Ngatea Library and Service Centre will stay in the existing council building at the current site.
The decision, made by the council this week, follows extensive feedback from the community, including a petition signed by more than 1200 people as well as feedback from a new conversation that was kicked off on April 16.
Last year, options for improving library and service centre services in the town were included in council’s proposed Long Term Plan. Council’s preferred option at that time was the possibility of partnering with the Haurakian Trust, or newly formed Trust, to deliver a joint community space. A possible site was identified at 11 Orchard Road.
However, feedback from the community since then has shown a strong preference for the Library and Service Centre to stay right where it is next to the Hugh Hayward Domain.
Thanks for your interest
At this week’s meeting, the Mayor congratulated the Plains community, and in particular the library committee, for the effort they’d put in to making sure the views of the community were heard.
“I’ve attended lots of memorable public meetings in my time, but the one in Ngatea will always stand out in my mind,” he said, referring to the community meeting on 13 March that was attended by approximately 400 people.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many people in that hall, it was truly heartwarming to see people literally turning up in droves to talk with us about something they really cared about.”
Councillor Ross Harris also expressed his thanks to the library group and the community for getting involved and letting council know what’s important to them.
“We’ve had some really good feedback, we’ve listened, and now I’m looking forward to continuing to work with you all on improving the current library and community space,” he said.
About 80 people attended a council run event at the Ngatea Hall on 16 April designed to start a new conversation about how an improved community space might look and feel, and what services it would need to provide. Following on from this event further drop-in sessions were held at Turua, Kaiaua, Waitakaruru, Ngatea, and Kaihere. Feedback has also been received online through the website and social media, verbally, and via paper feedback forms and drawings.
Feedback period extended
Although the cut-off date for this feedback was originally stated as 20 May 2019, a decision has been made to leave this open for a few more weeks until Monday 10 June 2019, to allow as much participation as possible.
At the end of June, a detailed summary of the feedback and main themes will be presented to the community in a book that will be used as a guide when developing more detailed designs and plans for the future provision of library and service centre services in Ngatea.
Deputy Mayor Toby Adams said he hoped the library committee and community would stay involved and work closely with the council as the project gets further down the track.
“It’s been fantastic to see so much interest and passion in this project. A big thank you to everyone who has shared their ideas and given us their feedback so far, at the end of the day this will allow us to design a community space that truly has the community at its heart.”
To find out more and join the conversation go to https://weneedtotalk.hauraki-dc.govt.nz