Call for cohesion over Matakana issues

A proposal to review a sustainable development plan and establish an updated, unified vision for Matakana has been set in motion by the village community group (MCG).

MCG chair Simon Barclay told the recent quarterly community meeting that, after 11 years, the previous Matakana Village Sustainable Development Plan was due for an overhaul and a new united front was needed to deal with fragmented development, transport and infrastructure issues.

“We need a cohesive village voice,” he said. “There’s a huge problem with the community being so spread out. But if the community speaks solidly and with one voice, we have a chance.”

He cited the recent development of a spatial plan for Warkworth by local people as an example of what they should be aiming for.

Matakana resident Paul Roberts has volunteered to coordinate a strategic review of the previous plan and formulate “a fresh, community-endorsed plan of action”. He has a career background in strategic policy in Australian and NZ government.

“So much has been done over the years by the MCG, with many hours of voluntary work, and a lot has been achieved. There’s a strong ethos of environmental sustainability within the community,” he says.

“But there are areas to resolve, particularly where the community is dependent on Council to get things done. There are challenges in dealing with Council and Council-controlled organisations, planning processes and operations, and there’s pressure on infrastructure and community facilities.”

The original sustainable development plan was devised to protect and enhance the “unique character” of the Matakana and its environs and was in the final stages of being formally adopted by Rodney

District Council when it was amalgamated into Auckland Council in 2010. The plan has since been used and referred to by Council planners, including being quoted during the independent hearings into the Auckland Unitary Plan in May last year.

Anyone who would like to be part of a project team is asked to contact Paul at mcstrategicreview@gmail.com


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