Strong community interest in the future of Forrester Heights

Published on 19 May 2022

Forrester Heights

Public feedback to Council on the future of the 2.5ha block of land known as Forrester Heights closed on Monday 16 May with over 900 submissions received. Over 80 groups or individuals have indicated they wish to speak at Council Hearings which are currently scheduled for 30 and 31 of May. More dates may be added.

The land is currently zoned residential and is classified as ‘Endowment’ land, given to the Council to generate funds for the benefit of the community. During the 6 week consultation period, the public was asked to give feedback on three proposed options:

  1. Make Forrester Heights a Reserve
  2. Sell some or all of the land
  3. Leave it as it is for now.

Council also sought feedback on how the money could be used to benefit the community if the land was sold. Options included repaying debt, putting the funds towards a new facility such as the Events Centre, and using it to create a new reserve somewhere else in Oamaru.

Waitaki District Council CEO, Alex Parmley said, “I would like to thank those who took the time to submit on the future of Forrester Heights. These responses will now form a vital piece of the consideration for Council in arriving at a final decision on the best use of this land for the community. The volume of submissions, supporting material and requests to speak at Council will all take time for Council officers and Elected Members to work through. At the same time, having such a large amount of submitters is a good problem to have, as it is good to see residents engaging in the work and decision making of the Council.” 

Mayor Gary Kircher said, “It is excellent to see so many submissions on the topic. I am sure that balancing the numerous conflicting view points will be difficult as we also need to take into account the interests and challenges for the wider Waitaki district. However I believe that Councillors are committed to making a decision on the land that they determine is the right one for the community. Regardless of whether that decision is in agreement or not with each individual submission, submitters can be assured that we have listened to all of the views expressed.”

Following the hearing of submissions Councillors will decide on what the next steps will be toward a final decision, including the intended timing for any further reports.

Supporting information for the consultation can be viewed at: