Our long term plan

Following 18 months of serious investment of staff time and energy, working alongside elected members and our communities, Ōtorohanga District Council can take pride in adopting our district’s Long-Term Plan for 2024-2034.

Max Baxter

The plan is reviewed every three years and outlines the council’s activities, services, capital programme and finances for the next 10 years. The plan sets the direction for all the activities and services the council provides, and what level of service will be provided.

Along with our LTP, we adopted the Ōtorohanga Districts Economic Wellbeing Strategy, the Kāwhia/Aotea/Ōpārau and Ōtorohanga Rural Concept Plans.

This amounts to a huge amount of work that gives us a wonderful basis to ensure we have a clear, inclusive strategic direction for our district in the coming years. On top of this, we adopted the Ōtorohanga Reserves Strategy/Reserves Management Plan for consultation.

Earlier this month I presented to a parliamentary select committee supported by Chief Executive Tanya Winter and our two Rangiatea Ward Councillors Jaimee Tamaki and Roy Willison.  We recommended that  Māori wards be decided by councils based on an informed consideration of the needs and preferences of each community, especially Māori including iwi, hapū, marae and hāpori Māori.  We recommended the proposed bill be withdrawn, arguing it was council’s democratic right to decide matters of importance for and on behalf of our community. Furthermore, we said the proposed restoration of polls re-imposed a higher procedural standard on one particular representation arrangement than applies to others.

The majority of councils in New Zealand submitted on the proposed change in legislation, clearly opposing the requirement to hold a referendum or disestablish Māori wards.

What is incredibly frustrating for us all in local government is the mixed messaging and unfunded mandates directed at councils by central government, something that isn’t new. It was clearly indicated that in this term of government there was a greater devolution of responsibility to territorial authorities but that appears to be the case only when it suits central government.

On a far lighter note, it was a wonderful day in the sunshine celebrating the centenary of the Ōtorohanga Railway Station. This occasion marked the historic decision made 139 years ago by Ngāti Maniapoto rangatira of the time to open Te Rohe Pōtae, the King Country, to rail development. Over the last 100 years the station has been accidentally burned down, moved across the rail lines, occupied the energies of many dedicated rail staff, transported patients to hospitals, received postal bags stuffed full of goodies, been neglected, and fallen into disrepair, been rediscovered and championed by passionate community members and renovated into what we see today.

The Ōtorohanga Employment Hub was  for the third consecutive year, a finalist at the RCSA industry awards in Auckland for their outstanding contribution to employment within our district. The Mayors Taskforce for Jobs funded Employment Hub, with a staff of three, has again achieved beyond expectation supporting rangatahi, our young people into sustainable employment.

As of June this year, with a target of 38 employment outcomes the Hub has achieved 58 outcomes. This is in conjunction with Driver Training, working with the college, corrections, the police, apprentice support evenings – and I am just scraping the surface. Congratulations, we are all very proud of your achievements.

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