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Creating A Connected, Vibrant, Safe And Thriving Eastside Community

There was cause for celebration today as Te Oranga Nui – Rāwhiti Mai: Eastside Community Wellness Plan was officially adopted by elected members.

Almost two years of collaboration between Council, Eastside hapū, Tatau Pounamu, the community and key contributors (Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency, Toi Moana Bay of Plenty Regional Council, Rotorua Airport, Ministry of Education, Ngāti Whakaue Tribal Lands Inc) has resulted in an aspirational plan to create a brighter future for Eastside mokopuna.

Click here to watch Rotorua Mayor Chadwick’s overview of today’s Full Council meeting.

The aim and vision of the Eastside Community Wellness Plan is a connected, vibrant, safe and thriving community that nurtures and nourishes both the people and the environment.

Hapū members representing Ngāti Te Roro o te Rangi, Ngāti Uenukukōpako, Ngāti Tuteniu, Ngāti Hurungaterangi and Ngāti Hinemihi, who are also champions of the Tatau Pounamu Collective, provided a hapū lens across the development of the Plan.

Representative of Ngāti Te Roro o te Rangi and Tatau Pounamu Collective Ralph Mosen, says that the most pleasing aspect of this two year process has been the new way of working with Council.

“It has been refreshing to interact with Council this way, and as a result, we’ve developed a comprehensive community wellness plan for Eastside that has the four underpinning values of Tatau Pounamu as the cornerstones – whakapapa, whanaungatanga, manaakitanga and wairuatanga.

“I can say that Hapū representatives and Tatau Pounamu champions look forward to continuing this new way of working with Council.”

The Plan provides a framework for decisions that will impact on those who live in Eastside such as new housing developments and recreational spaces, community safety, access to shops, employment and services, and environmental protection and sustainability.

Now that the Plan has been officially adopted, the implementation of key actions can begin. Some of those actions are either already underway, in planning or at concept stage. Some of the actions in the Plan include:

  • Shared paths to support connected and safe communities;
  • Establishing a multi-use community hub;
  • Creating a Community Safety Plan;
  • Improved transport links and safer access across Te Ngae Road;
  • Upgrading stormwater infrastructure and potential development of wetlands;
  • Use of Te Reo Māori for street names and signage.

There are also a number of environmental projects that Toi Moana Bay of Plenty Regional Council will be collaborating with Council and other agencies to achieve.

Toi Moana Bay of Plenty Regional Council Rotorua Catchments Manager Helen Creagh says “Regional Council looks forward to collaborating with the Eastside community and Rotorua Lakes Council on environmental restoration projects as the Plan enters its implementation phase”.

The approach to the development of the Plan has provided a template for how Council can achieve success with other place-based plans in Rotorua. Council’s 2021-2031 Long-Term Plan includes the potential for further locality planning in Westside, Ngongotahā and the Inner City.

Jocelyn Mikaere, Deputy Chief Executive for Community Wellbeing says the most significant thing about the development of the Plan is that it’s been community-led from the beginning.

“The partnership with Eastside hapū and Tatau Pounamu, and the input from key contributors and the community, has enabled us to understand the aspirations of the people of Eastside, and to have a collaborative and coordinated approach as we work together to implement the actions within the Plan.

“The individuals, groups, agencies and hapū should be proud of how this collaboration has come together to benefit Eastside. It has been a tremendous amount of work and it’s a real credit to the strength of the community and to everyone who has been involved.

“There is still long way to go and Council is committed to working alongside our partners, key contributors and the community as those aspirations come to fruition.”

Waka Kotahi Director Regional Relationships David Speirs says working together on the plan reinforced the partnership between Council, Eastside hapū, the community and Waka Kotahi.

“Joined-up planning is critical for future development. We’re excited to see these plans for the Eastern Rotorua community and how Waka Kotahi can contribute to providing better and safer travel choices.”

Find more information about Te Oranga Nui – Rāwhiti Mai: Eastside Community Wellness Plan at www.rotorualakescouncil.nz/eastsideplan

Click HERE to Listen and watch the Te Oranga Nui – Rāwhiti Mai: Eastside Community Wellness Plan presentation to the Strategy, Policy & Finance Committee from 8 July 2021 (footage at 14.45m - 1.03m).

Council will be sharing updates and opportunities to contribute as the Plan’s actions are implemented over time. For Eastside residents, keep an eye out for updates in the Inside Eastside newsletter.

Information about the Plan’s progress will also be shared online at www.rotorualakescouncil.nz, and on Council’s Facebook and Instagram pages.

Background

The aim of the Eastside Community Wellness Plan is to create a framework for the future development and growth within Eastside Rotorua. It is a commitment from multiple parties to ensure that Eastside Rotorua is connected and will be a thriving community for future mokopuna.

A key element of the development and delivery of the actions within the Plan is the role of community and its partnership with Council. The creation of the Plan has been community-led to ensure the aspirations, actions and outcomes genuinely reflect that of the people of Eastside.

The journey to creating the Eastside Community Wellness Plan began in 2019 with the formation of the partnership between Eastside hapū, Tatau Pounamu Collective and Rotorua Lakes Council.

Council and its partners along with a number of key contributors, worked together to develop a Draft Plan that reflected the future aspirations, thinking and planning for Eastside. The contributors include Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency, Toi Moana Bay of Plenty Regional Council, Rotorua Airport, Ministry of Education, Ngāti Whakaue Tribal Lands Inc and Eastside residents).

The Draft Plan was approved for public consultation in September 2020. The Plan included four specific objectives and five Key Moves that would help achieve the Plan’s objectives over time. Council along with its partners spent a number of months engaging with the wider Eastside community with the aim of gaining a diverse and wide range of voices that represent Eastside. During that period, various activities took place to help connect the Eastside community, make them aware of the Plan and gain their feedback. These activities included mail drops, newsletter articles, social media content on various community pages, public workshops, hui with representative groups and cross kura workshops with Eastside students.

The community feedback helped shape the final Plan which was approved by the Full Council on 29 July 2021.

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