Group prioritising community's plans

Greg Becker.
Greg Becker.
The Oturehua Community Plan Working Group is seeking to extend the 50kmh zone on the road north of the township.

Extending the slower-speed area is one of 10 high priority recommendations, among a total of 25 outlined in the first Oturehua Community Plan. Plan Working Group spokesman Greg Becker said it was hard to identify what would be most important for the community to act upon until after the first meeting in September. However, he expected the 50kmh zone and playground facilities at the sports area would be priorities.

Two high-priority recommendations made in the recently finalised community plan, the creation of a community newsletter, and educating the community about the role of the winter sports club, had already been actioned, Mr Becker said.

The newsletter had ''very much'' been a success, after sponsorship for production costs was received from local businesses, he said.

Winter sports club education informed people about the club's role maintaining local assets and driving community development.

A welcoming and farewelling committee for residents was already ''half-pie formed''.

It was hoped the actioning of recommendations in the plan would get more people involved in the area's future, Mr Becker said.

''I'm just hoping it's going to pull the whole community in, especially the newcomers who have sat back and waited to be asked to do stuff. I'm just looking forward to our first meeting and seeing how the community is feeling and how they want to drive it [development] and who wants to be involved.''

The process to develop the plan started late last year.

Mr Becker thanked those involved in creating the plan, and said members of the working group felt they it reflected goals for the community.

During formation of the plan, workshops had attracted turnouts of close to 90% of the adult population, he said.

Other high priority recommendations in the finalised community plan were encouraging communication between businesses, lobbying for better telecommunications and broadband access for the area, and identifying which facilities of the Oturehua Hall and Idaburn Dam needed maintenance and funding.

Funding activities would be a challenge, but the group would ''try its very best'' to finance actions, and would look to appropriate community trusts for assistance, Mr Becker said.

The first working group meeting will be held on Monday, September 1, at 7.30pm in the Oturehua Hall, and following that, the first Monday of every second month.

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