The community’s desire to make Sandy Point a more family-friendly recreational area is just one of areas of feedback Council is considering as work continues on a long-term plan for the future of the Domain.
Stakeholder and community engagement took place from April to September to help shape and develop the master plan, which aims to establish a long-term plan for Sandy Point Domain’s future use, asset renewal, and development, helping to guide future funding decisions, while maintaining its role as a recreational hub for the people of Invercargill and Southland.
At a Community Wellbeing Committee meeting on December 13, the plan was discussed and the Committee agreed it would remain in draft status while essential land evaluation data was gathered. The plan will be brought back to Council for endorsement and further consideration later in 2023.
About 25 people responded to an online survey asking for feedback on the plan, and several verbal responses were received at the drop-in sessions, including from Sandy Point Recreation clubs and leaseholders, stakeholder groups, and Coopers Creek residents.
Some of the different groups also engaged were Community Trust South, Invercargill Airport, and Otatara Landcare Group.
Environmental consultants Te Ao Marama are being closely liased with as the plan for Sandy point is established.
Community feedback on the plan mainly related to climate change and associated impacts on assets and infrastructure from inundation, coastal retreat, and erosion. It also highlighted a need for ongoing management, maintenance and governance of Sandy Point.
Council Manager Parks and Recreation Caroline Rain said the Ngā Hua o Āpiti Hono Tātai Hono, Economic Analysis and LiDAR data had not reached Council in the anticipated timeframe, which led to the need to reschedule next steps.
Awaiting the information was imperative as it would help better prepare the management plan draft and provide more certainty around future direction, Rain said.
“This is a long-term plan that will cover the next 30 to 50 years, so getting it right will ensure the longevity of the Domain.
“We are facing several challenges at Sandy Point, including climate change impacts and quality and appropriateness of the existing assets, facilities and land uses. Having all the relevant information on hand means we can address these things and work through them.”
Rain thanked all stakeholders and members of the community who shared their thoughts on the future of the domain.
“We had a great turnout to our engagement sessions. It is clear that Sandy Point is special to so many people and it’s important that we focus on building a plan that people want and that addresses their feedback.” she said.
This 30-50 year long term plan will inform the Sandy Point Management Plan, which is a requirement under the Reserves Act 1977.
More information about Sandy Point can be found here.