Exciting times but with challenges ahead for Ruapehu
Ruapehu Mayor Don Cameron said that the next few years will be very exciting for Ruapehu with some major changes and challenges ahead.
“Over the past few years Council has made good progress along our journey of helping to provide greater opportunities and a better quality of life for the people of Ruapehu,” said Mayor Cameron.
“The focus for 2019 is on maintaining and building on this momentum.
Last year we refreshed our major planning documents including for Waste Management and Minimisation with a new Zero Waste 2040 vision, Economic Development and the Long Term Plan (LTP) 2018-28 and associated Asset Management Plans (AMPs).
These plans set out Ruapehu’s development agenda in a number of critical areas that Council is now working to implement.
One of our major challenges is preparing for climate change.
While the new LTP and AMPs take climate change impacts into account we are planning further research into mitigation strategies.
We believe that one of the best ways to develop community resilience is to continue building a strong, viable, diversified economic base and social connections.”
Mayor Cameron noted that one of the exciting things about Ruapehu’s progress is that other major stakeholders including iwi and business are playing a key part including in helping to address and solve some of the challenges we are facing.
“Our iwi have been stepping forward providing positive leadership while boosting their ability to help both their own people and wider community while our business sector have formed a Business Council to provide both a voice for the sector and help with any issues.
Although many people are benefiting from economic development Council has not lost sight of the fact that there are some in our community who are struggling.
We are already seeing growing pressures in areas such as housing and do not want to see a situation where the workers supporting our economy are priced out of the market for either rentals or to buy their own home.
Likewise Council is being required by government to deliver to higher mandatory standards notably in water which will see a higher cost for these services which we know many of our communities will struggle to afford.
While on our own Council has a very limited ability to address these issues we are committed to working with government, iwi, the business sector and our communities to help identify where and why people are struggling and work as an advocate on their behalf.