Long Term Plan consultation has started
This is the biggest event of each term in local government and this time around the Waikato Regional Council has 8 key proposals and a bunch of smaller items that we want to get your feedback on. Please click here to have your say between 1-30 April!
If you, like me, are particularly interested in climate action, biodiversity and inequality the best of the key items to provide feedback on are:
To be efficient, the Council is also seeking feedback on the Regional Pest Management Plan and the Coastal Plan, so please check those two topics out too in particular:
The website information is nice and brief, making a quick submission easy to do, but if you'd like more detail you can have a look at the official LTP consultation document and/or its supporting document counterpart (for getting deep in the detail):
There will be some face-to-face roadshows happening near you throughout April, as well as a few Facebook Live events on some of these topics, so follow WRC on social media if you want to get notifications of these.
If you need any help with your submission, or just want to give your opinion by emailing in to the Waikato Regional Council then send it to firstname.lastname@example.org
It's my first time being involved in the Long Term Plan process, so if you haven't done it before please give it a go - our staff have tried to make it nice and easy.
Te Huia passenger rail start-up
The official opening ceremony for the new passenger rail service Te Huia was held recently and I got to take a ride on it from the Rotokauri hub at the Base to Huntly (Rāhui Pōkeka) and back.
It was such a highlight - so smooth, so quiet, and such a social way to get around. I always knew rail made sense in theory but this day captured my heart and I recommend to anyone to take ride and see for yourself.
As part of the long term plan consultation we are asking whether you'd like more and/or better services such as this in future, and be sure to mention if you've used it yet in your submission.
Collaborating for climate action across the Waikato
It struck me early on during this first term in local government that there are lots of collaborative conversations happening between staff from various councils, but not so many between Councillors from various councils.
It takes a while to get to know who's who and who has an interest in what but last year I kicked off a very informal series of online Zoom-hui every few months for Waikato-based councillors to talk to each other on the topic of climate action.
We've shared ideas, learning and support, and hopefully that means that this really interested group of people can be as up to date with what each other's councils are up to as possible so we can all upskill ourselves and maybe even push new opportunities together. So far so good, and if it keeps adding value it may grow.
This is just a small attempt to support the work that the much more formal avenues for climate action in the region are well supported; including (but not limited to) avenues such as any relevant city/district council conversations, the Waikato Mayoral Forum, WRC committees, Waikato Plan Leaders Group and the Waikato Wellbeing Project.
If you want to learn more about climate action happening in New Zealand, I highly recommend these two Podcasts below. Send me your recommendations too please.
Coming up in April
Regional Transport Committee meeting on 12 April 2021 from 9.30am to 1pm in the WRC Chambers; the agenda includes updates from Waka Kōtahi and Kiwirail, and topics such as road safety, regional speed management, project updates, and the latest in regards to the submissions received on the Regional Land Transport Plan (hearings for this will be held on 16 and 19 April).
Waikato Raupatu River Trust and WRC Co-Governance (Joint Management) Committee meeting on 23 April from 10am to 1pm at WRC Chambers; I get to sit as a member on this committee alongside Cr Tipa Mahuta, Deputy Chair Kataraina Hodge, and Chair Russ Rimmington. Having attended a recent hui hosted by Waikato Tainui I am aware they're making good progress on their strategic aims and this meeting is a great chance to see post-settlement co-governance decision making in action.
Monthly Waikato Regional Council meeting on 29 April from 9.30am to 2pm where the latest big debates and decisions will get made. Check out the agenda a few days before using the link above to see if there's content that interests you.
Public Talk hosted by the University of Waikato In Action Comes Hope which is focussed on climate action possibilities and hosts a panel discussion that I've been invited to participate in on 15 April from 5.30-7pm.
This monthly insight has been put together to help anyone to:
learn more about local government relevant to Hamilton and the Waikato
stay up to date with climate action and other interesting topics
engage more with Waikato Regional Council and have their say at the right time
Thank you to everyone who has provided feedback on these monthly updates so far - they're evolving. As you can see, the format is now in web-browser style rather than a pdf. Keep up the great feedback and best wishes for the month ahead.
Remember to submit on the Long Term Plan, Pest Management Plan and Coastal Plan if you want to have your say!
Ngā mihi nui,