What's our Future Horowhenua?

Published on 22 September 2017

What's our future thumbnail.

What's our future Horowhenua? That’s the big question facing Horowhenua residents.

For the first time, Horowhenua District Council (HDC) is preparing for a 20 Year Long Term Plan.

HDC Chief Executive David Clapperton says normally, our Long Term Plans are only for ten years.

“We expect similar growth to that experienced by Kāpiti. So, as a community we need to think about our towns, villages, our facilities and infrastructure.”

Given the significance of the 2018-2038 Long Term Plan three rounds of engagement are planned:

  • Pre-Engagement (22 Sept – 27 October 2017)
  • Draft Long Term Plan Consultation (March 2018 – April 2018)
  • Post Engagement (July 2018)

Mr Clapperton says as part of this process we will be canvassing a new vision for our District – it is a conversation starter for the community, and highlights what is important to us and what we need to focus on in the future.

“We are taking a collaborative approach. We need to hear your thoughts. They will be collated into themes, considered and where possible included in the 2018-38 Long Term Plan - which will be consulted on next year.”

Mayor Michael Feyen says the fresh approach will allow residents alongside community groups and Iwi to provide input into the Long Term Plan Consultation document as it is created.

“Before the plan can be written, we first need to find out from everyone what is important to them, what should be included in the plan, and if our vision is right or needs altering.”

Mayor Feyen says he is pleased to see the new approach to engagement includes being out in the community on weekends as well as BBQs.

“BBQs are a Kiwi tradition – it’s when friends and families meet up and discuss things, where great ideas are voiced and opinions formed. I hope we’ll reach more people so that we can include their aspirations and concerns in our plans,” says Mayor Feyen.

HDC General Manager Strategic & Development, David McCorkindale says every house in the District will receive information on ‘What’s Our Future Horowhenua’ and how they can have their say.

“We’ve created pre-paid postcards so the whole family can take part and share their thoughts. Two students from a local primary school have been chosen as the face of the campaign. By the time this plan has been implemented, they will be 26 year-olds who are hopefully living, working and loving life in Horowhenua!”

You can find out more about the 2018-2038 Long Term Plan and the planned engagement activities and dates by visiting www.horowhenua.govt.nz/whatsourfuture  - this is the online home of the engagement process around the 2018-2038 Long Term Plan and residents will be encouraged to make their thoughts known online. Those using social media are encouraged to use #whatsourfuturehorowhenua so commentary is easily collated.

Weekend public community gatherings will be held in Taitoko/Levin, Te Maire/Shannon, Awahou/Foxton and Ōhau.

Workshops and presentations will be provided to community groups, Iwi Leaders and various forums.

Mr McCorkindale says the feedback received during the pre-engagement series will be compiled along the following themes:

  • An exuberant economy
  • Stunning environment
  • Thriving communities
  • Vibrant cultures
  • Enabling infrastructure
  • Positive relations with Tangata Whenua.

It’ll then be used to inform the consultation document for Council’s 20 Year Long Term Plan. Next year, formal consultation will occur as required by law on what is proposed in the plan. This involves a formal submission process, submitters will have the option to be heard in person, and all submissions will be considered by Elected Members and the plan adjusted as they see fit.

In another first, Council will follow up the engagement periods with a roadshow to showcase the plan to residents so they’re fully aware of the projects that lie ahead, the timeframe they can expect them to occur in and the amount of money budgeted for each.

Long Term Plans are reviewed every three years following a consultation process, governed by Council’s Significance and Engagement Policy, with local communities – usually they are set for the minimum ten year period. However, Councils can decide to go beyond the minimum period. HDC is not the first Council to move to a 20 year plan. Other Council’s, such as Kāpiti which has also faced significant growth, have also taken this approach.