Thursday, July 18, 2024

Wellington’s 30-year plans to improve community spaces

Wellington Mayor, Tory Whanau and the city’s councillors have agreed to adopt Te Whai Oranga Pōneke, the Open Space and Recreation Strategy, and to commence consultation on Te Awe Māpara, the Community Facilities Plan.

Both were approved at Wellington City Council’s Kōrau Mātinitini Social, Cultural and Economic Committee meeting last week.

The plans outline significant goals over the next 30 years to make Wellington’s community facilities, open spaces and recreation opportunities more welcoming, accessible and indigenised.

Committee Chair Councillor, Teri O’Neill says, “It is an exciting time ahead in this space for Wellington as we focus on the people and the places where they like to connect, relax and recreate. Te Whai Oranga Pōneke and Te Awe Māpara are interconnected but have different roles to play.

“For Te Whai Oranga Pōneke people have overwhelmingly told us they support the direction set in the strategy. They have told us that green open spaces and recreational places are crucial to mental and physical health and feeling connected to nature and one another.

“For Te Awe Māpara we had an overwhelming response to the surveys in November 2022 asking Wellingtonians what was important to them about community facilities and what they would like to see more of in the future. We expect to see similar levels of engagement with submissions this time round,” Cr O’Neill says.

Te Whai Oranga Pōneke Open Space and Recreation Plan

The Open Space and Recreation Strategy is the overarching strategy for open space and recreation. Its five strategic focuses aim to ensure Wellington’s public open spaces and recreational opportunities:

  • are integrated, in that they will be woven into everyday life, ensuring we do density well.
  • are inclusive, equitable and welcoming of everyone. 
  • support the regenerating and resiliency of a nature-full city. Parks will play an essential role in our climate adaptation as they act like sponges and absorb excess rainwater.
  • are reindigenising and reflect mātauranga Māori. 
  • support a diverse range of changing recreational trends and interests across Wellington.

Te Whai Oranga means ‘in the pursuit of wellness’ and embodies the core function of open space and recreation: To support the wellness of people to live and play, and the intrinsically connected health of our environment. View the final strategy here.

Te Awe Māpara Community Facilities Plan

The purpose of the Community Facilities Plan is to guide the Council’s provision and decision-making about community facilities for the next 30 years. The mission of the Plan is for Wellington to have thriving and accessible community facilities where people connect, have fun and belong.

There are 275 facilities included in the draft Plan – from community centres and halls, libraries, pools, recreation facilities, public toilets and city housing community spaces, to land and buildings leased to various community groups. The actions in the Plan will inform the Council’s investment decisions in the 2024 Long-Term Plan and ongoing asset management planning.

Mayor Whanau says Wellington’s community facilities are special and contribute a lot to how we keep connected and stay healthy.

“We shouldn’t take these spaces for granted and should think about how we best manage and utilise them in the future, and how they can continue to improve our quality of life,” she said.

“I’m proud of the work the Council is doing in this space and will look forward to the benefits being felt by everyone as the input and plans come together over the next 10 years.”

Visit Kōrero Mai | Let’s Talk page to read the draft Plan. Consultation will run until Monday 7 August. Submissions will then be considered, and the final plan completed in October.

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