Children learning more about the area at the Te Puna Community Fun Day. Photo / Supplied 310321communityday2.JPG
By Shauni James
The local community has been able to have their say in important matters while still having fun altogether.
The Western Bay of Plenty District Council has recently held a series of Community Fun Days around the district to encourage people to give feedback on council's 2021-31 Long Term Plan Consultation Document.
These events were held in Te Puna, Waihi Beach and Te Puke.
The fun day activities included fair-style activities and food stalls from local vendors and community groups. There was fun for the kids including balloon twisting, face painting and a bouncy castle.
Western Bay Mayor Garry Webber says they had a great time at Maramatanga Park recently with about 200 people joining council for the Love the Western Bay Community Fun Day.
He says it was great to bring an event to the Te Puna community that brought residents together to share ideas, enjoy some delicious food and take in an outdoor movie.
"Our community events have been well received by the public, with many appreciative of council hosting family-friendly events that allow everyone to have some fun while discussing the Long Term Plan.
He says the council was delighted to connect with so many young families and new faces.
"It's been great to get out and meet the community in their backyards, in not only Te Puna but also Te Puke and Waihi Beach, and capture their ideas for how we can work together to make our district even better.
"This Fun Day initiative has seen a very different demographic take part and give us their feedback.
"Many have commented that the 'town hall' environment can be a bit combative and to be able to speak to councillors and staff in a one-on-one situation has been really well received."
Gary says it is important to them as a council to understand what matters to residents, and what the council should prioritise in its next Long Term Plan.
He says the six key proposal areas in the consultation document are significant for everyone - "Whether it's because you drive on our roads, swim in our pools, use our walkways and cycleways, value our elder housing facilities, would like to see more CCTV cameras or use your local community halls".
"These are services and facilities that many people in our community use (either now or in the future), or have views on how they should be managed."
Each of the options for these six key proposal areas have different financial implications, so council really wants to hear from residents and ratepayers as to what their preferences are, he says.
You can provide feedback until 5pm on Friday, April 9, online through hellofuturedistrict.co.nz, by visiting one of the library and service centres or by emailing your feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.