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WDC kick starts consultation on its Town Concept Plans

22 Jun 2022, 12:04 PM

Waitomo District Council is seeking feedback on how to spend Central Government’s 3 Waters ‘Better off Funding’ allocation.

WDC’s funding is worth $14.2m and is split into two tranches.  The first tranche of $3.55m is available in September 2022 and $10.64m in July 2024.

Chief Executive Ben Smit says the funding package is a once in a lifetime opportunity to spend a significant amount of funds on community focused projects.

“The ‘better off’ funding package will enable councils to invest in their communities and help them prepare for the future,” he says.

“This includes opportunities to accelerate projects that build resilience to climate change and other natural hazards, deliver infrastructure for housing development and support community wellbeing.

“Council is not likely to receive such a large sum of funding again, so we want to know how best to utilise the funding available to us.

“It’s all about our people and our place, so it’s important the community tells us what they want the future of our District to look like.”

As part of the process, WDC is refreshing its Town Concept Plans and is looking to confirm whether they are still relevant.

The current TCPs were completed four years ago and significant community engagement took place at that time, which helped to inform the Key Moves outlined in the TCPs. 

There are currently 163 projects included in the TCPs. Council will engage with the community to understand which projects and ideas are still relevant, what are new priorities and what is achievable using the ‘better off’ funding.

“Not many of the projects were funded by Council in the 2021-31 Long Term Plan or by other funders, and progress to deliver on these projects is slow particularly given the impact that these projects would have on rates and the difficult last few years with COVID-19 having a major impact on materials and staff shortages,” says Ben.

“The development of refreshed TCPs could be treated as Council’s contract with the community for the development of new services and facilities for a particular town/space much in the same way the Reserve Management Plans should be.”

Council is working closely with mana whenua and iwi and have developed five key principles which will underpin public consultation.

  • Enhancing Identity (what our towns really are)
  • Recognising History/Heritage (Maori and non-Maori) 
  • Supporting Growth and Redevelopment (housing and towns)
  • Creating Opportunities for all (learning and employment, diversifying industry/lifestyle)
  • Respect and Care for the Natural Environment

Public consultation will begin on Thursday morning with a breakfast session hosted by Legendary Te Kuiti at Stoked Eatery.

A series of community drop-in session have also been organised throughout the District with Council staff eager to korero with the community and hear people’s thoughts and ideas about their vision for the Waitomo District.

Council will also meet with mana whenua representatives, and key stakeholder groups during the consultation period.

To learn more, please click here

 Or please come along to one of our community drop in sessions:

 

 Saturday 25 June 2022

 Marokopa Drop in Session

 9am - 11am

 Marokopa Community Recreation Hall

 Saturday 25 June 2022

 Mokau Drop in Session

 11pm - 3pm

 Mokau Hall

 Wednesday 13 July 2022

 Te Kuiti Drop in Session

 2pm - 7pm

 Railway Building 3, Rora Street

 Tuesday 19 July 2022

 Piopio in Session

 2pm - 7pm

 Piopio Memorial Hall

 Thursday 21 July 2022

 Waitomo Caves Village
Drop in Session

 2pm - 7pm

 Venue to be confirmed

 Wednesday 27 July 2022

 Maniaiti/Benneydale
Drop in Session

 2pm - 7pm

 Benneydale Library

 Friday 29 July 2022

 Te Kuiti Drop in Session

 11am - 5pm

 Railway Building 3, Rora Street