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Council Adopts Community Plans For Ōhau And Manakau

The south Horowhenua communities of Ōhau and Manakau now have formal community plans to guide their futures.

Horowhenua District Council adopted the two community plans at its November meeting.

Strategic Planner Lauren Baddock said community plans help Council to understand the needs, values, and aspirations of communities.

“They give the community a voice and encourage local people and groups to work together to achieve the community’s goals. Each plan identifies a vision, priorities, and actions for the community it relates to, as well as background information and a conceptual drawing of what the community could look like in the future,” she said.

Council has been working closely with each community since July 2019 to create the plans.

“We used a ‘bottom up’ approach based on feedback from the Ōhau and Manakau communities, gathered through community workshops, drop-in sessions, school visits, and surveys. We then went back to each community in August this year to check we were on track with the draft plans we produced.”

Approximately 80 people provided written feedback for the Ōhau Community Plan, around 30 people attended the drop-in session, and students in Years 1 to 8 attended the school engagement day. In Manakau, approximately 50 people provided written feedback, around 30 attended the drop-in session, and students in Years 5 to 8 participated in the school engagement day.

Key themes in community feedback on the draft Ōhau Community Plan included the desire to manage growth in a way that protects both the village and the wider rural area, desire for more recreational opportunities, and concerns about traffic safety and transport choices.

“These themes came through strongly from the Ōhau community throughout the development of their community plan, and they’re reflected in the three priority areas identified in the plan,” Ms Baddock said.

There were 14 pieces of feedback on the draft Manakau Community Plan, with improvements to the Manakau Domain featuring highly. The Manakau District Community Association, which manages the Domain, submitted a ‘Blueprint’ for its future development with the support of the Manakau United Football Club. The Blueprint covers improvements to access, car parking, lighting, fencing, and planting. It also outlines possible pitch improvements, the benefit of a new toilet block, and ways that the Domain could be developed as a community space. Council officers have recommended that Council consider the proposed Blueprint as part of the development of its Long Term Plan 2021-2041.

Following the adoption of the Ōhau and Manakau Community Plans, Council will continue working alongside the local community to implement identified projects, with $5,000 budgeted for each community to kick-start a community-led project.

The Ōhau and Manakau Community Plans can be viewed on Horowhenua District Council’s website at horowhenua.govt.nz/Community/Community-Plans

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