Businesses slow to comment on plan

Waikato Chamber of Commerce wants more time for consultation on Hamilton's draft district plan.

The chamber wants an extension on the March 1 deadline so it can rally more business people to have a say.

Chamber president Tony Begbie wants the city council to extend the submission period to give business people time to review the first new district plan since the late 1990s.

"There hasn't been long enough for consultation, largely due to the holiday period," he says.

"We are asking council to extend to the end of March to enable better stakeholder input and improved planning," Mr Begbie says.

The plan will have direct impact on housing affordability and the attractiveness of Hamilton as a city and could accelerate, or restrict future economic growth.

"It is vital for business people to stand up and be counted with this," he says.

Chamber chief executive Sandra Perry wants chamber members and the wider business community to review the plan and to contact her with issues they would like included in the group's district plan submission.

"Business owners should look at the impact the plan will have on business and on the community in general. We need feedback so the chamber, as an advocate for business, can make a comprehensive and constructive submission on members' behalf," she says.

Chamber vice president Grant Robson is encouraging business owners to look closely at how the plan will affect businesses and city growth, including infrastructure and retailing.

"This district plan is an opportunity to get it right and positively impact our city. But like Everything, if we don't have our say we can't complain."

The call to action goes out amidst a chamber stance to increase its advocacy role in the business community.

"We are at a pivotal time politically and economically, so it's time for businesses to be better represented," says Mrs Perry.

- Hamilton News

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