What you told us about what matters - Portraits of our Place Roadshow

02 Sep 2014

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.
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