What is a Blueprint?

A Blueprint or Local Area Blueprint, is a term we are now using for master planning.

Council adopted the proposal from Urbanismplus Ltd at an extraordinary Council meeting on 27 June 2018.

Council is now ready to do more detailed planning across the entire district. This forms part of a number of initiatives that will enable Council to move towards its new vision of “Liveable, Thriving and Connected Communities” which has been underpinned through the Proposed District Plan objectives and policies and the Long Term Plan. The Blueprint is one of the next stages.

Why are we having Blueprints done?

The impact of growth on our district is significant. Throughout the Long Term Plan consultation it became evident to Council that a different approach to planning was needed to help us manage these growth impacts on our communities. This is now reflected in Council’s new vison and the recognition that more detailed master planning was required. This has resulted in Council’s decision to undertake a Blueprint for our district. The approach will help ensure that our communities aspirations are integrated into Council’s key strategic and planning documents and that as our communities change we update our Blueprint.

What will the Blueprint tell us?

The District Blueprint addresses Council’s vision and layers of planning to show the desired future for the district as a whole, whilst Local Area Blueprints are focused at town, village or rural area level.

Urbanismplus has explained that the Blueprint will contain ‘Master Plans’ however their preferred terminology is ‘Town Centre Strategies’.

Master planning is often misinterpreted as a fixed design, whereas Town Centre Strategies are designed to be flexible and adaptable.

The Blueprints address growth, infrastructure, social, community, environmental, economic and transport issues. At a local level these are more detailed and specific to the place, at district-wide level these are articulated as networks. In combination, they serve as a strategic tool with which the Council, informed by the community, can determine a holistic and strategic approach with clearly defined priorities and actions. Town Centre Strategies identified in the Blueprint process will be defined and delivered afterwards, likely 2019 onwards.

What towns are covered in the Local Area Blueprints?

Pokeno and Mercer;Tuakau; Meremere; Huntly; Te Kauwhata and Rangiriri; Ngaruawahia, Taupiri and Horotiu; Te Kowhai & Whatawhata; Raglan; and Tamahere. Towns not identified will be captured in the district-wide blueprint.

How much will this cost our ratepayers?

Master planning was discussed through our Long Term Plan and was supported by our communities. $100,000 per
year has been allocated for master planning, which was again supported by our communities through their
submissions.

What about current community plans already underway by volunteers?

Communities across the district have volunteers involved who are leading aspects of community planning.

Blueprints will incorporate this work in a way that will enable us to connect our communities at a district and local area level to give a complete picture for Council. We will then be able to better understand our community’s priorities so we can allocate resources.

Blueprints are not a substitute for the community planning work already being done. This is the mechanism that will allow Council to better align our plans, policies and strategies to our community aspirations and needs. Blueprints will help Council meet our communities’ expectations for better
planning outcomes.

When will the Blueprints be finished?

The process is planned to start in August with our North Waikato communities engaged with first. The remainder of the district will follow. We plan to have a draft Blueprint available in early 2019.

Why should I attend a workshop?

Your knowledge and ideas about your community’s wants and needs, now and in the future, will help us shape liveable, thriving and connected communities and will be key information for your local area Blueprint. This is a chance for you to share your future wants and needs for your community, not for us to rely on those that do attend to bring your collective view. Your first-hand thoughts on what you want your town to be are vital. e.g. if you want to see more libraries, parks, police or other social services, you need to come along to the public workshops and tell us just that so that we know that it is important for your community.

Who is doing the work?

Urbanismplus Ltd is leading this work and is being supported by Council staff.

The Urbaismplus team has significant experience across Australasia. They have pioneered the Blueprint process in New Zealand and have extensive experience delivering blueprints and growth strategies. Projects include: New Plymouth District, Marlborough District, Thames Coromandel district, Hamilton City, Transport for Future Urban Growth (Auckland),Greater Christchurch Urban Development strategy, Melbourne 2030, Palmerston North Rural –Residential Land Use Strategy, Dunedin Central City Framework, Blenheim Town Centre and Urban Design Guidelines for multiple Councils.

For more information, visit www.urbanismplus.com.

How successful were they?

Urbanismplus growth planning and regeneration work has featured as best practice exemplars in publications here, Australia, the UK and the USA, and have attracted some 16 national awards.

Their work for Dunedin led to major private re-investment and renewal in the CBD.

Urbanismplus work with existing processes and policies, recognising different scales of spatial planning (district wide, local area and town centre), encourage community empowerment with the aim of delivering benefits such as clarity of direction for the community, Council and the private sector, integration of multiple planning disciplines (e.g. transport, environment, community services, urban design etc) and alignment between infrastructure priorities policy and planning directions.

I’ve already told Council what I want in our towns through the structure plan process, how is this different?

All the ideas and thinking that are catured in the LTP submissions will be accounted for in the Blueprints. This is your opportunity to perhaps reinforce your ideas or bring new ideas for consideration. The topics are also a little broader and ultimately the Blueprints will generate actions.

Can I submit my ideas instead of attending workshops?

At this early stage, we encourage all people to attend the workshops in order to provide feedback. We may explore this for upcoming engagement activities.