As I was clearing out some cupboards last weekend, I came across boxes of my election materials from as far back as 2004. One newspaper article that was fun to re-read asked candidates: "what would
you do with a windfall of $1 million?". I had replied that I would fast-track planned developments on Pohe Island.
Today, 17 years on from that election campaign, I look around Pohe Island and I'm excited by how far we've come. It may have taken slightly longer (I don't think we can call 17 years "fast tracking") however this is a fine example of what we can achieve with long term planning – and that leads us nicely into the topic of my column this week.
Whangārei District Council will soon be holding public meetings across our district to share and discuss the 2021-2031 Long Term Plan (LTP) Consultation Document, a blueprint for future development of our district. We would love you to join the conversation.
Public meetings will give you the chance to have your say on our future projects. We'll be focusing on the five areas that councillors identified as top priorities including transport, climate change, events facilities in our district, improvements to our central business district and rates.
These are all important topics, affecting every resident and visitor to our district. This is the perfect time for you to have your say on the shape of our LTP, so that in another 17 years (hopefully sooner) we have a district that reflects the changes we all wanted to see.
This consultation document presents the key issues of the 2021-2031 LTP, and we want to ensure our community has all the details about what we're consulting on. We then encourage everyone to submit feedback on the plan from March 3 to April 1, 2021.
We'll be talking about the Long Term Plan at public meetings around our district. I invite you to join us at any of the meetings below. It would be great to have as many attendees from across our community as possible, so feel free to invite others and bring along friends and whānau.
Schedule of meetings
Wednesday - February 24, St Peters Anglican Church, Waipū 7pm
Monday - March 1, Smeaton Drive Community Hall 6.30pm
Tuesday - March 2, Kamo Bowling Club 6.30pm
Wednesday - March 3, Ngunguru Hall 7pm
Thursday - March 4, Onerahi Community Hall 7pm
Monday - March 8, Oakura Hall 6.30pm
Tuesday - March 9, Ruakaka Rec Centre 7pm
Wednesday - March 10, Cafler Suite, Forum North 6.30pm
Thursday - March 11, Trinity Church Hall, Tikipunga 6.30pm
Tuesday - March 16, Ruatangata Public Hall 6.30pm
Wednesday - March 17, Hikurangi Memorial Hall 6.30pm
Thursday - March 18, Mangakahia Sports Complex 6pm
Friday - March 19, Parua Bay Community Centre Hall 7pm
Monday - March 22, Pataua Outdoor Education Centre 6.30pm.
Councillors and I will be attending as many of these meetings as we possibly can, so we hope to see you there!
• Sheryl Mai is mayor of Whangārei.
Read more about our LTP on our website: wdc.govt.nz/HaveYourSay