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Rural communities connect at Council head office

Rural community members meeting with our elected members at our Council Chambers in Ngaruawahia.

Kia ora, greetings

One of my main objectives as Mayor is to bring more of our communities on to the Council waka.

Working together better with the people of our district can only improve community outcomes and I think we’re making headway in this area.

As part of this objective, I recently invited members of our various hall committee and smaller ratepayer associations and community committees to our head office in Ngaaruawaahia for a get-together.

Connecting effectively with these influential voices in our rural areas and small towns is vital if we’re going to live up to our Council vision of Building Liveable, Thriving and Connected Communities.

We had representatives attend from Naike, Matangi, Glen Afton, Gordonton, Pukemiro, Port Waikato, Puketaha, Tamahere, Karioitahi, Mangatangi and Te Akau – about 30 people all up.

It gave them a chance to share what they think Council is doing well at and where improvement is needed.

It was no surprise that they all had concerns about our roads, similar to the sentiment throughout the rest of the country, and improvement is needed on our service request system, which is being worked on at the moment as a priority.

They appreciated the efforts of council staff, who also gave them updates on projects and our Long-Term Plan process.

This was all done in a social setting and the feedback we received was positive, with everyone enjoying the opportunity to chat to people from other areas, as well as connecting with Council staff and elected members.

We’ll definitely be doing it again and hopefully community groups from other areas will take up the opportunity to come and see us and network with like-minded people from across the district.

We are planning on building Council capacity to ensure we hear and add this feedback to our planning.

I intend to grow these important relationships to progress council outcomes and deliverables within our communities. 

Finally, following the theme of Liveable, Thriving, Connected Communities, I was lucky enough to attend the blessing of the new Whatawhata Community Facility on Saturday morning.

It’s been quite a road to get to this point, but this building is a visual representation of our Council vision.

It’s a fantastic addition to all that Whatawhata has to offer and it’s been a massive collaborative effort from the local community, hapu, elected members (past and present), funding organisation and Council staff. A huge congratulations to you all.

Ngaa mihi nui and warmest regards,  
Mayor Jacqui Church