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We have made some big decisions

Decisions have been made on what our priorities are for the 2021-2031 Long Term Plan, with Councillors guided by feedback from over 500 written submissions*, nearly 60 hearing presentations, Facebook comments and many face-to-face conversations.

Things we will focus on

In the next three years we will be focusing on the following projects to help our district grow, thrive and be an even better place for future generations. They’re projects that contribute to our vision of making our district the place of choice for lifestyle, opportunities and home.

We received strong community support to work towards developing a destination spa in Te Aroha and we agreed that if we’re going to do it, it needs to be done properly. The $18.9 million option has been approved but it will only go ahead if the review of the business case stacks up and investigations into potential risks are favourable. There’s still a lot of work to do before the project gets the green light, including further consultation with the community on the detail of a new day spa.

The Waste Minimisation and Management Plan has signalled the intention to achieve zero waste by 2038. To move us towards that ambitious target, there will be changes to our kerbside collection from 2023. The detail of what that will involve is still being worked through. There will also be two purpose built Resource Recovery Centres established in Matamata and Morrinsville, with the Waihou Transfer Station getting an upgrade to bring it up to health and safety standards.

Morrinsville will also receive two additional water sources to meet growing demand, and ensure there is enough water for essential use (like drinking and hygiene) all year round.

We will be revitalising our town centres, however, some submitters asked that we take a broader approach and develop master plans for each town, and we’ll be looking into this. We will also improve walking and cycling connections across our district, including Matamata, Morrinsville and Waharoa at a slow but steady pace.

The mountain bike skills park in Te Aroha has been agreed to in principle and will now require a detailed design to be developed and consulted on, and the necessary approvals obtained. While there is support for dog parks in both Te Aroha and Matamata they won’t go ahead at the proposed locations of Tui Park (Te Aroha) and Swap Park (Matamata) for a variety of reasons. After considering the submissions, further work is needed to identify more appropriate locations.

Things we will investigate

These projects won’t happen straight away but we will be doing some serious ground work to determine if or when they should proceed, and what the likely costs are. The projects include: the Morrinsville Recreation Master Plan, expanding housing for the elderly, Te Aroha Civic facilities (library, i-SITE and museum), Morrinsville to Te Aroha cycleway and a stage for the Matamata-Piako Civic and Memorial Centre.

Looking further ahead

The projects we’ll progress in the next four to ten years include an upgrade to the Waiorongomai carpark to meet increasing demand. And we will grow our cycleways by extending the trail from Matamata to Hinuera and onto Piarere to connect with the Waikato River Trail and Te Awa River Ride.

We will look to develop at least one destination playground and, depending on cost, we may be able to have one in each of the main towns.

Matamata continues to grow and we need to ensure we can continue to provide enough water by building additional water storage.

The wastewater treatment plants in the three main towns will be upgraded, and our waste water infrastructure will be extended in Matamata with the Tower Road pump station and rising main. Te Aroha’s sewer falling main will also be upgraded.

What we’re compromising on

In the next ten years we won’t be focusing on the Matamata bypass because the land that was designated is not fit for purpose. This doesn’t mean a bypass can’t happen in the future but we would need to assess demand and choose a more suitable route. We haven’t set aside any funding for the Morrinsville Civic facilities, or the Morrinsville Events Centre as it will be addressed through the development of the Morrinsville Recreation Master Plan.

How it all adds up

We are in the process of calculating the final outcome of these decisions on rates and will know the outcome in early June.

*To find out what you told us head to (12-13 May meeting attachments).