Mapping the future

Ahu Ake Waipa Community Spatial Plan

13 February 2023 – Waipa media release

Council’s biggest ever roadshow involving 11 towns and villages and at least 22 events rolls out this week.

The six-week long engagement will see council seek comment on Ahu Ake – Waipā’s draft Community Spatial Plan. When finalised, the plan will lock in a 30-year blueprint and guide how Waipā manages issues ranging from growth and housing, to economic development, arts and culture, transportation and more.

Strategy group manager Kirsty Downey said direct engagement last year with partners and key stakeholders, including mana whenua, had provided Council with a clear “first-cut” direction on key issues.

“That’s provided a good baseline and means we’ve been able to put some initial lines in the sand. Now it’s time for the community to see what these broad principles might mean for their own towns and neighbourhoods,” Downey said.

“This is not pie-in-the-sky stuff; we are coming at it from a very practical lens. Ahu Ake will have a direct bearing on our future and on the future of our children and grandchildren growing up in Waipā. There are some really important conversations to be had around issues like climate change, housing intensification and transport links. We need those conversations now, so council can reflect community priorities in plans and budgets.”

Mayor Susan O’Regan expects all councillors will be personally involved in the roadshow, fronting up to their own communities to talk directly with people about issues important to them. Council staff will also be available to answer questions.

“Personally, I think it’s really important we hear first-hand about what people want the future for Waipā to look like and why. It’s a fantastic opportunity for all of us to connect with the people, towns and neighbourhoods we represent. A huge amount of effort has gone into making it easy for people to be involved in this process and I’m looking forward to it.”

Community events will be widely advertising in a range of channels including local media, flyers on-line, neighbourhood noticeboards and through council’s Facebook page

People can also have their say online at ahuakewaipa.nz/have-your-say and via a hardcopy survey available from this week at council offices and libraries.

Community consultation closes on March 27, with all feedback pulled into a comprehensive report that will be publicly available. A final Community Spatial Plan will be presented to council for adoption in September this year.

9 February 2023

What is arguably the biggest engagement of its type for the Waipā district gets underway this week for two months.

Ahu Ake, the Waipā Community Spatial Plan, is a 30-year blueprint for the district mapping out what towns and villages will look like, how residents will move around and what services will be available.

Kirsty Downey

Strategy group manager Kirsty Downey told the council’s Strategic Planning and Policy committee this week that for the plan to be finalised it needs extensive community consultation.

She and project manager Vanessa Honore will attend a number of events around Waipā over the next two months including the Tainui Games at Hopuhopu this weekend.

“We have not engaged with the community like this before. We are very excited,” said Downey.

There will be 22 events and 12 presentations between this week and March 27 in Cambridge, Te Awamutu, Te Miro, Karāpiro, Kihikihi, Pirongia, Ōhaupō, Rukuhia, Pukeatua and Ngāhinapōuri.

Marae based hui will also take place as will staff drop in sessions, online stakeholder workshops. A briefing with council Customer Service team members has already taken place.

Honore said staff were excited about the spatial plan and had volunteered to attend the community meetings.

Mayor Susan O’Regan, deputy mayor Liz Stolwyk, councillors and community board members will also be at several events.

“To achieve buy in and work alongside the community, we need to make sure this is the future they (residents) want to see for themselves and their children.

“It’s going to be quite an interesting engagement – within their village, their street and withing their day to day commute,” said Honore.

“Now all we need is our community to engage,” said Stolwyk who believed the mix of in person, online, community newspapers and mailbox drops would ensure everyone would be part of the process.

When the road shows finishes, strategy staff will capture and address community feedback into a consultation report.

Another consultation process will take place in June and July, a final draft spatial plan produced in August and adopted by council in September.

 

 

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