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Published: 2001-04-23 00:00:00

Environment Waikato will officially open its new Taupo office with an open day and ceremony this Friday, April 27.

The office, in Paora Hapi Street, will provide ready access for Taupo residents in the Upper Waikato/Taupo area looking for information and advice about everything from animal and plant pests to Lake Taupo’s water quality. The opening day will feature a ceremony with invited guests in the morning, and a open day in the afternoon where people will be able to ask questions and see displays of the Council’s work in the area.

Deputy Chief Executive Bob Priest said the Council’s predecessor, the Waikato Valley Authority had had responsibilities for soil and water management in the area since the late 1950s and had an active presence in the town from 1970. It had designed and established many of the soil conservation works now maintained by Environment Waikato.

When the Regional Council was formed in 1989, an office and works depot was established in Broadlands Rd, out of the town, to accommodate the large pest control operations the Council had inherited from the Central North Island Pest Destruction Board.

Since the sale of pest control operations to a private contractor, run by former Council staff, it was more appropriate to move back to town where people could have easier access. Main services included maintenance of soil conservation and river control works and consent issues.

The four staff in the building were able to handle most enquiries, including the status of asset management schemes, progress of Project Watershed and management of Lake Taupo, and direct people to sources for plant and animal pest questions, he said. Brochures were also available on many pests and other environmental issues.