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Community engagement drives successful LTP consultation

Getting out and about in the community has been a key factor in the success of Waikato District Council’s 10 year plan consultation programme.

Submissions on Council’s Long Term Consultation Document closed at 5pm on Friday (17 April) with over 800 submissions received on a variety of issues facing the district.

General Manager Strategy and Support, Tony Whittaker explains, as part of the month-long consultation with communities a variety of engagement events were scheduled, including community meetings in local halls to market days and marae based hui.

“We’ll be reviewing the success of the programme for future consultation but we’re very happy with the first trial.

“People like the face to face, one on one interaction. It’s been a great opportunity for Councillors to be seen in their community and enables residents to put a face to the name. It’s the same for staff who attended the events. Having the personal interaction can often diffuse or un-confuse a concern the resident might have.”

Mr Whittaker says an example of this was the discussion surrounding the district-wide waste management proposal.

“Late last year we shared a variety of refuse and recycling proposals for the district and asked communities to give their feedback, which they did. As a result, we reviewed our proposals and returned with alternate options.

 “Having staff at events meant residents could ask why the options are required, and how they affect me. This enabled them to provide informed feedback on the proposed options.”

Submissions have been collated by the project team and the next step will be hearings for public presentations in mid-May. The final 2015-25 Long Term Plan is scheduled for adoption by Council on June 30 2015.

Supporting information:

Total number of submissions – 841
Total number of submission points – 1398
Top issues identified in submissions:
• Halls target rate review - 332 (NB – this ran as an independent consultation programme)
• District-wide waste minimisation – 241submissions
• Maintenance of parks and reserves
• Traction seal programme
• Waters asset assessments - 178
• Extension of library services - 202
• Change for 'district wide' three waters targeted rate - 176

For more information please contact:

Erin Rangi-Watt
Senior Communications Advisor
Waikato District Council
07 824 8633 Extn: 5900
027 551 1601