Residents of Waitaki don't need a flux capacitor to change the district's future, they can have their say during the Long Term Plan public consultation and be a vital part of meaningful change.
One of this year's largest public consultations will be on the Long Term Plan. When finalised, Waitaki's Long Term Plan will set out Council's big-ticket spending priorities for the next ten years. The final plan will be arrived at only after taking into consideration the feedback given. In recognition that this is a return to being 'future focused' after what was a messy year focused mainly on COVID in 2020, the consultation is called 'Getting Back to the Future'.
In addition to giving us more general feedback to the proposed changes, the public will also be asked to provide answers to these questions:
Council's Strategic Direction. What do you think we should be doing to achieve our community outcomes and strategic priorities?
COVID-19 Recovery. What else can we do to support our community?
Climate Change. What should we be focusing on?
Waste management. What waste minimisation and education activities would you like to see Council doing?
Indoor Sports and Events Centre. Which option do you prefer?
Rates affordability. Should we look at smoothing the rates increases over two or three years?
It was expected that certain topics would interest people more than others, but a diverse range of opinions was hoped for. There is also room for further comment on issues the public would like to raise. Information on how to make a submission will included in the document which will also be available online.
To celebrate the launch, a DeLorean, the same model as the one used in the Back to the Future movies, will be parked outside Council HQ, Oamaru on Saturday April 10 from 12 noon to 1PM. The public are invited to come along, find out more about the consultation and have their photo taken with the car - dressed as their favourite character from the trilogy if they wish to - best costume will win a ride in the DeLorean. There will also be opportunity to win a ride via council's Facebook page.
Mayor for Waitaki Gary Kircher said he hoped the event would draw attention to the consultation and encourage more people to participate. "Back to the Future is about challenging times, and this is a very challenging time for local government. Costs are going up in a way that is out of kilter with normal inflation, as Councils are required to do more than they have done in the past. We have done a lot of work on keeping costs as reasonable as possible, but this extra workload and keeping average rates this current year to the same as they were in 2019 has just postponed the increase. Please take the time to give us your views on what you want to see happen."