$35k for plan consultation

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City Hall forked out an average of $60 a submission in a bid to get feedback on its 10 Year Plan.

Consultation on the Queenstown Lakes plan wrapped up on April 13 – about 580 submissions have been received.

It features a series of major projects tagged for the next decade, including the $327 million Queenstown Town Centre Masterplan and a proposed $124.6m spend on the district’s water. All of the planned work adds up to nearly a billion dollars in spending.

The draft plan proposes an average rates rise of 6.95 per cent for 2018-19 and an average rates increase of 3.5 per cent over the life of the plan.

The council spent $35,000 on engaging people – that includes printing, postage, advertising, and pop-up engagement events – on the draft plan.

That works out to be about $60 per submission received.

Council comms boss Naell Crosby-Roe says he’s happy with the level of engagement, despite it being lower than other recent consultations.

The 2017 Annual Plan consultation drew about 600 submissions, while recent freedom camping consultation garnered about 1000.

Crosby-Roe puts the drop down to regular consultation and engagement in the lead-up to the actual consultation period.

The communications team invests its budget where it thinks it’s most important, he says.

“You never know what people will get excited about.”

Staff are starting to take stock and think about how the process went, and how it can be improved, he says.

Down the track there may be more use of online platforms and “video animations”.

Submissions on the long-term plan will be released publicly online on May 7, before earings on May 15 and 16.

daisy.hudson@scene.co.nz