Invercargill City Council will soon commence workshops for Councillors to help decide what Council should focus on to achieve its vision Our City With Heart – He Ngākau Aroha.
Starting Tuesday 21 February and running until November, Councillors will come together to discuss Council-based initiatives such as community wellbeing, housing, financial and infrastructure strategies, and the city centre focus.
Mayor Nobby Clark said members of the public could listen in to most of the workshops in the Council Chambers and in an effort to be more transparent and open, most of the workshops would also be livestreamed this year, so that anyone could hear the discussions. Although, some would have to be held in private for legal, commercial or other reasons, he said.
The first workshop will be on achieving its vision on the city centre, discussing topics from Esk St to how Council can support events in the city centre.
The Councillor’s workshops would act as a starting point to curate the Long-Term Plan and begin thinking about where they would like to take Invercargill and its people, he said.
“As a Council, we remain focused on our renewal of the city centre and ensuring we are developing a vibrant and safe space all the community can enjoy.
“This year our focus is on our people. In the three years since we last reviewed the Long-Term Plan, a lot has happened – we’ve been through Covid-19 and its effects, and now we need to look to how we can help the people of Invercargill.”
While Clark expected some lively discussions at the workshops, he stressed no decisions were being made just yet.
“A preference may be highlighted at the end of the workshop, but this only becomes a decision once made at a Council meeting where all relevant decision-making information will be presented.”
The workshops were an opportunity to think about what actions Council should take to achieve its vision for the city, Clark said.
“Taking a stand for the Invercargill community is the reason we all put our names forward for Council and I think I can safely say we are all looking forward to getting started on this.”
Council Strategy and Policy Manager Rhiannon Suter said the community would have a chance to have their say through events for the public and online at Letstalk.icc.govt.nz.
Formal consultation will take place between March and April next year.
“While these workshops are just for Councillors at this stage, hearing from the community is incredibly important to us. We encourage anyone with feedback, comments or ideas to submit these on the Council’s Let’s Talk page,” Suter said.
“One thing we know for sure is the community is very passionate about what projects Council dedicates its time to within the city. The Roadmap to Renewal earmarked a lot of very exciting projects that have either started or already come to fruition, such as the reopening of Anderson House and Project 1225 being kicked off to bring a new museum to Invercargill.”
Anyone wanting to find out when the workshops are taking place or share ideas as the Council prepares the 2024-2034 Long-Term Plan can do so by going to 2024 – 2034 Long-term Plan | Let’s talk Invercargill (icc.govt.nz).