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Mayor and councillors spell out top 10 focus areas for next term

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

New Plymouth District’s governance team has produced a top 10 list of focus areas Council will take out to the community in the New Year.

Mayor Neil Holdom said many of the focus areas were already part of the Council’s long-term planning such as the 30-year Blueprint and the Water Master Plan.

"The list is a conversation starter as the council looks to develop the next Long Term Plan to set the direction for the future of the New Plymouth District," he says.

"We have an excited and engaged team of councillors who have learned a lot through the electoral campaign.

"This top 10 doesn’t cover all of the issues people talked to us about as being important to them but it does capture many of the key focus areas. We think it’s a good starting point to have a conversation with our community, the people who employ us, as we consider the pros and cons of each of these areas."

The focus areas are:

Water sustainability. Current residential water usage in the district is estimated at 336L per person per day which is significantly higher than the New Zealand average of 275L. The current Water Master Plan provides for investment in the necessary infrastructure over the next 10 years and looks at ways to reduce usage in our community.

Central city. The Shaping our City Action Plan, which is already under way, will explore a mix of activities that continues to build on New Plymouth as a strong destination to draw visitors to the city and the region.

Zero waste. Through the Waste Minimisation Plan, consider becoming a zero-waste district. This would require a significant shift in the community’s approach to managing waste, including the commercial sector.

Iwi/Māori input. Working with iwi leaders, continue to consider the options for Māori to participate in governance decision-making.

Flagship infrastructure. There are three significant projects being explored for the district. The first is the New Plymouth Airport redevelopment, which is scheduled to commence next year. The other two projects, which are not currently planned for in the next 10 years, are the TSB Stadium multi-sport redevelopment and the Todd Energy Aquatic Centre redevelopment.

People-friendly city. Our district already has a good reputation for being friendly and welcoming. The new Councillors are keen to build on this by enhancing engagement, including building on the Council’s current digital strategy to connect with younger members of our district.

Destination New Plymouth. Consider how the New Plymouth Destination and Taranaki Regional Economic Development strategies, which are being developed now, fulfil the district’s potential to grow the economy and position the district as a world-class gateway to the region.

Coastal Walkway extension. Explore potentially fast-tracking the continuation of the Coastal Walkway from where it currently ends at Tiromoana Crescent, Bell Block, to Waitara.

Waitara stormwater. Continue to investigate solutions for the legacy issue of intermittent storm flooding in Waitara.

Port Taranaki development. Work with Port Taranaki on its future plan for development and how this links into the district’s transport network and community infrastructure.

The Mayor says discussions with the community will help inform their thinking and most decisions will be made as part of the 2018/28 Long-Term Plan consultation process.

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