelors compete in a variety of activities for the Putaruru Rural Bachelor Award and prize donated by Graham Brown & Co Ltd.

Doors will open at 6:15 to give you plenty of time to buy some Rangiura cooked steak sandwiches and local Girl Guides Cheese Platters before the show starts at 7 pm.

Refreshments are available from the Bar and we have 8 auction items to go under our auctioneers hammer.

Watch our local young farmers compete with our bachelors in an on stage tug o war.

More details next week about this fun evening.

Get your tickets from the Information Centre, Kate at Farmlands and Matt at Putaruru Tyres.

Dark Side of the Sun?

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

It’s a great sunny day after the frost this morning, (and other mornings).

But there are a few dark spots close to our central shopping.

Take a short walk along the grass beside the railway line fence near the central crossing  and it’s not a great tourist attraction here.

We’ll call this Dark Spot 1. Items left here don’t just get there on their own.

So what can we do?

It’s a bit like the video posted recently about the Lorraine Moller Reserve – gems can become tainted. Is this a project in waiting?

Photographing Our Area – 7 Days to Go!

7 days to go…

Seven days to go!

We encourage everyone to get behind this photographic record of our area over one day.

This special photography day is open to everyone and all the details are here.

It might be your family, in the garden, down the street, at play, at work, visitors, having fun, exploring the local area, scenic… whatever is happening in the local area on Wednesday June 14th.

Examples – deliberately blurred.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

It’s important to note how to submit your photos and the fact that all photographs are to be digitally supplied un-edited – that is, no use of any post-photography tools.

SWDC Annual Plan Adopted

Cover of the SWDC Annual Plan

The South Waikato District Council adopted the Annual Plan for the 2017-18 financial year at the Council meeting of 11 May. The final average rates revenue increase is 3.9%. Individual rates increase will fluctuate.

To keep our rates increase modest some initiatives will feed into the development of the 2018-28 Long Term Plan rather than be included in the recently adopted 2017-18 Annual Plan.

“Council is focussing on some key areas over the coming year,” said Ben Smit, Council’s Deputy Chief Executive. “These include increased attention to general maintenance in our towns, especially our CBD areas, improved community engagement, development of town concept plans and residential growth planning.”

Most of Council’s Fees and Charges have increased by 3% inflation as per our previous Long Term Plan. However we have kept several fees at the current rate (ie, no increase). These include most of the fees at the libraries, South Waikato Sport and Events Centre and the pools as we recognise that keeping fees as low as possible for our leisure facilities is important. We have also included some new fees in the building control area, animal control service and council facilities.

“What is exciting for our community is that there is more engagement and consultation opportunities coming in the coming months so that we can further refine ideas and initiatives for the LTP,” continued Mr Smit. “It is key to remember that our LTP further engagement will be happening much earlier in the process than normal.”

The full adopted Annual Plan and the Fees and Charges for the 2017-18 year are available below: (There are 3 parts to make downloading easier.)

Annual Plan 2017-18 1

Annual Plan 2017-18 2

Fees and Charges 2017-18 3

Putaruru Hosts Fieldays Rural Bachelors

The organisers are busy ticking off the lists for the NZ Fieldays event at the Plaza June 15 from 6:30pm.

√ programme
√ music
√ MC
√ decorations and props
√ bachelors sorted
√ bachelor activities throughout the night arranged
√ judges sorted
√ drinks available to purchase
√ food to purchase, (from 6:30 and in breaks)

• Cheese platters, various sizes, (Putaruru Guides)
• Sausages in bread (sauce too of course)
• Steak sandwiches (Rangiura fundraiser)

√ tug of war with local farmers
√ ticket sales, already well over 100

* great community sponsorship
* we will have 8 auctions sponsored locally, all to be posted this week
* bachelorettes event, more details this week
* a Putaruru welcome for Fielday bachelors
* finalise fundraising details

Make sure you get your ticket, don’t miss out.

* A big THANK YOU to NZ Fieldays.
* This event is hosted and supported by locals fundraising for locals.

Rubbish Not Collected?

The revised sticker from the South Waikato District Council.

The South Waikato District Council released information on Friday about a revised red sticker system to be left at a property if the rubbish is not collected.

Council’s Services Manager Andrew Pascoe explains that the key reasons for the change is health and safety and time constraints.

“When crates are too full and material drops out as it is lifted into the truck, our Contractor spends too much time collecting and cleaning up spilled material,” said Mr Pascoe. “When crates are too heavy it is unsafe to lift and has the potential to cause back and other injuries.”

We believe overfilled crates and the resulting spilled material that needs picking up is the reason that the recycling days have been running later than normal. It is a good idea too, to put lighter items at the bottom on a windy day so that they do not blow around, again for the contractor to pick up.

“Council appreciates the numbers of residents who do the right thing for the environment and the life of our own landfill by recycling, but we do need to be mindful that kerbside recycling is the first step in a chain and needs to be done well,” said Mr Pascoe.

If residents are finding they consistently have more recycling than will fit in the two crates, additional crates can be purchased from the Council offices for just $10 each.

Alternatively extra recycling can be dropped at our recycling depots in Tīrau Street, at the Putaruru Transfer Station, at the Tokoroa Landfill on Newell Road or at the Croad Place Recycling Centre.

But –

Bored gamers or lost property?
A dead sheep in a public reserve.
Abandoned mower in a walkway.

there are still those that dump their rubbish without a care for the community at all!