Consultation offers revealing insights

Commission News & Views
with Commission Chair
Anne Tolley

The responses to the recently-completed community consultation on Tauranga City Council’s 2022/2023 Annual Plan and 2121-2031 Long-Term Plan amendment offer some revealing insights.

Many people went out of their way to provide comments and suggestions on the options presented in the council’s consultation document, which is great because it shows there has been real thought put into the ideas expressed.

One younger resident even went to the trouble of surveying her contemporaries about what they’d like to see in the city centre and then presenting a summary of their feedback via a video poem. What a refreshing change to listen to that – and so many good ideas for us and other stakeholders in the CBD to think about.

The whole point of the consultation process is to create an opportunity for conversations, so we can explore and flesh-out ideas about what the community would like to see happening in their city.

A key question in the LTP amendment featured the implementation of the Te Manawataki o Te Papa masterplan for the Civic Precinct. Essentially, there were two choices – go with the central library option already approved through last year’s LTP, plus a civic whare (a council and community meeting space) and associated landscaping; or implement the full masterplan as a single-phase, staged development (library, museum, civic whare, exhibition and events space and waterfront redevelopment linked to the civic precinct through Masonic Park).

Most – 72 per cent, or about 450 – of those responding favoured the full masterplan approach, subject to the funding caveats set out in the consultation document. (Note, this applies specifically to form submissions.)

Disappointingly, there were also around 420 automatically-generated form submissions expressing a number of purely negative political views and rejecting both civic precinct options. This approach added nothing to the conversation and appeared to be simply an attempt to make the consultation process a ‘numbers game’.

Thank you everyone who did go to the trouble of making a personal submission. Your commitment to Tauranga is appreciated.




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