Matamata town centre is set to receive a revamp and Matamata-Piako District Council is on the hunt for community input on possible initiatives.
Until March, a dedicated council team is going out and about asking the local community what changes they would like to see in town to make it a place they want to spend more time in.
The so-called Pride of Place project will also focus on Morrinsville and Te Aroha in the next two years and is part of the district's long-term plan. It received strong community support when the council discussed a possible revitalisation of the three town centres in 2020, so they decided to prioritise this project.
Communications manager Jenny Cochrane says the council's main focus in this was community involvement. "I'm so excited about it, it's such a cool project ... We [want] to make sure it is driven by and reflects the community."
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As part of the engagement process, it has already consulted some local groups like the RSA and Transition Matamata, but continues to hear feedback from residents and other organisations.
So far, the feedback was focused mainly on making Matamata more family and bike friendly through playgrounds.
One submission says: "Matamata could benefit from a ... well-planned urban green space that acts as a central community hub." Another one says: "Events, events, events ... that's what makes a town or city come to life!"
Cochrane says it was not so much about lengthy and expensive projects. "It is about how the community can get involved and deliver quick, effective initiatives."
Based on the feedback, the council will develop an action plan set to be presented to the community by June 30. "We hope to get some initiatives off the ground this year," Cochrane says.
As part of the long-term plan, this project was allocated $266,500 each year for a period of three years. Additionally, there is a total of $4.1 million in capital funding available. This budget will be split across Matamata, Morrinsville and Te Aroha.
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