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What is a spatial plan?

A spatial plan is a blueprint for a district that provides the foundation for all future planning and investment by Council. Ultimately, it will help to determine what our district looks like in 30+ years’ time and map out how we get there.

Ahu Ake – Waipā Community Spatial Plan will consider things like whether we need more walking and cycling infrastructure in our towns and villages or parks and open spaces, whether we should allow for more development in our rural spaces or intensification in our centres. It will map out how we are going to look after our environment and tackle climate change, how we are going to keep our economy thriving and attract more businesses to our district, and so much more.

The spatial plan 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 happening now?

We’re in the very early stages of developing the first draft of Ahu Ake - Waipā Community Spatial Plan.

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 consider how our community might evolve in the future in response to change, such as population growth, and economic and demographic change.

Scenario planning is not intended to be an exact science, but it is one way of testing different possible futures which will help us decide how we can better plan for the future we want.  

Future scenarios

Scenario planning is an exciting tool that will help us to understand what the future of Waipā could possibly look like and what challenges we might come up against. We’ll choose the best parts of these scenarios to create a preferred scenario which will form the basis for the draft spatial plan.  

Scenario 1 considers the planning measures we already have in place in the Long Term Plan, District Plan and Future Proof among other documents and forms the basis of the other scenarios.

Scenarios 2-5 take what we already know and explore what would happen for example, if our population grew more rapidly than expected or didn’t grow at all. How would that affect our towns and rural spaces and our environment? How would we move around? Would our towns grow up or out? What community facilities would we need?

Scenario planning is not intended to be an exact science, but it is one way of testing different possible futures which will help us decide how we can better plan for the future we want.  

Next steps

Using these scenarios, we are continuing to work with our Mana Whenua partners and have now reached out to a wide range of organisations across the district for their help to develop the first draft of our community spatial plan.

There is a lot to consider at this stage, so we are working with a smaller group to refine the huge amount of information we currently have and get a better understanding of the general direction we want to go in.

Once this is established, we will come back to our communities for their input.

When can I have my say?

We expect to have a draft spatial plan complete by March 2023. At that stage, we’ll share it with the wider community for their feedback and input.

We want everyone to be involved in the creation of Ahu Ake so we’ll be speaking to our communities about what is important to them for the future or their towns, villages and places.

This means coming to where you are to hear your thoughts. We can’t wait to work with you in early 2023 to create our community spatial plan.

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Check out our frequently asked questions. If the answer you are looking for isn't there, flick us an email. 

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