Council seeks residents' input on long term plan

By Lawrence Gullery


Access to water has been a problem in the Waimarama community for many years - but this week residents will have the chance to suggest options to deal with the issue long-term.

Hastings District Council has set up two public meetings, one tonight and another tomorrow night, to look at the water issue and others facing the village to help people write their own community plan.

The plan would set out the long-term aspirations of the community and would be similar to others written for Clive, Whakatu and Flaxmere in recent years.

One of the council's rural councillors, Mick Lester, would chair the meetings and he expected a raft of themes to be brought forward by the public.

"Water is certainly likely to come up at the meeting. There is water supply out there but it comes from up behind the community and there isn't enough water at peak times.

"The sort of thing that might come up is whether people who want to develop should build rain water tanks to save their own water, while there might be some thoughts on whether everyone should have to put in water tanks."

Other themes could include the future management of reserves, the rock wall along Harper Rd which is used as sea protection and road speed safety.

Business and tourism opportunities at Waimarama and its likely future population size could also be in the mix.

"It hasn't been raised at the moment but I am sure there will be more development out there in the future. This is the point to look to the future and try to anticipate what might happen so things don't come along and surprise us.

"So we want to hear about anything the community wants to bring along. This is the beginnings of a community plan and we want to get an idea of what Waimarama people see is important for them in the next 10 to 15 years."

Cr Lester said ideas would come from the community, not the council.

"In addition to that, there is a postal survey which has gone out to every property owner in Waimarama asking them questions about what they want to see happen in their community."

The council was also working on a reserve management plan for the parks in Waimarama which would be worked on alongside the community plan.

Tonight's meeting will be held at the Hastings District Council's landmarks room from 5.30pm to 7.30pm, to give people connected to Waimarama living outside of the community a chance to attend. Tomorrow's meeting will be held at Waimarama Marae from 6pm to 8pm.

"We have got a lot of different people doing many things in Waimarama and we need to try and pull them together so they all have a plan they can work to."

The information gathered will be written into a document and returned to the Waimarama community before being finalised.

- HAWKES BAY TODAY

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