Mayoral News

Published: 16 Mar 2017

‘From the Mayor’s Desk
Waimate District Council News
Wednesday 15 March 2017

Knottingley Park ‘Arboretum’ proposal gets support of Committee
The District Infrastructure Committee at their meeting on Tuesday recommended the green light be given for Knottingley Park to be registered as an Arboretum and in future known as ‘Knottingley Park and Arboretum’. This recommendation will now go back to our Ordinary Council meeting on 4 April 2017 for final approval.

The initial idea of registering Knottingley Park as an Arboretum came from the Friends of Knottingley Park Group to better reflect the type of park Knottingley is. I understand our 34 hectare Knottingley Park was developed in 1854 as a native reserve – making it one of the oldest parks in New Zealand. In 1874 it became the Waimate Park Reserve - and planting started 1878; by 1890 there were 8,400 trees planted.  Development has continued up to the present day with substantial input since 1994 from Friends of Knottingley Park. Knottingley Park is unique because of its age and the variety of trees established there with many distinctive because of their age and size.  The park is also well used for recreation activities all year round. I commend Friends of Knottingley Park Group on their work helping Council keep this facility such a beautiful and peaceful place to enjoy.

Bushtown Waimate
The team at Bushtown invited Council to visit their complex as part of Tuesday’s Community Services and Development Committee meeting. It was a great opportunity to view first-hand their progress to date and hear their plans for future development. I hope many local people will take time to head down to Bushtown for their Bushtown Steam Up Day this Saturday from 11am-4pm.

Whitehorse Big Easy
Two members on the organising committee of the ‘Whitehorse Big Easy’ event came into Council’s Community Services and Development Committee meeting to give us an update of the Whitehorse Big Easy event being held on Sunday 9 April 2017 at the Waimate A & P Showgrounds. It was really encouraging to hear the huge response as people and teams are getting behind this event – and I congratulate the committee for their good work in organising and promoting this event. I encourage readers to participate if you can, as proceeds will be going back to the track development and for other local causes administered through the Waimate Rotary Club.

Economic Development Strategy
The first of a series of interactive workshops get underway this month as Council seeks community input into the eagerly-awaited Our District. Our Future. Waimate District Economic Development Strategy. The strategy is a key focus of the current Council – and an important piece of work that will be used to drive growth and prosperity, and enhance the Waimate District as an attractive place for people to visit, live and play. The key initiatives from the strategy will be identified and used to develop priority action plans. It is also a key document that will work towards achieving Council’s vision of “leading our communities towards a diverse, thriving and sustainable district”.

The strategy is being developed in partnership with Wellington-based consultants Allen + Clarke and will be based on consultation with local businesses and the community through a series of facilitated workshops, a survey and one-to-one conversations with a small number of key stakeholders from various sectors. Once drafted, the strategy will be available for public consultation.

It is important that Council work alongside members of the community and local businesses, and I encourage readers to get involved by attending either one of the two interactive workshops on Tuesday 28 March or Wednesday 29 March from 5.30pm to 7.30pm at the Waimate Event Centre. Those intending to attend are asked to register by contacting Michelle Jones on michelle.jones@waimatedc.govt.nz, or phone 689-0003 by 4pm Friday 24 March 2017.

Craig Rowley
Mayor