A council campaign to consult with the people of Whangārei on development of the waterfront precinct has begun, with the aim of being more accessible and creative than past consultations.
Whangārei District Council (WDC) is looking for input from the public in various ways over the next few weeks.
These include canvassing people at the Canopy Night Market and Artisan Market, and hosting drop-in sessions and workshops to find out what people want to see along the riverside.
WDC strategic planner Injoo Riehl is the project lead and wants to try something new with this campaign.
"Previously council had a strategy and then asked for feedback," she said. "But we are trying to be more creative and proactive in our response."
The waterfront precinct consultation has opened alongside new drop-in sessions asking the public for their take on a range of council projects.
Emma Jelsma, also of WDC, has been running sessions at Whangārei Central Library every Thursday, which she said puts a human face on giving your feedback to council.
"You can fill out our surveys on the website, but some people are fearful of putting their names and addresses online," she said.
"Just by being human, we can find out what people want and we can meet their needs."
WDC strategic planner Alicia Lawrie is supporting Riehl in the campaign, and said it was important for them to get out into the community to find out what the people wanted.
"We want to get out and about on the waterfront," she said.
"It's the public's opportunity to talk to us and tell us what they want to see, so we want to make ourselves as accessible as possible."
Along with going out to markets at the Town Basin, the council is holding workshops where the public can use their creativity to express what they want out of the development plans.
Lawry said they will be more interactive. "Because the plans are spatial in nature, we are trying to get maps in front of people. We are going to get them to draw on maps and show us what they want to see."
The campaign has already seen a high level of engagement, with 50 online surveys collected within the first day of its launch last Wednesday.
An Instagram competition asking members of the public to take photos of what they love about the Town Basin and broader Hātea River area is planned for later this month, with Prezzy vouchers and Love It Here merchandise up for grabs.
The campaign will run up until December 16, when the feedback will be given to council to draft the plan for the precinct.
The council will seek further consultation on the plan in April and May of next year.
Upcoming campaign events:
November 26: 11am-12pm and 5pm - 6pm; Drop-in session, Whangārei Central Library
December 3: 10am - 12pm Public workshop, A'Fare Conference Centre, 197 Lower Dent St
December 10: 5pm - 7pm Public workshop, A'Fare Conference Centre, 197 Lower Dent St
December 12: 10am - 12pm Engagement session, Artisan Market, Town Basin.