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Community invited to join the conversation to shape Buller's next 10-year plan

06 Oct 2023

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 - for you, your mates, kids or whānau.    

Listening to community’s voices and gathering their ideas, aspirations and priorities until 12 November 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.   

Buller’s next 10-year plan, or 2024-2034 Long-Term Plan, outlines council's goals and aims for the coming 10-years and how council plans to pay for these. It also sets out the big-picture thinking towards the vision and general direction for our district moving forward. It gives the reasons behind what council does, includes the actions council commits to, tells you how much that will cost and how it can be paid for.    

Mayor Jamie Cleine says: “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.” 

“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.” 

To achieve this, council wants to have a lot of meaningful conversations and work across organisations, stakeholders, and communities over the coming five weeks. 

“It’s important that locals have their say, so council knows what the community wants their district to look like in the coming years.” 

Council is facing many challenges locally, but also at national and global levels, and these have an impact on how the 10-year plan is 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. 

Mr Cleine says: “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.”  

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.” 

Mr Cleine says: “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.” 

You can have your say right now by filling out an online feedback form or grabbing a paper copy from council’s offices and libraries in Westport and Reefton, or at the service and resource centres across the district from Monday 9 October onwards.  

Mr Cleine says: “This plan is about Buller. It is your thoughts, your plan and your community's future. Therefore, we want to meet you, listen and have a conversation to make Buller better for your children, mokopuna, mates, and whānau.  

This is a pretty amazing opportunity, and we have made it very simple to engage with by offering plenty of different ways, it is quick, easy and even fun, staff and councillors are going out into the community, rather than the community coming to us and most importantly we have cut out the jargon. No huge documents to read, no big words, everyone can understand it.” 

There are plenty of ways how you can join the conversation over the coming five weeks:  

  • Tell us what you want Buller to look like in the coming 10-years for your children, mokopuna, mates or whānau online. 
  • Invite us to your community group’s next get-together and we will run a quick, simple and fun little workshop with you and your group so we can hear your voices. Flick an email to  with the subject LTP 2024 – 2034. 
  • Check in and find out more by grabbing some information from council’s offices and libraries in Westport and Reefton, service centres and resource centres across the district from Monday 9 October onwards. 
  • If you want to have a more in-depth conversation about your district's future, hit us up on with the subject LTP 2024 – 2034. Can’t wait!  
  • Email with the subject LTP 2024 – 2034 if you have any questions. 
  • Stay up to date and see Buller’s next 10-year plan taking shape by signing up to our e-newsletter. 


For further information please contact: 
Buller Mayor 
Jamie Cleine