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Council to hear submissions on draft LTP this month

April 11th, 2012

Tasman District Council received nearly 900 submissions to its Draft Long Term Plan (LTP) by the time the submission period closed last week.

In a press release, council said the main subjects within the submissions were the Saxton cycleway, the Riwaka to Kaiteriteri Road, Tasman's Great Taste Cycle Trail, the Lee Valley Dam and the Takaka Aerodrome.

"The number of submissions received on any subject, while reflecting the weight of opinion behind an issue, must be supported by the quality of the analysis in the submission," said Tasman Mayor Richard Kempthorne. "The Councillors must now balance the submission with the cost and needs of the District as a whole.

"It is a difficult exercise, perhaps the most difficult, Councillors and staff have to deal with - delivering on the wishes of the community at the most affordable cost to ratepayers.

"Having gone through a rigorous priority setting exercise to develop the draft plan we now have to revisit the plan with an open mind to finalise it in light of the submissions received. The verbal presentations in support of submissions play a valuable role in this exercise."

Copies of the submissions are available in all Tasman District Council offices and libraries. Verbal presentations supporting submissions will be heard in Motueka on Tuesday April 24th from 9.30am to 4.30pm at St John Hall, Courtney Street, and are open to the public.

Meanwhile, Motueka Community Board chairman David Ogilvie expressed disappointment at the low numbers of residents who attended the two meetings held last month where the draft LTP was explained. Fewer than 10 people attended each meeting.

"I don't consider this a question of residents and ratepayers lacking interest in the council's role - the opposite is true," he wrote in his monthly report to the board. "The size of the documents, its limited availability, difficulty of access online, the relevance of local ward issues, and the perception that 'council doesn't listen' may all be factors in these small attendances."

He said "the council applies itself seriously to these consultation/explanation presentations and consequently can receive the wrong messages from a small minority of residents". Many important questions remain unasked as a result of low attendance.

David has proposed that in future it may be practical for the community board to prepare a Motueka Ward document based on the coming year, the next three-year period as well as the ten-year period. This would need to be written before the public presentation and distributed perhaps as a special Newsline edition, he said.


Comment by John Kelly:
[Posted 17 April 2012]

David Ogilvie hits the nail on the head when pointing out issues with the size of the plan documents - 605 pages! - their limited availability in print and difficulty of access online. The summary provided is meager by comparison - especially as it opts for graphics and feel-good photos versus facts in the 24 or so pages of actual summary. Looking at all this, it is easy to understand how some have the perception that 'council doesn't listen' and is just going through the motions.

David's proposal for the community board to prepare a Motueka Ward document based on the coming year, the next three-year period as well as the ten-year period is promising, but how likely is it that the folks in Richmond will give the local board enough information in advance to do this? As with most TDC proposals, it seems that many, many man-hours and dollars are expended in creating documents that are then open for consultation for a very short time after their release.

Have all of our Councillors actually read all 605 pages of the Draft Long Term Plan? We were expected to digest it and comment on it in a matter of a few weeks.

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