We’ve heard what you love about Your Place Tō wāhi
Transport, the natural environment, and housing are the three key priorities the Western Bay needs to keep in mind when planning for growth.
Western Bay of Plenty District Council has compiled the results of it’s ‘Your Place Tō wāhi’ community kōrero where we asked locals what they wanted us to prioritise when it comes to thinking about our future.
The kōrero, featuring online quickfire questions and kanohi ki te kanohi (face to face) conversation, had our community share their thoughts on topics including climate change, transport, businesses, and shared spaces.
Council Environmental Planning Manager Natalie Rutland says more than 1100 residents took part, providing Council with plenty of food for thought.
“A big thank you to everyone that took the time to share their thoughts. To connect with over 1000 people at the first step in the process is a fantastic sign that people are passionate about our District and want to work with us to get it right.
“Your feedback will help set our priorities as we embark on a new journey to plan for change and growth.”
Key feedback findings include:
Around three quarters of respondents believe we need to make improvements to our transport routes. We hear this, and we will need to ensure that transport routes are well planned for future growth.
Natural environment was identified as the top priority as we plan for growth. And while most respondents felt we’re doing enough to protect native plants and animals, they also said the biggest risk perceived to our natural environment is how we use and change the land. Clearly there’s a lot to explore in these topics and we’ll be looking to have a more detailed kōrero with you.
Most respondents told us they believe there are enough housing subdivision options in rural areas. But, more than half of respondents also feel as if the subdivisions happening now are not being well managed. Two-thirds of respondents also think we are not building and developing in the right places. So there’s much more to uncover here too.
“We also heard that the top three types of housing people would like to see more of are rentals, stand-alone homes, and one or two-bedroom properties,” explains Natalie.
“And in terms of making room for more homes, an important feature for everyone is being able to build upwards as opposed to just out. The new medium density rules we introduced in August of this year, driven by central government, make this possible in Te Puke and Ōmokoroa. But based on your feedback, we’ll be thinking of ideas for other areas too, to utilise the space we have.”
Natalie says other themes that emerged from community feedback are that two-thirds of respondents believe Council should be doing more to reduce emissions, 92 percent of people think we should be doing more to encourage sustainable living, and around two-thirds of respondents think businesses are operating in the right places and are grouped logically.
“We’re really grateful to all of our survey respondents for sharing their thoughts. We have a lot of information to work with and now it’s important we take time to analyse the trends and understand what’s happening and where.
“In early 2023, we’ll be coming back to you to start an in-depth conversation about local issues and what you’re experiencing in your place. We want to continue this meaningful kōrero, and get to the heart of local issues.”
A link to the summary of feedback, and more information about the survey results can be found at yourplace.westernbay.govt.nz
About Your Place / Tō Wāhi
Council’s District Plan sets out rules and areas in our District where we’d expect to see certain activities, events and development to occur. Like how close to the boundary you can build or extend your house, garage or other buildings. Or whether you can operate a business from your home.
Over the next couple of years Council is reviewing the nine topics covered by the District Plan. The feedback you share with us now and throughout the process will help to guide any future changes. All you need to know about this project, how to get involved and how to stay connected can be found at yourplace.westernbay.govt.nz