Portraits of Our Place

Consultation has concluded

The Western Bay of Plenty is a special place to live. A place that’s rich in history, has a vibrant sense of purpose, and an exciting outlook for the future.

Recognising what’s special about our community and understanding what you, as residents, value is something we need talk about. As a Council your feedback is really important, with it we can better plan for our future.

…and that’s why we’re going on the road to find out exactly what’s important to you.

Check out the schedule on this site and visit the big blue school bus to input into “Portraits of our Place” community roadshow when it’s in your town. The old school bus and the smell of a free sausage will tell you you’re in the right place!

But you can also tell us what you think right here. Take a few moments to answer these simple questions which tell us what is important to you.

The Western Bay of Plenty is a special place to live. A place that’s rich in history, has a vibrant sense of purpose, and an exciting outlook for the future.

Recognising what’s special about our community and understanding what you, as residents, value is something we need talk about. As a Council your feedback is really important, with it we can better plan for our future.

…and that’s why we’re going on the road to find out exactly what’s important to you.

Check out the schedule on this site and visit the big blue school bus to input into “Portraits of our Place” community roadshow when it’s in your town. The old school bus and the smell of a free sausage will tell you you’re in the right place!

But you can also tell us what you think right here. Take a few moments to answer these simple questions which tell us what is important to you.

Consultation has concluded
  • What you told us about what matters - Portraits of our Place Roadshow

    over 5 years ago

    The five top priorities, in order of importance for residents are -

    • being able to afford to live here;
    • local employment opportunities;
    • looking after the environment;
    • having places to play and meet; and
    • making sure we look after what we have so that their children have a future in the District.

    Having access to the coast and knowing their neighbours was also very important as were having open spaces and feeling safe.

    "What residents wanted changed in their communities varied from community to community although common to most people were activities and jobs for young people...

    The five top priorities, in order of importance for residents are -

    • being able to afford to live here;
    • local employment opportunities;
    • looking after the environment;
    • having places to play and meet; and
    • making sure we look after what we have so that their children have a future in the District.

    Having access to the coast and knowing their neighbours was also very important as were having open spaces and feeling safe.

    "What residents wanted changed in their communities varied from community to community although common to most people were activities and jobs for young people and a focus on promoting towns as a local or tourist destination," says Ross.

    "We will take this feedback on board as it will be an important backdrop for our long term planning priorities. The people also told us they wanted to be more involved in the decisions we make."

    Twenty-three staff, 12 councillors and 10 community board members hit the road – travelling nearly 1000 kilometres and chatting with more than 1500 people.

    The aim of the 'Portraits of Our Place' road show was to get grassroots feedback from residents about their communities and the role they see Council playing in with their day-to-day lives.

    Six themes underpinned the road trip –

    • 'Community Heart';
    • 'Land Lovers';
    • 'Just Coasting';
    • 'Nature Nurture';
    • 'Kia kaha' and
    • 'Bountiful Bay' – values that are the essential character of the Western Bay.

    Residents filled out 533 questionnaires during the road trip and 3000 Portraits of our Place stickers were snapped up by kids and hundreds of the Portrait postcard sets were given away.

    This information will inform Council’s long term planning priorities as well as the ways in which Council engages with the community.  Meeting with locals was also a great start to having an ongoing conversation with communities on matters which are important to them. 

    Te Puke

    Te Puke residents want more job opportunities, more activities for their young people and better public transport.

    These were the key messages from residents in the Te Puke and the wider eastern District when talking with Western Bay of Plenty District Council councillors and staff on the recent Bedford bus road trip through the District.

    More employment opportunities for locals and school leavers and more activities for children and 15 to 24-year-olds were top of the list, while the call for better public transport from Te Puke to Rotorua and Tauranga were close second.

    Te Puke residents also asked Council to do more in promoting and making Te Puke more interesting and attractive to tourists.

    Katikati and Waihi Beach

    No trucks, cycle ways, more jobs and more activities for the young people are top priorities for Katikati and Waihi Beach residents.

    These were the key messages from residents when talking with Western Bay of Plenty District Council councillors and staff on the recent Bedford bus road trip through the District.

    A bypass to divert the heavy traffic from the town centre vied for a call for lower rates, more footpaths, more community events and more town promotion.

    Lower rates was top of the list in Omokoroa, in Te Puna residents were keen to see the intersection at Te Puna/Minden road made safer and in Waihi Beach a cycle way to Waihi was a common request.
  • Council's roadie gets to the heart of the Western Bay

    over 5 years ago

    Two weeks on the road talking with the people of the Western Bay has been a great experience learning about what Council can do to make the District an even better place, says Western Bay Mayor Ross Paterson.

    Western Bay of Plenty District Council councillors and staff took a brightly painted 1960s Bedford school bus around 17 destinations in the District during the last two weeks of July.

    Twenty-three staff, 12 councillors and 10 community board members hit the road – travelling nearly 1,000 kilometres and chatting with more than 1,500 people.

    The aim of the 'Portraits of Our Place'...

    Two weeks on the road talking with the people of the Western Bay has been a great experience learning about what Council can do to make the District an even better place, says Western Bay Mayor Ross Paterson.

    Western Bay of Plenty District Council councillors and staff took a brightly painted 1960s Bedford school bus around 17 destinations in the District during the last two weeks of July.

    Twenty-three staff, 12 councillors and 10 community board members hit the road – travelling nearly 1,000 kilometres and chatting with more than 1,500 people.

    The aim of the 'Portraits of Our Place' road show was to get grassroots feedback from residents on their communities and where they feel Council fits in with their day-to-day lives.

    Ross said this was a new venture and it had been successful in reaching out to people who normally would not encounter Council.

    "The overwhelming response from people was positive and 533 people filled out our questionnaires," said Ross.

    "I was thrilled to get out and have face-to-face conversations with people. It was a good way to get people to sit down and talk to us in a relaxed environment –personally it was a learning experience for me about what issues are really important to people.

    "What we have learned will feed into what Council will do for the District over the coming years. We also found out that people would like to be more involved in the decisions Council makes,'' said Ross.

    Six themes underpinned the road trip – 'Community Heart'; 'Land Lovers'; 'Just Coasting'; 'Nature Nurture'; 'Kia kaha' and 'Bountiful Bay' – values that are the essential character of the Western Bay.

    "While Western Bay residents are a forward-looking bunch and keen to embrace economic opportunities, our rural way of life and traditions remain dear to our hearts – and those sentiments certainly came out in conversations on the road trip,'' said Ross.

    Three thousand 'Portraits of our Place' stickers were given away to kids during the trip and hundreds of 'Portraits of our Place' post cards were given away.

    Council will continue selling postcard sets and a series of limited edition A2 prints featuring the six original illustrations depicting the roadie themes. These are available at Council libraries and service centres and serve to recover part of the project's costs.

    Western Bay of Plenty District Council

    'Portraits of our Place' community roadshow

    Monday 14 – Sunday 27 July 2014

    Facts and Stats

    • 17 locations from one end of the Western Bay to the other
    • 936 kilometres travelled
    • Well over 1,500 people coming to check out the bus and what the Council was up too
    • 533 questionnaires received
    • Three thousand 'Portraits of our Place' stickers given away to kids
    • Hundreds of 'Portraits of our Place' post cards given away
    • 50 kilos of sausages cooked
    • 24 loaves of bread cobbled
    • Many litres of tomato sauce consumed
    • 23 staff, 12 Councillors and 10 Community Board on the road and talking to customers over the period.