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Community shows preferences for the future
June 5th, 2015
[by David Armstrong]
Vision Motueka has published the results of the core survey conducted in its month-long community consultation programme called Motueka 2030.
The survey was open to the public in both an online version and a paper version which many filled in at the table outside the museum through the month (see our earlier story here).
Forty-five questions or ideas about the future of Motueka were put to people using a rating system from zero to five. They have been tallied and ranked in order of voting preferences when weighted and summed.
The best supported propositions related to fast broadband, facilities for youth, a swimming pool, better library, and more self-sufficiency around council services and flood protection.
And trailing well behind the rest were suggestions to build a shopping mall, attract a large retail chain, and to leave Motueka just as it is.
A total of 540 people took part in the survey, which is a good percentage of the adult population and providing a reliable sample for planners. Just over one-half of participants were aged over 50.
Of interest is the fact that two of the top priorities - ultrafast broadband and a covered swimming pool - are actively being planned at present, and a new library is also on the radar, so these results will be a bonus to those people involved by showing that the town is behind them.
A push to get a new library in the next two to three years was expressed in many submissions to the Council's long term plan, but Councillor Jack Inglis again voted against any new or larger library, so that work remains at least five or six years away, despite the clear evidence that most Motueka people really want it.
The top seven of the 45 items were:
1. Install high-speed broadband throughout the town and surrounds - 2224
2. Provide a youth-focused workplace training centre - 2093
3. Build a covered aquatic centre (swimming pool) - 2090
4. Be more self-sufficient with power, sewage, food, water collection - 1981
5. Improved flood protection (including the river stop banks) - 1975
6. Build a new, larger library (or expand/modernise the existing one) - 1960
7. The community organise more activities in town for youth - 1940
The lowest voted three were:
43. Motueka is fine as it is, so no big changes needed - 626
44. Attract a large retail chain like Smith City to Motueka - 580
45. Develop a shopping mall, including retail chains - 438
Two other items which produced interesting results were one for traffic lights at the Old Post Office intersection, and another for increasing the targeted rate to $1 per week if the fund was to be used only on Motueka projects.
Those wanting traffic lights as a top priority were one of the highest in the survey, but the total was dragged down to 17th place by a much smaller but nevertheless sizable number totally against lights.
And the suggestion for a larger targeted rate for Motueka development projects - which was expected to draw low approval - was not far off the pace, with a significant majority in favour.
Vision Motueka says it's important not to see this as a voting exercise where the top-ranked projects get done and the rest are flagged.
Rather, the survey results provide information to planners and community groups as to what Motueka people value most, and it is up to the community to make decisions on future work, hopefully based on a clearer understanding of people's opinions.
Comment by Beth Bryant:
[Posted 7 June 2015]
It would be of interest to hear why Councilor Jack Inglis voted against having a new library. Could he please let us know?
Comment by Linda Glew:
[Posted 8 June 2015]
It is time for those on Council who vote against the library extension to be clear about their reasons - and back their reasons up with credible evidence - surely ratepayers who have elected Jack Inglis have a right to bring him to account - and any other Councillors who place this community facility on the back burner?
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