Still time to shape community

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Now’s the time to make sure the Waikato District Council hears your voice on what’s most important to you in our community.

Following the recent June meetings as part of the latest round of consultation on Blueprints for Tamahere and Matangi, further, written feedback can be given up until July 17.

The Blueprint captures locals’ aspirations for their community’s future and, especially after Covid-19 turned our world upside down, the council needs to know if our community’s priorities have changed since the original Blueprint was adopted a year ago.

“If residents wish to introduce items to the Blueprint, allocate priorities or change the priorities of existing items this is the opportunity to be involved and to give feedback to the council,” said Tamahere Community Committee chair Sue Robertson.

“Obviously not everything can be funded, not all of it will be Council-led.  Some items can be community-led or in partnership.  The more people that identify the same things, or endorse the same priorities the more likely we are to have those items included or prioritised.  These Blueprints become a type of plan that gives direction and structure to councils’ 10 year, Long Term Plans, and regular review keeps them relevant,” she said.

“Our nearly completed recreation reserve [Tamahere Park] and commercial hub are testament to how these community plans or Blueprints, as they are now called, work and clarify community-informed direction.”

The current ideas are here on the council website.

The priorities that emerged for Tamahere from earlier consultations were:

  • Building a strong identity for the town.
  • Supporting Mangaone Stream revegetation efforts and the construction of a walking and cycleway along this stream.
  • Advocating with NZTA to provide a pedestrian and cycle bridge across SH21.
  • Supporting the community with the extension of shared paths (walking / cycling) through natural areas.
The Alan Turner Bridge linking Tamahere and Matangi
The Alan Turner Bridge linking Tamahere and Matangi

The priorities identified for Matangi were:

  • Building a strong identity for the town.
  • Providing traffic calming and improved parking opportunities along the central section of Tauwhare Road.
  • Constructing a footpath along Matangi Road up to Fuchsia Lane and creating further connections to accommodate walking from the village centre to Hillcrest.

The council is gearing up to prepare its next Long Term Plan, which secures the budget for work and projects completed by the council for the next 10 years. The Blueprint will play an important part of what gets into the LTP and what doesn’t.

Waikato District Deputy Mayor Aksel Bech said visiting each community featured in the Blueprint always highlighted how passionate people were about where they live.

“As we get ready to prepare our next Long Term Plan for 2021-31, it’s really important that we know what means the most to people. I urge everyone to have a look at the documents and make their voice heard. The Blueprint is one of our most trusted documents because it is the people’s voice – this is their opportunity to tell the council what they want.

“Perhaps walking and cycling tracks are more important than ever or maybe a community project that highlights a town’s identity should happen straight away, rather than be further down the priority list.

“Basically, we want you to confirm, or suggest a change on each initiative’s priority ranking. Is it still your top priority, or is something else more important? We also want to hear who you think should be leading each of the initiatives. We’ve made a suggestion, but have we got it right?” Bech said.

District-wide initiatives have also been created that impact the district as a whole. These also have priority rankings and suggestions on who should lead each initiative.

Feedback for both the Local Area and District-Wide Blueprint is open until 5pm Friday, July17 and can be made here.

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