CE Hamish Riach: Voting, parks and good reads

Published: 13 June 2024

The wheels of Council business rarely stop and in the community engagement space, the Long Term Plan has moved aside for two other documents we have out for consultation.

The Representation Review is a compulsory six-year look at how many councillors we should have around the table and who they represent. We think the current arrangements are working well, but are proposing changes for the Methven Community Board.

The recommendation is for the board’s boundaries to be expanded to cater for Methven town’s growth, but that the number of elected board members drops from five to four.

This is something that the people of Methven may feel strongly about, and I urge them to read the consultation document at ItsOurPlace.nz and tell us what they think.

The other document out for consultation is the Reserve Management Plan, which gathers all the plans we have for 121 parks and reserves around the district.

It’s a big volume of work, and you may want to comment on the park or reserve that is special to you.

Other Council work is cyclical and right now our Open Spaces team is dealing with leaf litter in our green spaces, while contractors deal with leaf litter on our roads and footpaths. We have a special team checking out the internal condition of sewer pipes, to inform renewal work in the future, and our Customer Service team is bracing for dog registration month in July.

A special project that our library staff have been working on will also come to fruition later this month – it’s called 1000 Books Before School and the aim is to encourage regular reading to babies and toddlers in the years before school.

Those who take part in the programme will have a booklet to chart their progress, with milestones every hundred books.

The definition of a book is generous – it can be a picture book, a song, an eBook, or a nursery rhyme. It can be the same book read over and over, like the Hungry Caterpillar, Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy or, one of my favourites, The Duck with No Luck.

One book a day for five years will set your child up for life.

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