Raglan Naturally coordinator Gabrielle Parson is looking for people to share their skills, passions and viewpoints about the future of Whaingaroa.
“Raglan Naturally is the platform for the community to make a positive impact on the future of our region,” she says. “It’s an opportunity to influence council on what’s important to us.”
Created by the community in 2001 as a shared vision of Raglan’s future, the Raglan Naturally community plan was designed as a living document to guide and manage growth and development while protecting and enhancing Raglan’s unique character.
Keen to take a fresh look at the plan, the Raglan Community Board implemented an update last year and bought together a group of community representatives to oversee the project.
The Raglan Naturally team identified four goals to review – building foundations, including Treaty of Waitangi and partnership with iwi and hapu, being future focused, improving connection between community and councils, and keeping Raglan Naturally alive and effective.
“Learning about the treaty and what that looks like for our community will support the partnership with iwi and hapu, and the building of a collective community voice can be a powerful tool for change,” Gabrielle says.
Waikato District Council Raglan councillor, Lisa Thomson, says the Raglan Naturally plan is her guide for representing Raglan and it is Whaingaroa’s point of difference around the council table.
“This plan is the vehicle to ensure that council aligns with what we want for our community, now and into the future. If we put the threads together of what people are saying we can find solutions as a community to some of the issues we are facing.”
Raglan’s growth over the past few years, coupled with increasing visitor numbers and the strain this puts on local infrastructure, is being raised as a concern by many in the community and Raglan Naturally is a vehicle for community members to have a voice and help drive Whaingaroa’s direction, Gabrielle says.
“This plan can be a framework for the community to contribute to the future of Whaingaroa.”
Focus groups are currently being formed and will meet on a regular basis to create snapshots of the town as the starting point for community-wide input into the Raglan Naturally plan.
Gabrielle would like to talk to people who are interested in joining on business, employment, recreation, education and transport focus groups.
“The focus groups play a key role in gathering information, connecting with relevant people in the community and painting a picture of where we are at in each focus area, the strengths and assets in our community, and the potential challenges and opportunities in the future,” she says.
Raglan Naturally is also looking for local sponsorship and donations to fund focus groups workshops.
For more information about Raglan Naturally email Gabrielle firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their Facebook page.