Latest News - March 2016

Music Festival was a fantastic success - $8,500 raised for FOOB
Congratulations to Nick and all the bands and helpers.
Crowd and performers all enjoyed the day. It ran a little over time, lessons learned - improved planning next year to achieve finish on time.

Okura Broadband Has Arrived (November, 2015) - see below for a summary of
the new possibilities and how you can take advanyage of them

Deborah Reserve Walkway (email Sept 22, 2015) - see below


Cautious optimism - to great delight, the responses from Okura's Internet users vary, but many are finally seeing modern broadband speeds at the end of November 2015.

Long-anticipated improvement has come thanks to the extensive work of re-cabling down Okura River Road and the installation of new equipment in the cabinet on the corner of Gail’s Drive. The new cabinet contains uprated power supply, backup batteries and cooling system for the new and modern broadband switch that has been installed (in this cabinet).

The broadband upgrade comprises two parts, the infrastructure upgrade (as described above - done by Chorus) and the service upgrade (which residents must do themselves).

Residents have automatically been connected to the new broadband switch, using the existing underground wiring running from the cabinet to each house. It is expected that these (existing) wires are capable of good speed - as should be the wiring in your house.

In some cases, if the house wiring is very old, or was not done properly for broadband use, it may need some attention. A broadband connection must be protected from interference from voice, Sky TV, burgar alarms, etc. With a bit of luck, you should be OK.

What this should mean
So, all connected residents should now experience a much more stable broadband service. You should continually see a connection speed very close to the peak speed you saw in the past. It may be much better. The closer you are to the cabinet the faster that speed will be.

Note that if you are currently using Vodafone's RBI service - or Spark's wireless service, your broadband does not use any of the above infrastructural or local wiring - and you won't see any change. However, in the future, if you change to a broadband service-provider (ISP) using a wired service, then the above changes will become relevant to your service. There are many such providers - some with bundled telephone service and some without - Spark (old Telecom), Orcon, 2degrees, Slingshot, BigPipe, Xnet, etc.

What YOU need to do
You, the resident, need to do two things to get the best out of the new infrastructure:
(i) specify the righ service and (ii) use a modem-router that is suitable.

Residents living in the cabinet coverage area should contact their ISP and confirm that they are on the best plan to take advantage of the upgraded services available, now that the high-speed infrastructure is in place. New services are ADSL2+ and the even faster VDSL.

Note that if you live more than 2400 metres from the cabinet, you will not benefit by changing to an ADSL2+ plan, as you are beyond the transmission range of this faster signal coming from the switch. You will, however, notice an improvement in the stability of your broadband connection. Most residents in the village area of Okura are well within 2400m - so you should expect ADSL2+ to work.

Talking to your ISP
Note that some ISP's web-site tools lag behind the real world - in determining what services are available. Checking today, Dec. 2, several ISPs' on-line tools ('What service is available at your address') failed to recognise that Okura has been up-graded. If you find this to be the case, talk to a human ! (Orcon, for one, is up-to-date and aware.)

Your existing broadband services, on the old switch, are based on ADSL1 technology
(ISPs may know this as BUBA). This has a maximum download speed of 7 Mbps (Megabits per second). Moving to a faster ADSL2+ plan should cost no more (ISPs may call this EUBA). This should give you 10 to 20 Mbps - but you may also need a new modem-router (in your house) to take advantage of this speedier new technology.

Buying a new Modem-Router
If you buy a modem-router in 2015, they are almost all ADSL2+ capable and almost all provide WiFi (for use with mobile phones and/or tablets) as well as a wired connection for your computer(s). Many ISPs will give you a 'free' WiFi-modem if you sign up to a 12 month plan. Some ISPs let you buy one from them. Otherwise, they cost from $50 to $800 from the likes of HN, Noel Leaming or a computer shop like PBTech. A cheap 65$ TP-Link W8960N from PBTech is perfectly adequate for normal home use.

Be aware that a new modem-router from an ISP should come ready to plug in and just work. A new one bought from a home appliance or electronics outlet store will need some configuration - entry of specific settings - to work with your ISP's service. If you have a computer-savy member of the household (or extended whanau) - they may need to exercise some skill and patience to make it all work.

VDSL - faster than ADSL2+
If you want even faster speeds (50 Mbps) - or if you do a lot of uploading of large files - you may want to pay extra for a VDSL service - and get a new VDSL modem-router. This will give a noticeably 'better' experience (eg: for watching online TV or movies) - but the modem-router may cost a bit more and it will cost a premium of around 10$ a month over ADSL2+. You must be less than 900m from the cabinet - which includes most of the village.

VDSL is a premium service, but if all you need is robust and speedy email, Facebook, Skype, and web-browsing - then ADSL2+ will be fine.

Way Forward
So, at a minimum, you will want to request your ISP to move you to a modern ADSL2+ plan and then make sure your modem-router is good for ADSL2+ service. Unless you request a change in broadband plan from your ISP, the top speed you can expect may be limited by the plan that you are currently on. You may not be 'upgraded' automatically.

Paul Hayward


We’ve been working on the detailed design for the walkway renewal. We’ve taken on board the residents wishes to retain the current alignment and designed it accordingly.

There is one small section where the original slip occurred that we’re offering two options for the alignment. For a map/diagram of the area, click here.

Option 1: Retain the current alignment. This option would mean the piles for the boardwalk need to be driven deeper to ensure they hit the bedrock (the walkway is somewhat undermined here so the piles need to be deeper than what it appears). This could be difficult given we’re restricted on machinery and equipment coming in along the track only.

Option 2: Realign this small section to be out towards the coast. The piles for the boardwalk will still need to go into the bedrock however it may be easier to achieve this here. This option would also mean we better clear the significant tree roots along the walkway.

We are proposing to get both these options covered in our consents. The tender process may make it easier to determine which option we proceed with, based on the methodology and costs.

We’re aiming to lodge consents (Resource, Building and NZ Historic Places Trust) by the end of the month. The project should be tendered by the end of the year, with physical works expected to commence on site early 2016.

Kind regards,
Julie Crabb | Senior Project Manager
Asset Development (North) |Parks, Sports & Recreation

Our very own Nick Morgan speaks of Okura in the NZ Herald.

The Notice Board

• Dacre Cottage working bees 2016
For more details:

• The Library Bus
visits the hall every second Tuesday from 11.45am to 12.15pm