Beach community plan for Waitārere

Back in the Hanuere (January) 2020 Newsletter we asked you to think about what you value about Waikawa Beach. Then we added a post about the Residents Survey 2008 that looked at some of the values held back then.

The Horowhenua District Council is working its way around communities to develop a plan for each:

Horowhenua is made up of many different neighbourhoods and communities, all of whom have their own unique identity and special characteristics from the Tararua Ranges to the sea.

We want to ensure we keep what’s special and support projects that are important to each community.

A Community Plan is the voice of that community and will highlight their goals and aspirations. It will outline what the community wants to preserve in their area and outline ways to enhance and develop other areas of importance.

Waitārere Beach developed a plan recently and the Council has adopted it: Waitarere Beach Community Plan (11 MB PDF).

They seem to have some pretty good values. Something for us to think about. Here’s the Press Release:

Media Release: 15 April 2020

Waitārere Beach Community Plan adopted

The settlement of Waitārere Beach is the first community in Horowhenua to have its community plan adopted.

Waiopehu Ward Councillor Christine Mitchell said the community helped drive the collaborative engagement process used to create the plan.

“It’s the first community plan off the ranks, and I’m pleased with the lengthy and thorough engagement process that was used to create it.”

The plan’s vision is that Waitārere Beach is a safe, friendly settlement that has a relaxed beach character and lifestyle with a diverse population who know each other.

The following values were adopted as part of the plan:

  • Kaitiakitanga: We are actively showing guardianship, care and protection for the Waitārere Beach environment
  • Whakawhanaungatanga: We are connected and able to build connections and relationships with each other to build a sense of belonging to Waitārere Beach and the community
  • Manaakitanga: We care for, support and value each other in order foster a sense of community at Waitārere Beach.

The plan’s priorities are:

  • Recognise the character and the sense of community that makes Waitārere Beach special
  • The beach, dunes and waterways
  • Outdoor recreation
  • Infrastructure that meets community needs.

Strategic Planner, Katrina Gray said the collaborative engagement process included discussions with the community, iwi, and students at Poroutawhao School. The Waitārere Beach Progressive and Ratepayers Association took an active role.

“We started this process with a blank slate and developed the community plan based on feedback from the community about what they like about the area, what’s important to protect, what they love doing in the area, areas for improvement and their long term vision.”

Earlier this year, Council took a draft plan back to the community for consideration – the plan was altered following feedback from the community and presented to the full Horowhenua District Council meeting on Wednesday 8 April.

Ms Gray said work has already started on planning for and implementing some of the projects highlighted in the plan. A copy of the plan can be found here.

Meanwhile, other community plans are currently being created in Ōhau, Manakau, Levin and Foxton Beach.

ENDS

For more information please contact comms@horowhenua.govt.nz

The Council aren’t looking at Waikawa Beach yet, but they will at some point. This is as good a time as any for us to consider what it is we value and what our vision for this community is. Perhaps the current Level 4 Alert shutdown has thrown what we value into stark relief.

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