Plan for next 20 years gets green light
Council adopted the 2015 Long Term Plan (LTP) today after a new, simplified process of community consultation that Mayor Ross Church says proved extremely effective.
“We are very confident our community has been heard and that the vision outlined in this document belongs to the people of Kāpiti,” said Mayor Church.
The LTP is reviewed every three years but this time to make it easier for people to get involved council produced an easy-to read-summary document Future Kāpiti, which was distributed throughout the community.
“Planning documents can be dense and detailed and apt to induce sleep but Future Kāpiti is concise and visually appealing. It clearly sets out key initiatives and planned projects and included a form to make it easy for people to make a submission.”
The long term plan balances development opportunities with a modest average rates increase of 4.2% for 2015/16 and an average 3.3% over the next 20 years.
Mayor Ross Church says democracy through participation has been a theme of the process from start to finish.
“We started with a community reference group of people from a wide cross section of residents, who helped us develop the council outcomes which will make Kāpiti a vibrant, diverse and thriving district. This valuable feedback also guided our communications and engagement planning.
“We have worked closely with Te Whakaminenga ō Kāpiti, our long lasting partnership with tangata whenua, throughout the process.
“During consultation we also engaged with many local people through open days, displays and drop-in sessions held throughout the district and also through our Facebook and website pages.”
The plan, which sets the direction of Kāpiti for the next 20 years, focussing on the next three, includes four key initiatives:
- transforming Paraparaumu and Waikanae town centres
- rebuilding Te Ātiawa Park courts,
- future proofing Ōtaki pool and building a splash pad next to the pool
- investing in the Kāpiti College Performing Arts Centre (development of a community events facility will be revisited as part of the next long term plan).
Major projects to be undertaken during the term of the plan are:
- constructing the Paekākāriki sea wall,
- redeveloping the Raumati pool building
- upgrading Mahara Gallery, subject to successful fundraising, and Waikanae Library,
- planning and starting work on developing Otaraua park
- creating a youth development centre
- assessing earthquake-prone buildings.
New fees and charges, changes to the rating system and a policy for revenue and financing were also adopted, along with a strategy for managing and growing the infrastructure and a policy to guide contributions made by developers.
Chief Executive Pat Dougherty says council is well placed to deliver the key initiatives, major projects and other elements of the plan.
“We are one of New Zealand’s lowest-spending councils per ratepayer but because we rely principally on rates to fund our services, we need to modestly increase rates for 2015/16 to maintain those services.
“We’ll continue focusing on developing our local economy, lifting council’s performance to consistently deliver quality day-to-day services to our customers.
“As we have demonstrated with our long term plan development, we are finding more effective ways to involve our community in decision making. From the setting up of a community reference group to the production of plain English documents, we are making it easier for people to get involved.
Council will be contacting individual submitters to thank them for their input and to provide responses to matters raised. We will be publishing a shorter, easy-to-read summary of the Plan by the end of July.
The website will be updated with all new fees and charges by 1 July.