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Community gives the thumbs up for direction of Rotorua

News Release

Thursday 19 December 2013

Community gives the thumbs up for direction of Rotorua

A programme of community engagement on Rotorua District Council’s draft vision for Rotorua 2030 has confirmed that the direction being taken is on the right track.

The council has spent the past two weeks working out in the community at various public events and pop-up sites around the city, as well as running an online survey, to gauge the community’s feedback on the draft vision, with quality results.

Rotorua 2030 sets out seven major long-term goals, along with four key priorities for the council and community to achieve together by 2016, the end of the three-year current council term.

Feedback from the survey and pop-up sites is currently being analysed and will take some weeks over the Christmas and New Year period. But Mayor Steve Chadwick says the general consensus is that people are in agreement about the council’s proposed direction.

“Feedback from the community has highlighted that Rotorua residents are generally in agreement about the goals and priorities, and the direction our council is taking. The comments we’ve received have been fantastic, so a big thanks to all those who took the time to share their views with us.

“This process has been an important one, not only for Rotorua residents to have their say on the city’s future, but for us as a council team to develop two-way lines of communication and to better understand what’s happening in our communities.

“Working in this way is very important for us and genuine community engagement will be one of the hallmarks of the current council as we firmly believe it’s the best way to help move our district forward.”

Preliminary feedback has highlighted that many people have been concerned about the lack of growth in the key areas identified in the vision, that they do not want to see property prices rise further and they want the need to create quality job opportunities addressed.

Free inner city parking was commented on as being an important way to help revitalise the inner city, as were calls for council to help with earthquake-proofing many central city buildings as another way to encourage business back into the city.

There was also comment on the need for easier, safer biking options within and around the city, and the importance of retaining City Focus as a focal point for community activity.

Mrs Chadwick says feedback from councillors has highlighted people’s appreciation of the opportunity to comment and have their voice heard, with many elected members saying they enjoy being in touch with their community. The importance of gaining quality feedback rather than quantity was also highlighted, with people seemingly more inclined to chat in relaxed settings such as the Night Market or a café.

As part of the feedback analysis process, the council will be looking at what worked well with the community engagement process and what didn’t, so improvements can continue to be made for the future.


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