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During 2020 and 2021, we prepared our Long Term Plan for 2021-31, and we asked you what you thought about our plan through the Alice in Our Place Nā Alice i tā mātou rohe consultation document during March and April 2021.
On 23 June 2021, we adopted our Long Term Plan. It’s our key planning document that outlines our work programme and strategic direction for the 2021 to 2031 ten year period. This came into effect on 1 July 2021.
During the feedback period we received some great suggestions and comments, which really helped with our decision-making. After listening to everyone’s thoughts and ideas, we made some key decisions. For a summary of these decisions, check out the video below, or continue reading for more information.
We proposed to update Seddon Street in Waihi, between Gilmour Street and Rosemont Road, and along Rosemont Road to Kenny Street, for a total of $2.7 million. In our public feedback process, 46% of people said they wanted the project to go ahead, while 54% thought Waihi was fine as it is. We also heard a number of other suggestions for improvements to the Waihi town centre that people suggested could be done without completing a full streetscape project. As a result of this feedback, we reduced our originally proposed budget for the streetscape to $200,000 in 2021/22 for planning and consultation, and $1 million in 2022/23 to complete the physical work. We’ll be considering the distinct projects we can do to improve the Waihi town centre, such as repairing uneven footpaths, without carrying out a full streetscape.
We proposed to finish off Mackay Street in Paeroa, and add some additional budget to complete Wharf Street, including some beautification. We had $650,000 of funding remaining from previous years to finish Mackay Street, and do some work on Wharf Street. We received many suggestions for improvements in the public feedback process, and some concerns about parking and traffic, which we took into consideration. We chose to add $500,000 in 2021/22 to get the project completed, for a total budget of $1.15 million. The planned improvements will be consulted with relevant stakeholders, including residents and business operators on Wharf Street.
We asked for feedback on a proposed scenic route into Waihi for the Hauraki Rail Trail, from the Goldfields Railway station along the Ōhinemuri River. The existing trail follows Wrigley Street and Parry Palm Avenue into Waihi CBD. We already have plans to improve this existing route for safety, dependent on some decisions from Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency.
During the public feedback process, 72% of respondents wanted us to build a new scenic route along the river, while 28% wanted us to do nothing. After considering the feedback, we have decided to develop a second, more scenic route into Waihi. We think this will link nicely to the rest of the Hauraki Rail Trail along the Ōhinemuri River and provide visitors with a picturesque ride into Waihi. In the future, this scenic route could link to the Waihi to Waihi Beach trail, if the Western Bay of Plenty District Council progresses the trail to Waihi Beach. We’ve included $1.47 million in our budget to do this project in 2021/22, paid for by the Waihi Ward ratepayers. As part of this project, we will need to determine a more exact route, and consult with relevant parties.
We asked for feedback on the future of visitor information services (or information centres). In our 2018-28 long term plan we had provided funding to organisations to deliver information services in Waihi ($85,000 per annum) and in Paeroa ($59,000 per annum). A business in Ngatea provides information and supports visitors to the area, but is not funded by the Council for this. During the feedback period, 45% of respondents supported our preferred option of providing funding for all wards, and 21% preferred we stick with the existing funding. 19% of respondents wanted kiosks in each ward, 9% asked that we develop an information network, and 7% thought we shouldn’t fund visitor information services at all. After considering feedback, we decided to change the funding levels for visitor information services to $65,000 per year each for Paeroa and Waihi, and to $20,000 per year for the Plains. We will also carry out a review of visitor information services at the end of 2021/22.
We proposed to hire a district-wide coordinator to help coordinate events and support community groups and organisations to put on events. After considering the feedback, we’ve decided to go ahead with this idea and will look to employ someone this year. We’ll also provide funding of $12,000 per year each for Positive Paeroa, GO Waihi and Positively Promoting the Plains.
Thanks for providing your feedback on our plans for 2021-31. We read and listened to all feedback at a hearing in May 2021, and then made decisions on our final plan. You can view our completed long term plan document on this page.
If you requested to be notified of the decisions about your feedback, keep an eye on your inbox or mailbox – we will be notifying you individually of the outcome of your feedback in July 2021.