Buller District Council will hit the road over the next five weeks to ask community members what they want their district to look like in the coming 10-years.
The road trip is the first stage in a series of ongoing conversations that will lead to the creation and adoption of Buller’s next 10-year plan in June 2024, says Mayor, Jamie Cleine.
“The 10-year plan is reviewed every three years, and input from the wider Buller community is super important in helping council decide where money should go and which projects and priorities to focus on in the next 10 years,” the Mayor said.
“What is different this year to previous years is that we are engaging early with our community, with the focus on gathering the community’s input right at the start, before we even start drafting the plan. The intention is to get it right in the first place and go out for consultation in 2024 with a plan that has the community’s aspirations at its heart.
“It’s important that locals have their say, so council knows what the community wants their district to look like in the coming years.”
The Mayor said Council was facing many challenges locally, but also at national and global levels, and these have an impact on how the 10-year plan will be formulated.
Key external factors to consider for council are population decline hitting Buller, low socio-economic prosperity, water reform uncertainty, climate change and the risk of future natural events, the cost of living crisis, a subdued economic outlook, legislative uncertainty and inconsistent access to telecommunications technology in Buller.
“Focusing on various priorities, thinking about our long-term vision, considering what is happening around us, and aligning these concepts is a balancing act. Our community can help with this by giving us their feedback,” said Mayor Cleine.
“The district’s infrastructure requires some major investment and any significant spending that cannot be funded through external government funding would most likely require rates increases since council’s main income source is through general rates.
“The plan incorporates our Infrastructure strategy and we do have to make some and tough calls deciding where we invest our money first.
“That’s why it is so important that we receive the community’s input. This will enable staff and councillors to make well-informed decisions which ensure financial sustainability and meet the needs of our district.”