Four proposals on the table, one is well known to the community - the others are a secret.

One of the "secrets" has been put forward by a group called Future Whangarei.
I have been fortunate to view their proposal as they endeavoured to have conversations with a diverse range of the Whangarei Community.

Hopefully, details will soon be revealed to the masses.

What stunned me most about the proposal was its authenticity and simplicity.
There are no "bells & whistles".

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The proposal is based on facts - some of which I have only just learned! It celebrates the fact that the Town Basin area has a stunning history of diverse cultures and water-based activities. It continues to do so.

What better place could there be, than an old Harbour Board Building, to develop a Heritage Maritime Museum with interactive displays, right beside the water.

The building would include a designated Maori Art Gallery, an interactive learning centre aimed particular at young users leveraging off "Whangarei First in NZ" Ultra Fast Broadband status, a range of open spaces for impromptu events with links to the Hihiaua Cultural Centre, AH Reed and Mair Parks and our other local attractions.

Locals and visitors would easily be entertained for hours and days, and when visitors eventually left, they would leave with a strong sense of "who we are - people of the sea/people of the land".

Our Council talks about "Sense of Place". The Hundertwasser proponents say we need "bells & whistles" to create a "Sense of Place".

It is refreshing to learn that Future Whangarei believes we already have a Sense of Place - which is defined as a connection or relationship to a location or place, shared stories and a sense of community.

I look forward to hearing more about this honest and sincere proposal for a place that we all hold dear.

Shari Pickering
Otaika Valley
Whangarei

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