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Setting the course for Hastings in 2050

Futures Workshop Crowd

What will Hastings look like in 2050? That’s the question that was asked at a special two-day workshop held by the Hastings District Council this week, as it starts a major project to plan for the future.

Rapidly advancing technologies, an ageing and growing population, critical housing shortages, climate change, and water protection and sustainability are just some of the challenges, and opportunities, facing our community in the years ahead.

To manage, mitigate and capitalise on these challenges and opportunities, Council is being proactive and embarking on the development of a “spatial” plan.

This will provide a ‘blueprint’ for the district, a considered, forward-thinking set of actions for where and how it should grow and develop over the next 30 years.

The Hastings 2050 Futures Workshop was the first step that aimed to inspire and generate ideas to put before the community on a range of topics including land use, transport, three waters infrastructure, natural hazards, heritage, and the natural environment.

Then, with the community’s feedback, ideas and vision incorporated, the plan will help set the priorities for investment in the likes of transport, new community facilities and infrastructure upgrades.

Hastings Mayor Sandra Hazlehurst said such a spatial plan was essential if we want to tackle the issues and challenges ahead.

“To best prepare for the future, we need to think about important questions like what will Hastings look like in 30 years and how we want to live, work and play.

“The workshop included our councillors, rural community board, Heretaunga Takoto Noa committee, youth councillors, staff and our district health board and regional council partners who will all be involved in developing the spatial plan.

“From this, we will have a solid starting point for our planning and a set of ideas to take to our community.”

Speakers at the workshop included Ngāti Kahungunu iwi leader Ngahiwi Tomoana, economist Cameron Bagrie and futurist Melissa Clark-Reynolds.

Mr Tomoana opened the workshop, saying we have a blank sheet of paper to work on for the next 30 to 50 years.

“We have to leave this place in a better state for the generations to come and we must find the balance of housing our people and feeding our people while feeding the world.

“The district must take care of its fertile soils so we can unlock the fertility of the land and its potential.”

Mrs Hazlehurst said council looked forward to bringing ideas from the workshop to the community, and hearing their views on what the district’s future will look like.

 

25 February 2021

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