The township revitalisation journey...
Council's involvement in the township revitalisation journey got underway in ernest following discussions with Ruapehu communities for the 2016-2017 Annual Plan. This had highlighted that people had significant aspirations for the future of their town, community and the District and wanted to see greater speed and progress on the ground.
The common message was that people were tired of 'waiting for things to happen' and wanted to see tangible signs of progress in their township along with the opportunities and investment that comes with it.
Over September 2016 Council held a series of public meetings (Taumarunui, Ohakune, National Park, Ohura, Waiouru, Raetihi) on a range of issues including; the Regional Accelerate25 Action Plan, government's initial co-investment announcements, planned and future projects, Council services and township revitalization.
During 2017 saw Council bring forward projects whever possible and a continuation of discussions with interested communities. Many smaller projects are now underway.
Confirmation of the larger projects and how they will be funded will be a key part of next year's ten year 2018/28 Long Term Plan discussion.
The speed and direction of township revitalisation projects is being determined by each individual township. Communities have reacted enthusiastically to being able to take part in township revitalisation discussions. Council would like to strongly encouraged people to stay engaged with the revitalisation process.
Full meeting 'brainstorm' notes from township discussions and key community contacts can be found on the relevant township web page.
Council's vision is to create an environment which will facilitate the development of prosperous rural communities that are able to capitalise on our agriculture, business and tourism sectors while sustaining our beautiful environment.
The objectives are to improve the well-being and quality of life for our communities by:
- creating and retaining jobs,
- supporting and growing incomes and
- increasing the ratepayer base.
Council is committed to providing the governance, leadership and facilitation to enable this vision.
How we have responded.
Council has responded to community calls for tangible signs of progress by:
- Bringing forward the delivery of community development projects wherever possible.
- Committing resources to supporting communities and community organisations to update or enhance and deliver community development plans.
The level of support required for communities and community organisations has varied by township. Some townships have on-going development plans while others are starting the conversation amongst themselves. All townships however share a common desire to get things moving.
The use of Bespoke Landscape Architects.
For some townships Council has engaged Bespoke Landscape Architects to work with local communities to develop or enhance existing concept plans and ideas. These are useful in helping communities to think about and discuss what they want for their township.
So far Bespoke has worked with the following townships:
Have your say in the process!
Township revitalisation is a journey and we won't get to the finish line in one swoop. Putting our townships on a path to growth and prosperity will take ideas, energy and passion from the people who will benefit the most, our local communities.
We are encouraging residents, ratepayers, friends and other stakeholders to have their say on what they want for their township.
To help to develop a deeper understanding of what stakeholders want for their town along with the relevance of the spaces targeted for redevelopment people are encouraged to think about township revitalisation based around four key questions. These are:
- What is the historic and cultural significance of the town/town centre?
- What is the role of the town centre for locals?
- What is the role of the town centre for visitors?, and,
- The key structural elements that should remain or be taken out?
If there is not a specific web page for your town Council still wants to hear from you on what your aspirations are for your community. For more information please email Rebecca Van Orden or Margaret Hawthorne or phone on 07 895 8188.