The message to submitters
By Mayor K Gurunathan
A draft of our long term plan will be released in late March next year. Once it is available to review, you can choose whether you wish to have your earlier feedback considered as a submission on the draft plan and formally responded to through the long term plan process.
You will also have the opportunity to put in a new submission during the consultation. We’ll let you know when the consultation opens, so you have some time to decide.
As part of the community engagement we received a wide range of input from the community, and I thought you might be interested to know about some of the other feedback we received and key themes that emerged.
Community groups involved in the discussion process
During July more than 50 community group representatives attended a second series of long term plan workshops.
In addition, 225 people completed our online or printed questionnaire and around 70 more gave us feedback at events or via email, and elected members talked with many members of the community.
Councillors also worked through detailed information on our district’s current and future demographic, environmental and economic situation, which will also contribute to the development of the long term plan.
From all this, key themes and areas of concern emerged from the community and were consistent with many of our own concerns and hopes for the future.
Key themes for future planning
An overarching theme of resilience – of our people and communities, our environment, our infrastructure and our financial situation – was present in discussion on many topics, including each of our key themes:
- Sustainable growth: Our community recognizes the value of growth, particularly in higher-value local jobs through attracting and growing a diverse range of businesses. Growth, however, must be planned and sustainable, with the necessary infrastructure in place to support it.
- Enhancing our natural environment: Our natural environment is highly valued, enjoyed by residents and an attraction for visitors. We need to protect and enhance what we have through sustainable practices and responding to climate change in a way that’s aligned with national policy.
- Articulating our attractor factor: Kāpiti locals love living here. From a shared Kāpiti story we can enhance community connection and encourage visitors and new residents who will appreciate and enrich the Kāpiti way of life.
- Kotahitanga and working with the community: We’re lucky enough to have many committed and skilled locals looking to make a difference in our communities on issues including housing, health, higher education and public transport. We value the contribution these people make to our rohe (district). By collaborating and sharing resources and ideas, we can achieve more together.
- Living within our financial constraints: We’ve heard your concerns about affordability and already we’re putting a strong focus on a financially sustainable approach and spending less in order to pay back more debt. By managing operating and capital expenditure at sustainable levels, borrowings and rates increases can be balanced while ensuring the cost of major assets is spread over time.
Councillors, staff and I will be using the themes to guide our work as we shape the draft long term plan.