New Plymouth set to become a lifestyle capital

The  Te Huinga Taumatua committee met on Thursday night.

The Te Huinga Taumatua committee met on Thursday night.

Mayor Neil Holdom shared his vision for New Plymouth as a lifestyle capital at the second meeting of the district council's new iwi committee.

The Te Huinga Taumatua committee discussed a marae grant for Katere-ki-te Moana Marae at Waiwhakaiho, the state of the water supply, and the blueprint for New Plymouth over the next 10 years at its meeting on Thursday afternoon.

Holdom was asked to explain his strategic vision to build a lifestyle capital.

On the campaign trail last year he had talked to people about a lot of issues and had floated the concept of a lifestyle capital, he said.  

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"That is what Taranaki is."

For the last 10 years he had been meeting professional people who could make "a ton" more money in Auckland, but chose to live in New Plymouth, he said.

"It's 10 minutes to work, or they can walk or bike; lots of surfers, swimmers, trampers, walkers and runners. It's a real work life balance."  

"It's not a place where people clock in at 7am and will still be at work at 9pm," he said.

"We're not just economics and growth. Many places are 'we must grow, we must grow, we must grow', but in Taranaki we want something more sustainable."

Lifestyle capital will mean different things to different people - a balance of work, play, environment, agriculture, said Holdom, who wanted to demystify council speak.

"If they say long-term plan, people say 'what are they talking about?' Lifestyle capital will resonate that this is what we are doing."

Councillor John McLeod said when the council first put out its 10 focus areas for its long term plan, iwi input was one of them, but once the committee was formed it was removed. 

"Why? Just because this committee was formed doesn't mean to say this is the be all and end all of iwi input into this district. Iwi and Māori input should still be in the 10."

But councillor Gordon Brown, who is the committee's co chair, told McLeod he should support the committee rather than 'snap away at its heels'.

"I remember last year when we voted to have a Māori ward you resigned over it. This committee is a start."

Chairwoman Liana Poutu said iwi and hapū would be engaged across all 10 focus areas.

"Looking at the walkway extension, iwi and hapū will be engaged with that. And I guarantee we will be engaged in Destination Taranaki. We are engaged all the way through."

Poutu asked that the phrase Building a Lifestyle Capital could be translated into te reo Māori.

The committee also approved a grant to Katere-ki-te Moana Marae at Waiwhakaiho of  $26,863.60 for an upgrade of bathroom facilities.

Iwi member Colleen Tuuta said the marare needed some renovations to do community activities. 

"It's only good for a small number of people at the moment."  

And the committee looked at a new report from Water New Zealand.

The report said water leakage was at around 21.7 per cent in New Plymouth.

Acting chief executive Alan Bird said he was looking at making changes to reduce water pressure to lower the leakage rate.

To which councillor Harry Duynhoven asked the obvious question "why don't you just fix the leaks?"

Apparently it's not that simple. Bird replied that there was always going to be a bit of leakage.


 - Stuff

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