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Published: 2016-12-15 16:00:00

Support for communities facing changing times is a key focus of Waikato Regional Council’s new 2016-19 strategic direction signed off by councillors today.

The document, which sets priorities to guide the council’s work this term, also sets out context for the forthcoming 2018-2028 Long Term Plan.

“These are changing times and we need to respond to opportunities and challenges that change presents,” said council chair Alan Livingston.

“Our new strategic direction recognises more explicitly that communities are facing change such as declining and ageing populations. There’s also climate change, and changes to jobs and technology.

“So we’re placing fresh emphasis on the council supporting communities to make change and increasing their resilience in the face of change. 

There’s also a more explicit commitment in the document to the achievement of a range of long-term outcomes, including improved measures of economic and environmental well-being, and community vibrancy.

“There are strong inter-connections between the achievement of these outcomes. This strategic direction document suggests we shouldn’t achieve one at the expense of others. It calls on us to act sustainably,” Mr Livingston said.

Waikato Regional Council’s mission continues to reflect the council’s desire to work together to build a Waikato region that has a healthy environment, a strong economy and vibrant communities.

“We can’t achieve the outcomes we seek alone. It’s only by working together right across the community that we’ll be successful in getting to where we need to be,” said Mr Livingston.

Besides a focus on partnerships, the priorities identified in the strategic direction for the next three years are:

  • supporting communities to take action on agreed outcomes
  • positively influence future land use choices to ensure long term sustainability
  • managing freshwater more effectively to maximise regional benefit
  • increasing communities understanding of risk and resilience to change
  • enhancing the value of the region’s coasts and marine area
  • shaping the development of the region so it enhances quality of life.