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Help shape the future

Environment Waikato is strongly encouraging people to have their say over how development occurs in the Future Proof area of Hamilton city and Waipa and Waikato districts. 

EW has prepared a change to the current Regional Policy Statement (RPS) that will support the Future Proof growth strategy by providing specific guidance on land use patterns in the Future Proof area. This change is now open for submissions.

The proposed change aims to give weight to Future Proof, an integrated growth management strategy involving Hamilton, Waipa, Waikato and Environment Waikato councils, together with tangata whenua and the New Zealand Transport Agency.

Hamilton City, Waipa District and Waikato District are currently experiencing strong growth pressures. The population of this sub-region is expected to nearly double over the next 50 years, from 223,000 people to 437,000 people. The increasing population will be accompanied by additional housing, industry, commerce and services. Infrastructure will need to expand to support the additional population.

Uncontrolled and ad hoc growth can have a range of unwanted impacts on communities and on the environment. Future Proof recognises that well managed growth can enhance the community’s ability to live, work and play in their local area.

So the aim of the strategy is to manage growth smartly and it includes an action plan. Several planned actions require the RPS be changed.

The aims of the proposed RPS changes include:

1. helping define urban limits to protect our versatile and productive soils
2. providing sustainable transport
3. protecting our environment, water bodies and biodiversity from the effects of development.
4. providing guidance on how city and district councils plan for development
5. providing policies to control where and when residential and industrial development will occur
6. outlining principles to guide the way such development happens
7. setting out requirements for the way transport infrastructure and development are coordinated

Details of the proposed RPS change can be found at www.ew.govt.nz(external link) or people can phone 0800 800 401 for a copy. The proposed change can also be inspected at EW offices. More detail about the Future Proof strategy can be found at www.futureproof.org.nz(external link).

Submissions on the RPS changes must be received by 5pm on Friday, 11 December 2009.

People with questions can email policy@ew.govt.nz or call the freephone number above.

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