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Early engagement for the deferred LTP

The feedback we gathered during the initial engagement phase in late 2023 for the deferred Long-Term Plan has been invaluable. It has equipped our Council and staff with essential perspectives, shaping our decisions to address the district's immediate and long-term challenges.

Historically, the emphasis of LTP development has been on the Draft LTP consultation phase. However, the 2024-2034 LTP sought to redefine this approach by introducing an early engagement phase.

This shift aimed to foster early community input, making the LTP truly reflective of community needs and desires. Critical components of this early engagement strategy included informal and personal engagement, tailored approaches to different communities, an enjoyable experience, active listening, and relatable communication.

By prioritising early and inclusive engagement with the community the aspirations and needs of the community are central to the LTP. This results in a more robust and representative LTP that reflects the community's collective vision and long-term objectives.

How did we engage with our community? 

Between 2 October and 12 November 2023, elected members and council staff actively engaged with the Buller community. Multiple channels were employed to gather feedback, including polls, surveys, and in-person conversations.

The community's active involvement yielded impressive results, with over 500 responses received.

What did the community tell us?

Survey responses were geographically diverse, with the majority from Westport, Karamea, and Northern Buller. Key findings from the feedback process included:

  • Social well-being, environment, prosperity, and affordability are prioritised as top-rated community outcomes.
  • High-priority budget allocations for roading and transport, community services, and infrastructure resilience.
  • Regional variations in priorities reflect community needs.
  • Stormwater, drinking water, and rubbish/recycling are top infrastructure investment priorities.
  • Strong community interest in parks, reserves, and playground maintenance.
  • Varied opinions on reducing funding for community grants/museums.
  • Key council focus areas for the next ten years centred on infrastructure resilience, affordability, and three waters.

You can view the full breakdown of the insights in our early engagement report.

What's next ?

Instead of an LTP, Council produced an Enhanced Annual Plan for 2024/25 that continues implementing year four of the Long-term Plan 2021-2031.

Council will develop a 9-year plan for the period 2025 - 2034 and consult with the community on this LTP in 2025.