June 2013

In this issue:

SmartGrowth  Tuakau open day  Vaughan Payne  Southern Links 

Message from chairman Alan Livingston

Alan Livingston
Alan Livingston
Waipa Mayor

Future Proof partners have continued to be busy over the past two months, implementing the growth strategy for the sub-region.

The partnership has been heavily engaged with the Waipa District Plan review to make sure there is good alignment with the Future Proof Strategy and Hamilton City Council’s district plan, which was released last December for public feedback.

A major piece of work has also been completed for the airport and land around it. This land use plan recommends bringing land ahead for development to improve the viability of the airport. It also informs the Waipa District Plan and will be used as background for the Southern Links designation hearings expected to be held in mid-2014. The plan was adopted by the Future Proof Implementation Committee at the end of last month – we’ll have more information on it in our next e-newsletter. 

Shared experiences with Bay of Plenty would benefit Future Proof sub-region

SmartGrowthA Future Proof submission to the Bay of Plenty’s growth strategy has pushed for greater collaboration between the two sub-regions.

SmartGrowth was initiated as a cohesive sub-regional plan for managing the growth of the western Bay over the next 50 years. SmartGrowth 2013 has evolved into the spatial plan for the western Bay of Plenty. The Draft SmartGrowth Strategy was released for public feedback in April, with more than 80 submissions being received.

Among the submissions was one from Future Proof, with implementation advisor Ken Tremaine presenting at the hearings in Tauranga last month.

“We pointed out to the Bay of Plenty that we each have experiences in managing sub-regional growth which we can share, to the benefit of our own communities," Mr Tremaine said.

“In particular, there are good opportunities for collaboration between the two regions from a long-term economic development and transport planning point of view.

“This is particularly important given the importance of Waikato as part of the ‘golden triangle’ with Auckland and Tauranga, and with the Port of Tauranga as a major upper North Island export hub.

“We have requested that SmartGrowth leaders include in their strategy some actions to formalise consultation at an elected member and staff level on an ongoing basis,” Mr Tremaine said.

“Already there has been some initial collaboration between Future Proof and SmartGrowth staff, but we are very keen to put more effort into it so that the Waikato and Bay of Plenty can talk to the Government from one perspective, particularly for transport investment.”

Deliberations on the SmartGrowth strategy were due to occur at the beginning of this month, ahead of the final strategy being adopted by the partner councils.

Read the Future Proof submission to the Draft SmartGrowth Strategy 2013.

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Planning for Tuakau's future

Tuakau open dayWaikato District Council recently kicked off the first stage of its public consultation on Tuakau’s structure planning process with a successful public open day.

Held at Tuakau’s Town Hall in late May, the open day attracted around 140 people. Vishal Ramduny, planning and strategy manager, says the event, aimed at introducing residents to the structure plan process and getting their preliminary views on issues, was extremely successful.

“The community displayed great support for the planning process as well as our commitment to sharing that information and maintaining a collaborative approach to manage what is expected to be strong growth in the town over coming decades.”

Targeted consultation on the Tuakau structure plan process began in May and has also included a presentation to local tangata whenua at the Huakina Marae Forum.

Mr Ramduny says the public consultation process is an opportunity to reinforce the Future Proof ethos of a cohesive and collaborative approach to long term planning and development.

“Collective preparation and action between Waikato District Council, local residents, businesses and Future Proof partners is critical to the long-term success of the Tuakau Structure Plan. We have also had preliminary engagement with the Auckland Council and will continue to do so during the structure plan process.”

To facilitate completion of the first stage of the planning process, all feedback will be reviewed by the project team and included in the final scoping report. Further consultation with iwi, key stakeholders and service providers will also continue while a community reference group is formed.

Their priority will be to identify and discuss some of the issues that have arisen from the early stages of the planning process.

“Our intention is to actively involve this working group in the subsequent scenario generation exercise and to select a preferred option for the council to use as the basis of preparing a draft structure plan.”

The first draft of the structure plan is scheduled for completion at the end of 2013.

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Integrated planning ensures community needs are met, says new chief executive

Vaughan Payne

Future Proof strategic committee member Vaughan Payne (pictured left) is Waikato Regional Council’s new chief executive.

With his deep knowledge of the growth strategy and investment plans for Hamilton city, Waipa and Waikato districts, he’s well placed to lead the regional council’s contribution to ongoing development in the sub-region.

“I am also particularly interested in how the Future Proof Strategy can feed into a wider Waikato spatial plan, which is being developed by the Waikato Mayoral Forum,” Mr Payne said.

“More broadly, I strongly believe in what the regional council is looking to achieve and I’m driven to make a positive difference in the Waikato,” Mr Payne said. “And I want collaboration and co-operation to be a hallmark of the way I work within my own organisation, within our regional networks and nationally.”

He said he has seen a need for more integrated planning and strategic, forward thinking to ensure the best value on investment and to meet the needs of the community in the long term.

A planner by initial training, he also holds tertiary qualifications in surveying and business, and has worked in both the private and public sectors. Prior to joining the regional council, Mr Payne was chief executive of Opotiki District Council and worked for consultants Boffa Miskell and BECA.

Mr Payne has worked for the last three years as the regional council’s policy and transport group manager, and will step into the chief executive role when incumbent Bob Laing’s contract expires in November.

Read the Waikato Regional Council media release for more information on the appointment, including the regional strategic priorities.

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Preparation underway for Southern Links preferred route designation applications

Southern LinksThe NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) and Hamilton City Council (HCC) will be lodging preferred route designation applications within the next couple of weeks for their respective areas within the Southern Links project.

The notice of requirement is required under the Resource Management Act (RMA). Resource consent applications to Waikato Regional Council for the key new bridges will also be made at the same time. The aim is for all the notices of requirement and the consent applications to be ready for lodgement by late July-early August.

The Southern Links project has been integrated into the Future Proof Strategy, which aims to optimise the planning of land use, regional growth and key infrastructure in and around Hamilton. Future Proof is a partnership between Waikato Regional Council, HCC, the Waikato and Waipa district councils, with the NZTA and Tangata Whenua as key stakeholders.

The aim of the Southern Links project is to plan for the long term needs of Hamilton city, and particularly the projected growth and development in the Peacocke, Tamahere and Hamilton Airport areas. Identifying and protecting the future transport network will enable good long-term planning to be carried out for the city and areas immediately to the south.

This project is a good example of the NZTA and HCC working together to ensure that the future state highway routes will be well integrated with local roads and the planned residential and industrial developments. When constructed the Southern Links project will reduce congestion, improve safety on SH1 and SH3 in the Hillcrest and Melville suburbs of Hamilton, improve freight flows for industry and be a key part of the city’s urban arterial network integrated into the HCC Access Hamilton Strategy.

Southern Links will also complement the Waikato Expressway, a road of national significance, by providing the main southern access linking Hamilton city and the Expressway, as well as State Highway 3 towards Te Awamutu.

NZTA State Highway Manager, Kaye Clark, says the preferred routes as presented at the May 2012 information days will form the basis of the lodgements next month. “Lodging the Notices of Requirement is another early step for the Southern Links project. It's important to remember that the focus at this stage is on protecting the preferred route for designation. Any progression towards the construction stage is still outside the NZTA’s and the HCC’s 10-year funding plan.”

Once the Notices of Requirement and the consent applications are lodged, the formal RMA process will begin. That process will be administered by the receiving councils – Waipa and Waikato district, Waikato Regional and Hamilton city – and will involve three more steps:

  • public notification
  • a period in which public submissions can be lodged
  • a hearing before Commissioners who will be appointed by the receiving councils.

"Around the time of lodgement, we'll update people on what's happening and provide them with more detail about the formal RMA process and how they can be involved so they can have their say."

Regularly updated information can be found on the NZTA's website at www.nzta.govt.nz/southern-links, including FAQs, maps, media releases and the latest summary on the project's progress.

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