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Report details community priorities for Motueka

August 14th, 2015

A small crowd braved wintry conditions last night to attend the presentation of the findings from the Motueka 2030 program which was run during May by Vision Motueka.

The report, which was written by Eva Lawrence, brought together the findings from the community consultation including the 45-item survey, questions discussed on Facebook and other comments recorded during public engagements.

The final document, titled "Community Priorities for Motueka", includes 32 pages of general findings plus a further 25 pages of details.

Three copies of the document are available for public view in the reference section of Motueka Library, and PDF versions can be downloaded from the Vision Motueka website:

At the presentation in Memorial Hall last night, Eva emphasised that the document does not present a plan for the future of Motueka, but rather a good view of what the community wants the town to be like in future, and what they like most about Motueka.

What happens next is up to a wide variety of Motueka's community groups who can now base their future planning on more solid and meaningful information.

During discussion after the presentation, Community Board chairman Paul Hawkes said that the board would be looking very closely at and aligning with these results while they undergo their own annual planning and long-term planning activities.

He added that Tasman District Council is also taking great interest in these findings and learning more about what the Motueka community really wants.

Vision Motueka chairman David Armstrong pointed out that several of the desired projects are already underway in one form or another, including the application for ultrafast broadband, plans for an indoor swimming pool, a possible annual Harvest Festival, an IT/business hub, and some form of youth skills training facility.

He added that some community groups, such as Keep Motueka Beautiful, are also known to be using the results to help their own future planning.

Based on the huge amount of information contributed during May, Eva was able to discern nine areas that were particularly important or key priorities for the community. Within each of these areas there are also a number of examples of improvements or opportunities that people want. The following is copied from her summary.

Places for our people
The Motueka community placed a high priority of increasing quantity and quality of social infrastructure for our community to enjoy, in particular (and in order of preference):
- Develop an indoor, year-round swimming pool
- Improve the existing library or build a new library
- Build a community centre (hub)
- Make Thorp's Bush more attractive and welcoming while maintaining its natural character
- Restore the old Motueka Wharf and Riwaka Wharf
- Upgrade the Saltwater Baths
- Develop a Masterplan for Motueka
- Develop a Marina Precinct.

Supporting young people to thrive
Providing support and opportunities for young people was a very significant priority area during the month of consultation. Ideas included:
- Provide youth employment and skills training including providing a workplace training centre
- Support youth participation and youth-led initiatives
- Facilitate access to activities and places for young people

Community connectedness and creativity
People saw the Motueka community as a huge strength of the area. They also saw opportunities for/to:
- Promote Pakeha and Maori understanding and collaboration
- Improve advocacy and communication between council elected representatives and community
- Strengthen our community and identity
- Preserve and promote our heritage
- Provide opportunities for art
- Plan for a growing, aging population

A strong, innovative local economy
While people love our area, the limited work opportunities is seen as one of Motueka's biggest weaknesses. People named a number of opportunities to develop our economic potential, including:
- Install Ultra-Fast Broadband
- Foster innovation and entrepreneurship
- Diversify local industries and add value through education, research and development
- Improve Motueka's successful town centre
- Encourage locals to support local businesses.

Destination Motueka: promoting our unique area
The area around Motueka is a significant summertime tourist attraction. People saw opportunities for increasing Motueka's profile as a tourist destination, all year round through:
- Develop Motueka and improve promotion as a year-round tourist attraction
- Hold a Harvest Festival as an annual event
- Develop conference and function facilities

Safe, connected and accessible transport
Transport was an important priority for the local community. People want:
- Improve transport safety and traffic flow
- Provide public transport from Motueka to Kaiteriteri and Richmond
- Expand cycleways and walkways
- Improve footpaths
- Provide better signage
- Widen Motueka Bridge
- Move heavy traffic off High Street.

Resilience: Planning to meet future needs
A strong theme that arose through the month of consultation was the community's passion for Motueka to become more self-sufficient, sustainable and resilient. It was considered important to:
- Plan for and develop resilience to climate change; strengthen seawalls and improve flood protection
- Increase Motueka's sustainability and self-sufficiency in food, power, water collection and sewage
- Make Motueka a model town for eco-friendly neighbourhoods.

Preserving and celebrating our natural environment
The Motueka community love our natural environment and want to ensure it is protected, and that there are further opportunities to enjoy it:
- Celebrate our natural environment as an asset to preserve
- Improve the quality of and access to Motueka River.

Smart decision-making
As well as the "what", people also expressed views on the "how":
- Prioritise projects, with consideration of limited funds
- Consider an increased targeted rate for a Motueka Fund
- Connect the dots: Identify opportunities through linking assets, context and needs.

So where to from here?

A large number of interesting and exciting ideas have been brought forward and prioritised by the Motueka 2030 month of consultation.

To decide which projects to pursue and when, a number of factors need to be taken into account including popularity, further information required, potential benefit, potential stakeholders, cost and timeframe.

This report is not a final plan - not for Vision Motueka, or for the community as a whole. It does not suggest that all ideas presented here are viable or recommended. It outlines community views and priorities, and paves the way for further analysis and planning.

The Motueka 2030 findings are relevant for a wide range of community groups and organisations, including local government. Strategic planning for the town and district needs to be based on sound data, and Vision Motueka hopes any individual or organisation involved in future planning and community activity will find the information in this report helpful.


Comment by Phil Grimmett:
[Posted 23 August 2015]

It is good to know that the citizens of Motueka are actively working to create a positive future. I especially note the prospect of improving public transport to Richmond and Kaiteriteri, better public access to the river, and flood protection. There is plenty of good in this document to give us hope. All that's required is willpower and action. All power to those involved.

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