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The storm water infrastructure in Raetihi was concerning for some participants who raised flooding and blocked drains as a concern, a problem particularly bad in Autumn:

"There's a lot more rain, and a lot more flooding in this District. We went to Tūrangi the other day and the roads were flooded like never before."
"I’ll go clean all the gutters out because otherwise the place will flood. I'll go right round town and it will be pouring down and I’ll be out there in my shorts because I don't want old people to have to do it. They did fix, they did fix part of the problem, but it took a very, very long time to come. There was a lady at the council in Taumarunui, and I was just about crying, I was like, frustrated. We're a young family. And I’m not the only one, it's all-around town. Like (redacted, personal name) he lives around the back of town and he's old, and he's out there with a spade trying to dig a drain."
"It’s a problem from over a hundred years ago and it’s all-around town. The Caltex, when it rains heaps, you can’t drive in there. Outside (redacted personal name)’s. It’s the, it's also the trees. I mean, I know it's cool having trees there, but their leaves drop and they're the ugliest looking leaves you could get, and they block up the drains and they need to be cleaned up. You do see people out there lately working hard to do good, but they can't compete with these trees. Could they chop the trees out and put like..."
"No, no no."
"Not the trees but replace them with something that's not going to make those problems."
"They're really beautiful but come... the ones outside the school they’re just everywhere. They're slippery, the cars slip, it's actually not safe to have those. And I do think that Raetihi is one of the most beautiful towns in Autumn, it really is pretty. But the trees, they cause so much issues."
"That avenue there is just beautiful. What we need is a dedicated leaf cleaning service, ha ha!"
"There are some trees that are probably not in the right place."
"Maintain the streetscape is something that in other areas councils do. It’s not a matter of, it’s not something that’s a special need, it’s something that should be done as a matter of course."
"Outside (redacted) shop it was so slippery and the gutters had a good ten centimetres of dirt and moss growing. It was treacherous to step on to the pavement. The leaves had built up and were blocking the train. It was an absolute mess. They put in so many requests through council and in the end after a year the landlord cleaned it himself. At one stage work people did come to clean it, but their hose didn’t reach that far! It was dangerous and there’s not enough service in this town. Outside the school it’s shocking the amount of leaves!"
"The frontline staff of the Council catch the flack and it’s not their fault. "

As in 2020, residents of Raetihi are highly aware of issues pertaining to water quality following the pollution of their water supply by diesel in 2013 and described the long-term effect on residents’ attitudes toward various entities.

"Since the diesel got into the water there’s been a lot bigger focus on the environmental and the water. How what's happening up the Maunga affects the towns underneath it. There is a lot of awareness there was a lot of mistrust, but I guess that's sort of easing now? I don't live on the water system, but I think the diesel spill, there's been a big focus since then."
"But then there's those things that need to be changed, I don't think anyone's changed them recently, the filters."
"It’s unfortunate because those filters weren’t needed. They were needed before, but not after the new water system."
"I think it was a sticking plaster for the trauma and mistrust, rather than a solution. There was a lot of harm done to our community and the trust."
"People lost trust in RAL but also corporations in general."

The mistrust that developed at the time was, and often still is, considered to be confounded by reports from residents not being taken seriously by Council:

"This is the attitude that this town has grown up with, that they don't take us seriously."
"Expectations are now low that when the water supply tastes like shit, people don’t complain because they actually expect it to be like that."

Relatedly, the management of the natural resources of Mount Ruapehu have been an ongoing concern for residents of Raetihi, not just in terms of the recent concerns over the management of the ski field:

"I think our community has been quite divided about what's been going on with RAL, the Maunga, and who has had a say and been represented in that. It is about the environment because that's been more the community concerned about the actual environment. It's more about the Maunga than the skiing, a lot of the time, because you know, some of the people here ski but a lot don't as well. That will be more and more the topic, but even before, and before the diesel spill as well it’s been a big concern of the community."

Participants were worried about the condition of some local rivers.

"Was there an algae in it? Because we were at the river, the Mangawhero, and my partner has been around that river whole life, and he’s just started to notice this smell of algae. We were eeling and I could actually smell it. "
"It's nitrates, nitrate loading from farms."
"The Manganui o Te Ao, that has been Un swimmable for the first time this summer due to algae."
"Ngāti Rangi are going and checking the rivers and they know what they were like and what they're like now. They're giving feedback too about how damaged our waters are, wildlife in the water, if they're like, you know, lowering or... "

Participants very much valued the work put in by local residents in developing the river side track, the Makotuku River Trail. However, concerns were held over occasional vandalism of this area

"The track that's amazing what they've done there. It's volunteer run and they've done it and it's amazing and made our town look so beautiful. But there are issues with people vandalising it. Vandalism comes and goes. It's the same people and we know who they are. "

Concerns were expressed regarding the appearance of the main street, red stickered buildings, and land use:

"The red stickered buildings, the shops particularly. They have no life left as a shop. There are other businesses that want to use them but the owners of those buildings face prohibitive costs in bringing them up to standard. Why not think laterally and look at Council working with housing associations, iwi, obtaining those properties and converting them, demolishing them and making them purpose build housing to rent and to buy?"
"But the community is passionate about keeping the facade though, the look of it, the main street. Everybody loves the look of it."
"But it's something that needs to be looked at. You can have shops and housing on top of the shops, but a lot of those buildings extend back a long way. There’s a huge amount of land there that you could build a substantial amount of housing. "

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