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29/03/2019 4:30pm

Eleven Orchard Road is now officially off the table as a possible site for a proposed new library space in Ngatea.

At its meeting this week the Council resolved that the site will not be considered as a potential spot for future Plains Ward library services.

Public meeting well attended

Hauraki District Mayor John Tregidga says the decision follows a well-attended public meeting organised by the community earlier this month.

“We received a very clear message from a large sector of the Plains community that night that there were major concerns about the proposed site at 11 Orchard Road and as a result we’ve taken it off the table,” he said.

However, the Council will keep an open mind about everything else. 

“In January, we pushed the reset button on this project. We said we were going back to square one to start a new conversation with as many sectors of the community as possible and we’re following through with this.”

New engagement process to begin in April

Kicking off at 10.30am on Tuesday 16 April at the Ngatea Service Centre and running for a period of about four weeks, the new engagement process will aim to find out what library related services the community needs, now and in the future, what underlying principles are important to the community, and what’s possible. There will be opportunities for people to share their ideas and feedback in multiple ways.

“We have an opportunity to create a great community space together and we want to make sure we’ve listened to everyone and heard as many points of view as possible before making a decision on this. Who knows, we may end up with something none of us have even thought of yet, we really don’t want to limit people’s thinking,” the Mayor said.

All feedback will be considered

A petition with 1280 signatures in support of a motion to keep the library and service centre where it is in the existing Council building was presented to the Mayor at the meeting and will be taken into consideration along with all other feedback received over the next six to eight weeks.

“Full credit to the group that organised this petition and the community meeting on 13 March as well, it was really well run and extremely well-attended. It really was fantastic to see the hall packed with people who really care about what’s happening in their community. I love it. That’s what democracy is all about and we hope to see continuing participation and sharing of ideas over the next six weeks.”