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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Ahu Ake - Waipā Community Spatial Plan?

Ahu Ake will be the blueprint for the next 30+ years for our district providing the vision and foundation for all of our future planning, helping us identify opportunities for growth and investment and prioritising where and how we invest. It will consider everything from how our towns, villages and rural spaces will look in the future to how we will move around, what community facilities we will need and how we’ll care for our environment.

Why is a spatial plan important?

Our community spatial plan is important because it will set out where we want to go and how we are going to get there, and from it we’ll know what we need to do to manage growth, what investment decisions we need to make and how we can ensure Waipā continues to be a great place to live, work, and play. 

What is the purpose of the future scenarios?

Scenario planning is a very helpful tool for understanding what could possibly happen in the future and what challenges we may face. By exploring these possible futures, we can understand what we may want our own future to look like, map out how to get there and identify how we’ll address any challenges. It is not an exact science but by understanding what is possible, we can better plan for our future. 

Some of the scenarios don’t sound that plausible (e.g. our population growth rate dwindling) so why have they been included?

It is important for us to consider a range of possible futures, even if they appear unlikely. This allows us to better plan for the outcomes we want and to understand how we would manage any challenges we may face. 

When will I have the opportunity to have my say?

We expect to have a draft community spatial plan ready to share with the community by March 2023. At this time, we’ll be speaking to our communities to understand what is important to them for the future of their towns, villages and spaces. There are still a lot of steps we need to take to get to this point, but we are well on the way and can’t wait to work alongside you to develop this important plan.

Why are you not seeking feedback from the community now?

In 2020, we worked with the community to create a vision for our district and four community outcomes as part of the development of the 2021-2031 Long Term Plan. Using that vision and four community outcomes, with what we know through our other planning processes, we are now taking the first steps towards developing the draft community spatial plan. There is a lot to consider at this stage so we are working with our Mana Whenua partners and key stakeholders to refine the information we have and get a better understanding of the general direction we wish to go in.  Once this is established we will come back to our communities for their input. 

What types of things will I be able to have input into?

Once we have a draft plan in place, you’ll be able to have your say on all parts of it. This includes how our towns and villages will grow, how we will move around, what community facilities we will need and how we will care for our environment. We expect to have the draft ready to share with you by March 2023.

What are the scenarios?

The scenarios we have developed include:

Scenario 1: Status Quo - Looks at what the future of Waipā may look like according to our current plans (such as Long Term Plan, Futureproof and the District Plan). The other four scenarios are based off this scenario and consider the effect different rates of population growth would have on our district.

Scenario 2: Back to the Land – Considers how our district might look if there is significant population growth in rural villages and other rural areas.

Scenario 3: Hamilton Grows South - Considers how our district might grow in response to the completion of the Southern Links expressway, north of Ōhaupō.

Scenario 4: Population Dwindles – Looks at what might happen if migration into the district slows or even stops, and rather than growing as expected, our population starts to dwindle.

Scenario 5 – Urban Densification – Explore what might happen if the populations of Cambridge and Te Awamutu grew larger and more rapidly than expected.

What has happened so far?

Earlier this year, alongside our Mana Whenua partners, we used what you told us during the development of our vision and community outcomes in 2020 and what we currently know about our district to develop five future scenarios. These scenarios will help us to understand what the future of Waipā could possibly look like and what challenges we might come up against, and will help us to best plan for any outcome. Using these scenarios, we are continuing to work with our Mana Whenua partners and have now reached out to organisations across the district for their help to develop the first draft of our community spatial plan. We expect to have this complete and ready to share with the wider community for feedback by March 2023. 

When will the plan start being implemented?

We are aiming to have Ahu Ake – Waipā Community Spatial plan finalised by mid-2023. This means that any plans such as the Long Term Plan, District Plan, Annual Plan and other Council strategies after this point will be steered by our community spatial plan. 

How will this spatial plan affect my family and I, and my community?

Ahu Ake - Waipā Community Spatial Plan will ultimately shape the future of our district including how we manage growth, what our towns and rural areas will look like, how we’ll care for our environment and what community facilities we will have available – this includes the area where you live, where you may shop, where you may work, where your children may go to school. That’s why it is important that everyone has the chance to have their say on this plan because it will affect all of us.  

What does a spatial plan look like?

There are many examples of spatial plans in New Zealand and overseas. A few examples of existing spatial plans include the Wellington Spatial Plan.  

How does the spatial plan fit in with other Council plans?

The community spatial plan is the biggest and most important planning document we have. It will form the basis of all future planning that we do, such as the Long Term Plan, Annual Plan, District Plan and other Council strategies. Check out the diagram below to see how it all works.