Top of my wish-list for what I would like to see happen with Council support:
COMMUNITY PLANS developed with residents for every settlement and suburb that wants one (e.g. Te Araroa, Tokomaru Bay, Wainui/Okitu, Kaiti, Whataupoko, Mangapapa, Matawai, etc.). These would be facilitated by a steering group of local residents with support from Council staff and other stakeholders (e.g. runanga, government agencies, business owners, etc.).
Each plan would include:
- a Community Profile including a history of the community, an overview of the local demographics (age, ethnicity, gender, income levels, etc.) of residents, economic, environmental, cultural and social profiles.
- Special Features of the particular community (physical features, demographic trends, etc.)
- Heritage Register summarising assets of historical significance within the community that should be protected, cared for and/or promoted.
- Critical Issues for the community under headings such as: local economy; community development; public services, recreation and facilities; and infrastructure.
- Community Goals documenting the aspirations of community members for their suburb/settlement.
- an Action Plan identifying priority activities that will assist residents to realise the stated goals and aspirations, who will take leadership and supporting roles, what resources are required and timeframes for completion of each task.
Council planning staff should have a key role in facilitating this process but it may be more appropriate for local residents to lead or to engage an independent facilitator from another community to coordinate.
These plans would provide clear messages to Council about local priorities and aspirations so that Council plans support the opportunities identified in the specific community plans.