With a little over a week to go until the consultation closes on Whanganui District Council's draft Long-Term Plan 2021-2031, mayor Hamish McDouall says he is pleased with the public response so far.
"We've had an excellent response to our engagement events and we're getting good numbers of submissions," McDouall said.
"As we should in a democracy, we look to the wisdom in our community to help us with important decisions. Getting out and about and hearing from people during a consultation can be one of the more rewarding aspects of public life."
The council's general corporate manager, Stephanie Macdonald-Rose, said the four key areas of proposed cost for the council had been highlighted in the long-term plan consultation document and these have provided focal points for public engagement.
The council has held a public meeting on proposals for the Whanganui Velodrome, set up an engagement space at the Trafalgar Square shopping centre and had an information stand at the Davis Library to create awareness about a proposed extension for the library.
"A full day was spent at the Extravaganza Fair at Kowhai Park on Saturday," Macdonald-Rose said.
"Our youth committee members were a real asset there, discussing the long-term plan and, in particular, a proposal to invest in youth places and spaces.
"They did a fantastic job of getting people to make submissions on the day. We received at least 45 submissions at the Extravaganza Fair, which people were able to do on the spot on a tablet or on paper. We also directed a number of people to the website so they could complete the form online in their own time."
On Saturday, April 24, the council will have a stall at the Whanganui River Markets on Taupo Quay, focusing on a long-term plan proposal to develop and implement a coastal plan.
As well as the formal consultation events, several elected members have held their own events to share information and encourage community feedback on the long-term plan.
McDouall said there was still time to get submissions in.
"While some people will want to make more comprehensive submissions, it is possible to fill out the submission form in just a few minutes – so I encourage people to get involved and have their say," he said.
"More than anything it's about our priorities for the next 10 years and, significantly, how much public money we're committing to the key issues highlighted in our draft. We really want to know where people stand on this."
Public consultation on Whanganui District Council's Long-Term Plan 2021-2031 closes at 5pm on Friday, April 30, 2021.
All information, including the consultation document, the events schedule, an online submission form and supporting documentation is available on the Whanganui District Council website: www.whanganui.govt.nz/long-term-plan