Today Waipā’s Finance & Corporate Committee approved a new 17-year lease to allow continued operation of the equipment from the Greenhill Drive site. Vodafone has operated equipment from the site since 1994.
Waipā councillors were advised that, should the lease not be renewed, Vodafone would build a minimum of two cell-phone towers nearby to service the wider community.
Staff noted cell-phone towers can be located on Council road reserves as of right if they comply with national environmental standards. Council would have had no say as to where the two towers might have been located and could not have stopped them.
Earlier this month Council advised 22 nearby residents of the request from Vodafone to renew the lease, and asked for feedback prior to today’s decision. Two responses were received from residents; one in support of renewing the lease and one against.
Today’s Committee decision was a 9-3 split vote. Those who voted in favour of renewing the lease were councillors Andrew Brown, Marcus Gower, Elwyn Andree-Wiltens, Judy Bannon, Grahame Webber, Susan O’Regan, Liz Stolwyk, Bruce Thomas and mayor Jim Mylchreest.
Those who voted against renewing the lease were councillors Clare St Pierre, Vern Wilson and Hazel Barnes.