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Outstanding community response to long-term plan consultation - Council

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Whanganui District Council has received an extraordinary response to its draft Long-Term Plan 2021 -2031, with 608 submissions received by the close of consultation on Friday, 30 April 2021.

The council’s group manager corporate, Stephanie Macdonald-Rose, says, "We are really pleased with the high level of engagement from our community. I can’t recall receiving this number of submissions to a long-term plan in recent years."

She says the big topics outlined in the consultation document were of high interest and many wanted to express their views on the future of the Whanganui Velodrome.

"People are also very passionate about our coastal environment, our library facilities and provision of youth spaces and places, so there was lots for them to engage with.

"We made a point of holding a wide range of engagement events in the community this year, which were well-publicised. We also received considerable support from local media with opportunities for interviews and reporters attending events."

Whanganui mayor Hamish McDouall says he is pleased that this face-to-face engagement could take place. "We had some fantastic conversations with the community and had strong support at events from staff, elected members and the youth committee.

"Some elected members also held their own community events and discussions to hear directly from members of the public and special mention should be made of members of the youth committee who spent hours encouraging submissions at outdoor events, were very active on social media and made themselves available for radio interviews," Hamish McDouall says.

Two days of hearings will take place this week - on Wednesday, 12 and Thursday, 13 May 2021. The hearings will be livestreamed on the council’s Facebook page and on the Whanganui District Council website.

"A large number of people are keen to speak to their submissions and the hearings will be very full days for all involved," Hamish McDouall says.

The volume of submissions has been made available to public and can be viewed on the Whanganui District Council website.

Deliberations will take place on Tuesday, 25 and Wednesday, 26 May 2021 with the plan scheduled to be adopted on Tuesday, 22 June 2021.

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