The Waikato Plan project was kicked off the Waikato Mayoral Forum in 2013 and a draft is out for public consultation at time of writing in March 2017.
The project is looking to design a plan that fulfils a range of roles including:
- Helping the region to ‘talk’ with one voice on the key priorities and issues it faces
- Reflecting a series of agreements between lead agencies on the top priorities for action in the region
- Joining the dots within the region, signalling a new era of regional collaboration.
The partners to the Plan have agreed that to succeed as a region, all parts of the Waikato must be as successful as they can be – the aim is to collaborate to create win-win situations
The Plan will be used in sub-national or national negotiations to leverage additional resourcing and funding for regional needs and development priorities
The joint committee involves council leaders and external representation and observers from key agencies.
The current draft of the plan has five agreed priorities:
- Planning for population change (growth and decline)
- Connecting communities through targeted investment
- Partnering with iwi Maori
- Addressing issues around the allocation and quality of fresh water
- Advancing regional economic development
The top ten suggested actions to support these priorities are:
- 1. Collaborate on a Regional Development Strategy
- Identify the regional priorities for service and technical infrastructure
- Identify how central government services can be provided to match community needs
- Advocate on behalf of regional transport priorities
- Integrate Waikato and Auckland transport networks
- Encourage development of a nationally significant cycling and walking experience
- Establish a freight and logistics action group
- Work collaboratively to develop and encourage enduring partnerships that enable iwi/Māori aspirations to be achieved
- Develop the Waikato as a “Waters Centre of Excellence”
- Implementing the current Waikato Means Business economic development strategy.
See more at www.waikatoplan.co.nz