1. One of the roles of the Strategy sub-committee is to focus on some longer and wider (i.e. strategic) thinking on matters concerning Pokeno that the sub-committee can then take to the full Pokeno Community Committee(PCC), along with recommendations where appropriate. Given that there will always be a great many matters to consider and that the PCC is made up of volunteers and cannot practically consider everything at once, it would also be useful for the Strategy sub-committee to suggest which areas the PCC should prioritise.  These priorities may or may not relate to current and future funding but should guide thinking when it comes to identifying those items which should be considered in future Long Term Plans (LTP).

  2. It would also be useful for the PCC to consider and make recommendations regarding funding those items which the Waikato District Council (WDC) is unable or unwilling to fund.  That could also include making requests, from time to time, to the Pokeno Community Charitable Trust (PCCT) which has been established to support the community of Pokeno.

  3. Priorities are likely to change over time and it should be the role of this sub-committee to continually review the agreed priorities and to recommend changes when appropriate.

Priorities for the PCC

  1. The sub-committee recommends the following be considered and accepted as priorities.  Note that a priority for consideration does not automatically mean funding for that item needs to be considered.  In many instances, the items will be funded by WDC via the LTP. Agreed priority should become standing agenda items for PCC meetings.

    a. The Pokeno Public Realm Concept Plan (PRCP).  The PRCP outlines the development of Pokeno and focuses on the three areas of Town Centre Enhancement, The Stream Loop and Active Modes Connectivity.  There have been many consultations and many plans and documents developed over the years in relation to the development of Pokeno – including the Market Square proposal.  The PCRP takes an overall view.  For some elements, planning has been done and funds have been allocated.  For others, some planning may have been initiated but funding is not yet in place and vice versa. The sub-committee feels this is of the utmost importance for Pokeno and so should be the highest priority for the PCC and the PCC’s Main Effort.  WDC should provide regular progress reports.

    b. Pokeno Sports Park.  It is already widely acknowledged that Pokeno is in deficit when it comes to available green, recreation and sports spaces.  The Pokeno Sports Park on Munro Road, therefore, represents the single biggest project to begin to address that deficit and so is recommended as the second highest priority for the PCC to consider and monitor. While preparatory work on the field is underway, the design has yet to be finalized.  Similarly, while the WDC will fund much of the park, there will almost certainly be some aspects of it the community would want but which the WDC will be unable to fund (a suitable skate park, and a multi-sport stadium are just two elements that could be included, for example).

    c. Zoning and Housing Development. Clearly, any changes to current zoning rules have the potential to significantly impact the character and desirability of Pokeno as a destination – both for businesses and for residents. With some recently proposed changes to the WDC Plan currently subject to multiple challenges, this should be the third priority (and it may even warrant a higher priority rating) for the PCC.  Underpinning PCC consideration of this issue is the need to ensure Pokeno is developed and grown in a way that is (to the fullest extent possible) a community, rather than a developer (or government), led.  The PCC should be especially concerned about the impact of recent central government changes which will, in some cases, allow for high-density housing without the need for resource consent.  Similarly, the PCC should be watchful – and where applicable, vocal – at attempts by WDC to allow non-notified consents to be considered when these could have a significant impact on the character of Pokeno and/or the rights of residents. A relatively recent example of this is the WDC decision to approve consent for the expansion of the Truck Stop without public notification despite knowing full well the community was opposed to this and that the Truck Stop is the single biggest contributor to adverse traffic issues in the town centre.

    d. Traffic. While traffic flow is considered in the PRCP, recent history has shown that traffic management is vital for Pokeno. Proof of this (if any is needed) is the adverse impact the Truck Stop, Countdown supermarket and Gull station have all had on traffic flow and congestion in the town centre.  These impacts were clearly signalled at the time by the then PCC but were effectively ignored by the WDC or Commissioners.  As we now know, the PCC has been proven to be correct whereas by and large, the traffic engineers got it wrong.

    e. Others.  There are many other considerations the PCC could include in its considerations.  These include the future marae, the development of the tennis and recreation club, security cameras, the proposed Tata Park development and more. That the sub-committee has not recommended these be part of priority considerations for the PCC does not mean that these are not important. However, many of these are being worked through by other groups and while the PCC may have an interest in them, it does not have an active role in them.

Suggestions for PCCT Consideration

  1. The following are recommendations the PCC might consider suggesting to the PCCT as priorities for funding applications:

    1. Skate park at the Pokeno Sports Ground (additional to that provided by WDC).

    2. A multi-use/multi-sport stadium at the Pokeno Sports Ground.

    3. Adventure tracks/circuits at the Pokeno Sports Ground.

    4. Shade covers for the BBQ area at Totara Park on Hillpark Drive.

    5. Installation of a BBQ area (if required) at Harriet Johnson Park.

    6. Events at Pokeno – such as the Christmas Parade, ANZAC service.

Ric Odom

Sub-Committee Chair

14 Nov 22