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Navigating growth

The growth and development of our district is something that we’re constantly reflecting on as we move together from where we are and where we want to be in the next decade. The Waikato district holds a unique position as the beating heart of the Golden Triangle (area bounded by Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga), playing an important role in New Zealand’s overall future success, a fact that helps to shapes our strategies and decisions as we navigate growth. 

Currently, half of New Zealand's population resides within a couple of hours' drive from our district. The anticipated district’s population surge, reaching 142,000 by 2068, creates significant opportunities and with it challenges that we must face. Our council is very aware of the impacts of growth. It's not just about accommodating more people; it's about ensuring their quality of life and nurturing vibrant communities. 

While growth brings benefits, it also raises concerns. Some parts of our district value their rural identity and are cautious of losing it through rapid urbanisation. It's our responsibility to strike a balance, respecting the unique culture of each community while fostering inclusivity and integration for newcomers to our district. 

Water infrastructure is a critical requirement in our growth. The challenges of providing water services and infrastructure are well-documented nationwide. Addressing these challenges isn't just about functionality; it's about safeguarding our very existence. Without reliable water systems, sustainable growth remains a distant dream. This is why our council prioritises investments in water, recognising its important role in supporting residential, industrial, and agricultural development. 

The dilemma of prioritisation is real. Do we focus on water supply for new housing or allocate resources to attract industries that drive economic prosperity? These are connected issues that require nuanced solutions. Our track record of careful financial management highlights our commitment to making the right decisions for our district's long-term wellbeing. 

As we navigate these challenges, every decision we make is guided by a vision of sustainable growth that benefits all residents, present and future. 

Managing growth isn't just about infrastructure; it's about building a resilient, inclusive, and thriving community. Let's embrace the opportunities ahead with optimism and determination, knowing that by working together, we can build a bright future for the Waikato district. 

Ngaa mihi  
Mayor Jacqui