Central Waikato district residents are feeling excited about the future of their community after Council hosted a series of drop-in sessions earlier this month.
Waikato District Council invited residents in Ngaaruwaahia, Hopuhopu and Taupiri to attend the sessions centred on the Ngaaruawaahia Town Centre Plan and Ngaaruwaahia, Hopuhopu and Taupiri Structure Plan.
“Sessions offered an opportunity for members of the public to discuss their vision for the future with us,” says Strategic Planning Team Leader Donna Tracey.
“Attendees were proud to be a part of the conversation and grateful for being given the chance to share and discuss their ideas.”
Town Centre Plans and Structure Plans help to guide where Council needs to provide space for housing, infrastructure, parks and playgrounds, community facilities, walking cycling connections, cultural enhancement and other key features and need to be updated accordingly to reflect changing community needs.
The sessions followed two surveys shared in 2022, one focused on early engagement with mana whenua, and another for the wider community. Council teams also attended the Tainui Games in mid-February to promote the sessions and to offer another an opportunity for attendees to share their ideas.
“The sessions aimed to confirm whether the way we had interpreted the survey feedback was accurate and truly represented what the community wants to see,” adds Tracey.
“We want to be open and transparent with our communities in everything we do and inviting them to attend these sessions is one example of how we’re working to achieve that.”
Following the sessions, Council is reviewing the feedback to ensure that common themes are included in its draft plan. This also included feedback received at the recent Turangawaewae Regatta where teams were on the ground to speak with residents.
Once the draft plan is developed over the coming months, a second round of drop-in sessions will take place when the public can come along to see the proposed plans for the future of their community.
Residents can keep up to date with the progress of the plans via the Council website.