Waipā District Council encouraged community members to 'date' councillors at their most recent event all in efforts to stimulate robust discussion about the big issues facing the district over the next 10 years.
The speed dating with your local councillor event took place on Thursday last week at the Good Union in Cambridge and it was hosted by comedian Te Radar.
"I'll tell you what, if you haven't read the long term plan 2021 to 2031 you have really missed out on one of the great pieces of literature that the country has produced," says Te Radar.
"For those of you who are familiar with Auckland, I did some work on their long term plan which was just so vast, and so complicated, and so difficult to understand that it really drove people crazy.
"But reading this, it's a great little blueprint around questions on how you want to live in your part of the world."
The topics up for discussion included the Pirongia to Te Awamutu cycleway, an urban mobility network in Te Awamutu and Cambridge, Lake Te Koo Utu, Memorial Park, a new recourse recovery centre and what's not included in the long term plan.
The idea was that seven different tables were assigned a topic and one or two councillors, attendees would then get to choose which tables they wanted to go to for a discussion and they would have just five minutes there.
Councillors at the event included deputy mayor Liz Stolwyk, Cambridge ward councillors Roger Gordon, Philip Coles and Mike Pettit, Pirongia ward councillor Clare St Pierre and Te Awamutu ward councillor Marcus Gower.
A number of community board members and council staff also attended. Council's communications and engagement manager Charlotte Fitzpatrick says the event was a success.
"I think our speed dating event was very well received by the people who attended because it provided the chance for residents to have a discussion with councillors in a more informal environment," says Charlotte.
Council noticed a particular interest in the recourse recovery centre and Charlotte says many were enthusiastic about sharing their thoughts on the proposed options.
Council's preferred option is to have a purpose-built resource recovery centre that would allow residents to divert waste before it is sent to landfill, the idea comes off the fact that municipal landfill has increased by 48 per cent in the last decade.
The other options include remaining at the status quo with two privately owned transfer stations or working with private transfer stations to increase their on-site services.