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Mayor’s Column 14 March 2014

14 March 2014

Mayor’s Column

Fundamental to a successful, long-term relationship is consistent, two-way communication between all stakeholders.

This certainly applies to the relationships Council maintains with numerous partners across the district – from elected members, Community Committees and Boards, to individual residents and ratepayers. Engagement and communication are key.

Over the last four years, Council’s relationship with Waikato –Tainui has been guided by our Joint Management Agreement (JMA).

This agreement has been a catalyst for a closer working relationship between the two parties to improve the health and well-being of the Waikato River. It is also having a strong flow on effect in terms of Council’s relationship with the wider Waikato – Tainui community, including hapuu, iwi environmental groups and the office of the Maaori King.

At Council, we’re more aware of our obligation to liaise with iwi early on in any resource concerns, monitoring or planning matters that may impact the river. At a governance level, we meet regularly, both formally and informally, to check our progress on river initiatives and other issues needing discussion.

Regardless of the level of engagement the common theme is consistent, open communication with all stakeholders contributing to the final outcome.

We’re using this relationship as a template to engage with and develop partnerships with members of the community.
For example, we recently shared the proposed Psychoactive Substances Policy with you and asked for feedback on how it might work in your community. We’re extremely pleased with the number of submissions received as it reinforces how passionate you are about the future of your communities. We’ll keep you posted.

Another example of this passion is the response received to date on the Speed Limit Bylaw Review and proposed speed limit changes in your area. We’re in the final days of the submission process but again, you’ve indicated a willingness to engage on issues which are important to you, and your community.

Our objective now is to further develop that engagement.

Over the coming months, we’ll visit your community to share the Draft 2014-2015 Annual Plan, the Tuakau Structure Plan and other key projects. This is your opportunity to meet the people involved in the planning and delivery of our programmes, and learn more about how you can be part of your area and the district’s ongoing development. The first of these is a “Planning Tuakau’s Future” public information day at the Tuakau Town Hall from 2 – 7pm on Thursday 27 March.

To find out when we’ll be in your community visit our website www.waikatodistrict.govt.nz, or you can call our freephone number 0800 492 452.

But for now, I’m looking forward to attending the Annual Turangawaewae Regatta this weekend in Ngaruawahia where we’ll acknowledge the 4th anniversary of the JMA signing and take advantage of an opportunity to engage with our community at grassroots level. I hope you’ll make time to join me there.

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