Kia ora Masterton,
Have you stepped up? We are now nearly halfway through the month-long consultation on our draft Long-Term Plan – have you stepped up to have your say.
The consultation document is called Stepping Up because the Council is stepping up with some big plans – and we really want the community to step up for our future.
Here are 10 good reasons to make a submission:
1. Your mokopuna will be growing up with the decisions we make today.
2. It’s your chance to help build a Masterton everyone can be proud of for years to come.
3. You can nominate a school for the chance to win $1,000.
4. If there are alternative ideas we haven’t thought of, we want to hear them.
5. We can’t respond to your ideas if we don’t know what they are.
6. If you make a submission, you can then present your ideas to the Council in person in May.
7. You can also make a submission on proposed changes to fees and charges, and our draft significance and engagement policy (this explains how we determine what issues we consult the community on).
8. You could win a $500 travel voucher.
9. No decisions are set in stone yet.
10. Your submission can make a difference – you’ll be able to watch the Council deliberate on submissions in public in June.
I’ve heard some people say decisions in the LTP have mostly been made already, but
that’s wrong. Council staff have to do a lot of work to make sure the proposals in our consultation document are based on fact and sensible assumptions about what the future holds, but that doesn’t mean the consultation is a rubber-stamping exercise.
If you don’t have your say, we won’t hear about it. So, step up – for our community, for our mokopuna, for our future.
Consultation closes at 4pm on 3 May.
Hood Aerodrome | Your Questions Answered
In 2020 the Government came to town to announce its plans to invest $10 million into Hood Aerodrome. It’s left some people in our community asking why this project was chosen, especially when there seem to be other, more pressing, priorities, like social housing.
Let me answer some of the questions people have been asking me, and fellow councillors, out on the street.
Where is the funding coming from?
The Government’s $10 million is from a fund earmarked for construction projects that would see cash injected into our local economies – you might hear it referred to as “shovel-ready”. It was a direct response to COVID-19 and we only had the opportunity to suggest projects that were ready to go.
What’s so great about Hood that makes it deserving of such significant investment?
In aviation circles, the characteristics of Hood Aerodrome make it a sought-after location. For example, flight training schools are regular visitors to Hood because it’s a great place to learn how to fly.
There’s also increasing demand from people wanting to base themselves here, like hobbyist aviators and suppliers to the aviation industry, for hangar space.
But the reason we attracted the Government investment was the benefit the investment will have for the rest of the community.
We talk about transitioning Hood into a new era where it becomes a hub of aviation and tourism activity, attracting people from all over the country. To get there we need to invest in the aerodrome, because it’s just not up to scratch as it is. But once we make some changes, the people Hood attracts will stay in Masterton, spend their money with local businesses, and, ultimately, help keep people in jobs.
In the short-term, the construction work required to improve Hood Aerodrome will also help keep people employed.
What will the $10 million actually pay for?
A priority is safety improvements that will better serve those that are already operating from the aerodrome, and those that we’re hoping to attract.
The construction project is split over two stages. The first stage has an allocated budget of around $7m, with about half the budget to be spent on developing an engineering and aviation precinct for service providers. The remainder of the budget is allocated for initial runway widening and extension.
The second stage has an allocated budget of around $5.2m, with about 70 per cent of that budget allocated towards the more significant runway extension.
Is this just about getting passenger flights back?
The short answer is no. The work we have planned is about developing an aviation hub that puts Masterton on the map.
In saying that, we’ve always known that having a longer and wider runway is necessary if we want passenger flights back, so it does open that door for us again.
Why isn’t the money being spent on things we really need? Like housing?
Housing is absolutely a priority and we are doing everything in our power to encourage both private development and social housing. That includes continued, and prolonged, discussions with Kainga Ora about returning to Masterton.
But aside from our pensioner housing, Masterton District Council is not a housing provider, so we have to work on encouraging agencies that work in this area to increase housing stock.
Hood Aerodrome is an amazing facility for the close-knit aviation community and attractions that bring people here from out of town. Our vision for Hood is for a facility that continues to support these activities, but also broadens its use. We will all benefit if more people are coming to see for themselves the asset that is Hood Aerodrome.