MEDIA RELEASE: South Wairarapa’s priorities for now and the future

6 November 2020

South Wairarapa District Council would like to thank everyone who completed the ‘What’s on Top?’ survey or attended a community engagement event to give feedback on what the Council’s priorities should be over the next 30 years.

The survey generated an impressive 686 responses, which along with the feedback given at events, provides a solid opinion base for Council to consider as it prepares its Long Term and Spatial Plans for formal consultation next year.

The Long Term Plan sets the strategic direction of council activities over the next ten years and is reviewed every three years, while the Spatial Plan is the blueprint for how we want the district to be in 30 years’ time. This is the first time that SWDC has carried out such widespread pre-consultation engagement, which is not a legal requirement of councils.

Mayor Alex Beijen is keen to ensure the Council’s future focus considers the things that matter most to the community.

“Our LTP and Spatial Plan are really key to shaping our district and we wanted to give the community the opportunity for early input. We’re pretty happy with the response rate – about four times more than for past Annual Plan consultations, excluding last year’s which received about 1000 submissions.

“To extend our reach to those who don’t normally engage, we took to the supermarkets, train stations, the college and launched on Instagram. We are also having ongoing discussion with mana whenua and key stakeholders,” says Mr Beijen.

The community have identified a number of key themes including:

  • Water including safe clean drinking water, water supply, water resilience and clean waterways
  • Providing robust infrastructure and well-maintained amenities
  • Safer roads including road maintenance and speed limits
  • Housing and providing for growth
  • Supporting happy, healthy, connected communities (including access to facilities/activities)
  • Supporting businesses, jobs, youth opportunities and tourism
  • Climate change and sustainable environmental practices
  • Cycleways, walkways, tracks and trails
  • Public transport and accessibility
  • Open spaces and green spaces

Council will consider the community’s views alongside other key influences such as government proposals, population forecasts, environmental and social data and the impacts of Covid-19, in developing its strategic direction, proposed activities, budgets and options for growth. The draft Long Term Plan and draft Spatial Plan will be released for consultation in March/April 2021.

If you haven’t already signed up for updates on this consultation, you can do so by emailing


Media contact

Amy Wharram

027 252 2863

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