Council forums to find out what residents want from parks, reserves

What residents want from their parks and reserves will be the subject of four public forums planned by the Waitaki District Council over the next two weeks.

The council is about to start preparing a Waitaki parks and reserves management plan, which will appraise all parks and reserves in the district, what they will be used for and, therefore, how they need to be maintained.

But before it does that, it will consult the public at meetings in Hampden on Wednesday, Kurow on Thursday and Oamaru on Friday and the following Friday.

Some issues which could be discussed included what individual parks and reserves should be used for, how they should be maintained, whether dog exercise areas were needed, whether commercial activities should be allowed and, if so, what kind and whether public spaces should be smoke-free.

Recreation manager Erik van der Spek said the plan would allow the council to:

• Manage its reserves and parks consistently with common objectives and policies.

• Ensure there was appropriate protection and management of important natural, recreational, historical and cultural values.

• Help make consistent decisions for activities and uses through a common understanding by the council and community on management.

• Provide efficient and effective day-to-day management.

The plan would also include future development criteria for parks and reserves in the district.

The four forums would inform people about the management plan and provide an opportunity for people to have an input.

Sports groups, stakeholders and tangata whenua would also be contacted for comment.

After the forums, a workshop will be held with councillors next month to start developing a draft plan by early next year, which would then go out for public meetings and submissions.


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