On Monday evening, the Business After 5 meeting organised by Pride in Putaruru, was hosted by the South Waikato District Council at their building in Overdale Street, Putaruru.
Putaruru Service Centre Manager Ebony Curtin spoke first about the library services being offered, such as:
literacy programmes throughout the school terms
work with day care centres and schools
the summer reading programme during the summer holidays – free for all children in the district
holiday programmes through the term breaks
a focus on literacy and getting children into the library, encouraging feedback about what they are doing and offering incentives for this
partnering with the Putaruru Lions who help to fund the summer reading programme
safe internet provision and more of the “coming out from behind the desk” to assist with associated usage skills
going out to rest homes and providing house bound delivery services
providing a link between town and the council services – matching enquiries with the right people
Community Group Manager Sam Marshall then spoke about some about the current concept plan being worked on. Information about this can be found in one of our earlier posts here.
He spoke too about some of the reasons for the amendments and the need to cater for growth both now and in the future, especially in relation to re-zoning.
Sam explained to the group about how the process was being handled – see information about this in previous posts here and here.
The importance of all these aspects being built into The District Plan was emphasised because it has to comply with The Resource Management Act.
Planning Manager Alan Moss spoke about the Council is speeding up and streamlining the planning and regulation process. By January or February next year they hope to have this in the form required for submission hearings. By May, 2018, the results of the process will probably be known and if needed, any subsequent action followed through.
There was some discussion about business land development and the present railway bridge entrance to Putaruru from the south. How can this be enhanced for both the road/rail traffic and entrance to the adjacent land area? The importance of this area in terms of future road and rail access was explained by Sam.
Alan then spoke about the round table approach being used by the council so that at one meeting, all relevant information about setting up a business is raised with the appropriate people – an approach that is gaining favour with those seeking to explore opportunities in the region. This is a “solutions based” council assisting people to progress through rules and regulations associated with business establishment. The SWDC has now developed better templates and forms for this shared approach.
The business mentors facility was also explained whereby businesses wishing to expand or diversify can gain free personal professional assistance – business plans, marketing strategies and the like.
The large group then mingled for nibbles and further individual discussions.