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31 March 2021

Masterton Mayor Lyn Patterson believes there are thousands of great reasons and a couple of excellent incentives for people to take time to make a submission on the Council’s long-term plan consultation, which opens tomorrow  (1 April).

The draft plan, called Stepping Up, sets out plans for a new civic facility, a 10-year Masterton revamp, and 25 new pensioner houses on council-owned land.

“The Council is stepping up with some big ideas – and we want the community to step up for future generations and have their say,” Lyn said.

“We want to make the thousands of mokopuna who grow up with these developments proud to be living in Masterton.”

Submitters are being encouraged to use a new online method of making their submissions, via the council website, with all submissions going into the draw to win one of two $500 travel vouchers.

They will also be able to nominate a school which could win $1,000. Two prizes of $1,000 are up for grabs for the intermediate or secondary school, and primary school, with the most nominations as a proportion of their rolls.

“There is no doubt some of our plans cost a lot of money – we are talking about the biggest changes to Masterton since the 1950s,” Lyn said.

“But in the consultation process we are here to listen. We genuinely want to know what the community thinks of these ideas – if people have different options we haven’t considered, we want to hear about them.”

Over the 10 years covered by the long-term plan, the rates funding needed amounts to an average increase of 5.3 per cent each year.

On the big decisions in the draft LTP, the Council wants to know whether the community believes it should wait until it has raised $4 million in external funding before starting work on the $30.8 million civic facility or start without external funding.

The 10-year plan to revamp Masterton comes with a cost of $34.5 million but the community is being asked if it prefers a partial revamp costing $22.4 million.

The third big decision relates to pensioner housing, with the preferred option being building 25 pensioner homes on unused land at Panama Village. The alternative is to make the land available to someone else to build the public housing – at no cost to the ratepayer.

The Council will be going out to meet people throughout the consultation. There will be an open house session at the Council’s Queen Street office, from 6-8pm on 13 April, and a pop-in session from 11.30am-1pm on 22 April.

Invitations are also welcome from community groups to attend meetings. The consultation closes on 3 May.

After the consultation, the Council will hold hearings on 19-20 May to hear from submitters, followed by public deliberations in June.

The LTP is due to be signed off by the Council on 30 June.

Paper copies of the plan and submission form are available at the Council’s offices at 161 Queen Street and Masterton Library.