Recognising Waimakariri’s Community Contribution to the Recovery Plan

As Waimakariri District Council gets underway with the implementation of the Recovery Plan’s top priorities, roads and infrastructure in the Kaiapoi East and South regeneration areas, it received news of national awards acknowledging the planning and community participation involved with developing the draft Waimakariri Red Zone Recovery Plan.

NZPI Award GroupThe awards by the New Zealand Planning Institute (NZPI) and the New Zealand Society of Local Government Managers (SOLGM) include; the Nancy Northcroft Award, which is the NZPI’s supreme award, as well as the award for Best Practice Strategic Planning and Guidance, and SOLGM’s prestigious McGredy Winder SOLGM Local Government Excellence ® Supreme Award Winner, while also claiming the award for Innovation in Council Community Relations.

Along with Council’s planning approach to developing the draft Recovery plan, these awards are recognition of the Waimakariri community who contributed their ideas and feedback during the Council’s consultation phases for the Recovery Plan during 2015 and 2016. Community involvement ranged from primary school children through to the elderly, residents from within Kaiapoi, The Pines Beach, Kairaki and surrounding areas had their say, as did central Government, infrastructure providers, Ngai Tahu and Ngai Tūāhuriri.

Jim Palmer, chief executive, Waimakariri District Council, states, “We realised the community were quite over the amount of meetings and consultation Council had undertaken since the September 2010 earthquakes, and many local residents just wanted to see things happening on the ground. We took an innovative approach to show the proposed land uses in the five regeneration areas as interactive 3D models, and video flyovers and this really encouraged people to participate with their feedback and ideas. For Council this helped immensely with ensuring the proposed land uses reflected the community's needs and aspirations for the regeneration areas."

With the ultimate aim of making these spaces attractive, enjoyable and exciting places to live, work and visit, the implementation of the Recovery Plan will continue to seek an active involvement from the community. Soon to be released are the designs for the roads in and near the Kaiapoi East and the Kaiapoi South regeneration areas, and Council will be seeking community feedback on these roading designs in May 2017.