According to the Local Government Act 2002, every local authority is required to have a long term plan in place, covering a minimum of 10 years. The LTP is refreshed every three years, providing a cycle of planning and feedback that allows the authority to schedule and fund any work needing doing in the current year’s annual plan. There is currently a flurry of LTP consultations going on around the region, many of which have transport-related issues contained within.
- Greater Wellington Regional Council – closes 20 April 2015
- Wellington City Council – closes 17 April 2015
- Upper Hutt City Council – closes 20 April 2015
- Kāpiti Coast District Council – closes 24 April 2015
Some of the councils have yet to start their consultation phase, but keep your eyes open.
- Porirua City Council – opens April 2015
- Hutt City Council – opens 30 March 2015, closes 30 April 2015
- South Wairarapa District Council – opens 24 April 2015, closes 29 May 2015
- Tararua District Council – opens 6 April 2015, closes 8 May 2015
Public transport planning falls under the jurisdiction of Greater Wellington Regional Council, but without enabling work by the other local authorities, not much can happen. It’s worth paying attention to the submissions to the GWRC Long Term Plan by the city councils to see where agreement, support and conflict may lie. Within the next decade, we should be seeing a roll-out of a new mass transit model in Wellington, a new model for ticketing, a revamped operating model for the rail network and new contract requirements for the operators over the whole network. It’s going to be a big decade.
Central government has started to seriously invest in urban cycling and the local authorities have to be in the right place to receive that funding. Wellington has started to form a master plan, but a few of us down here are worried that political games are going to screw it up for everyone. At least the Tawa pathway was done before egos got in the way.
At a glance, there’s a lot going on over this planning period. Even if you agree completely with the draft plan completely, it’s a good idea to make a submission in support. The consultation process is not just for people looking to complain about an issue. Several proposals have been massively revamped after considering the consultation results. Use your voice.
It’s also worth noting what happens with submissions. Officers collect the responses, from which they generate summaries and statistics. While councillors can read your entire submission, the bulk of the content gets reduced to the summary unless councillors have a good reason to read your full submission. Often, the best way to get direct attention to an issue is to attend in-person and speak directly to councillors. If you look at the paperwork that councillors are given, it’s easy to see how individual written submissions can be overlooked.
Over the coming weeks, many of our affiliated groups will draft submissions to the above consultations. As they arrive, I’ll try to either post or link to them here.