During the period March-May 2009 WCC promoted a concept that would ring-fence all, or parts, of residential Thorndon into ‘heritage’ precincts. The declared WCC intent was (or is) to constitute these (or similar) by modifying the District Plan. The impacted areas declared at the time can be viewed on an online map that was prepared using Council data.
Elevated concerns of both its members and others in the community, particularly following a WCC convened public meeting held at the Thorndon School, encouraged the Thorndon Residents’ Association to convene an action committee to unveil the issues. This group initiated a dialogue with Ward Councillors, WCC officers and numerous other stakeholders, from both within and beyond Thorndon.
The Council agreed to further consultation and to forgo its published deadlines. This paved the way to plan a different approach and to introduce the principles of deliberative public engagement. These are meetings where the emphasis moves to actively involving people, the community, in decision-making. The emphasis moves to priority on the community and participants’ discussions, and it demands high levels of transparency so that everybody knows what’s going-on, what’s being/been discussed.
The up-coming public meetings will be professionally facilitated around these principles. The facilitator will be independent i.e. from WCC, the Residents’ Association or other Thorndon entities. Please don’t miss the opportunity to attend one (or more) of these participatory neighbourhood meetings. February 16 or 23, or March 2 or 9. Their success largely depends on as many people as possible turning out, and the will to share views and to listen to others. If you have been interested to read this far you probably have a reason to be there … the convenors encourage and welcome your participation. These public meetings are open to anyone with an interest, both within and beyond residential Thorndon. Roll-up, take part, make a difference.