Public consultation for Long-Term Plan opens
Ōpōtiki residents can start providing input into the district’s future with the council’s Long-Term Plan (LTP) 2021-2031 opening for consultation this week [subs: Tuesday, 6 April].
Ōpōtiki Mayor, Lyn Riesterer, said councillors had been working hard on the document for most of the last year and it reflected many thoughtful and representative voices around the table. Now it was time to bring it back to the community so that individuals, organisations and businesses have a chance to comment on what Council will deliver, and how it will deliver it, for the next 10 years.
“I’m afraid the name often puts people off reading the LTP because it sounds very council-y and not for everyday people. But if I can really encourage people to get past that, it would be wonderful to get lots of feedback so the community can tell us directly if we are on the right track.
“We have broken it down into four key issues that we would like people to tell us about and they are pretty hot topics this year so I am sure that people will have a lot to say on them – rubbish bins at public toilets, extending services to Hukutaia to unlock the housing potential up there, mobile services to the Coast and how we step up our social development role.
“And it doesn’t have to be a simple yes or no – so people can dig a bit deeper and say “I support but these are my concerns” or “I don’t actually want either option because…” The reasons and the thoughts behind a decision are really valuable.
“It is a great way to keep a finger on the pulse of council activities and understand the implications of decisions – the costs involved and the balance that needs to be struck,” Mayor Riesterer said.
In addition to objectives of the four key issues, the LTP Consultation Document also has information on how rates, debt and levels of service may be impacted.
The Mayor explained that the LTP focuses on making sure the key infrastructure is ready to enable growth “in the right place and at the right time so that it is affordable to our community”.
Further information about the LTP, the consultation document and supporting documents are available on the Council website – www.odc.govt.nz/ltp. The Mayor said that there would be opportunities for feedback in person too, and Council would be out and about seeking feedback.
Submissions are accepted via email or post or through the online portal. Submissions close on Friday, 7 May and there will be a hearings meeting on Thursday, 3 June for those that want to speak to Council. Council will consider all submissions, changes will be made as required, and the final Long-Term Plan will be adopted on Tuesday, 29 June.
The four key issues Council is seeking submissions on are:
- Issue 1 - The roll out of infrastructure into Hukutaia to unlock housing required for growth
- Issue 2 - Providing bins at public toilets throughout the district
- Issue 3 - Delivering mobile outreach services to the coast to improve accessibility
- Issue 4 - Stepping up activities in social development to ensure our major projects deliver benefit to our communities.