Facilities was a common theme that emerged from the engagement data. More specifically, sports and recreation, community hubs, and retail. People spoke about the importance of having access to and a wide choice of suitable facilities. They also talked about the importance of facilities that our children and young people can go to, ranging from sports, arts, youth hubs right through to expanding retail options.
This feedback reaffirms the work the Trust currently supports in this space. Alongside other partners, the Trust supports a collective approach to creating a regional facilities plan. We are mindful that we cannot sustain investment into facilities alone. What we can do is leverage the Trust’s operational capacity to support securing partners and other investors both locally and nationally
The theme of children and young people was consistent throughout the engagement data. People told us that focusing on the wellbeing of our children and young people ensures the future prosperity of the region will be in good hands.
Learning and education emerged as another strong theme from the engagement data.
People told us that they wanted children and young people to have access to learning and education that is engaging, ignites their curiosity, and focuses on their strengths. People told us that they would like to have access to much broader education and learning choices. Feedback included a desire for better workplace training, community education, and the opportunity to transfer skills and knowledge between people, as well as across generations.
Businesses also told us that research and development was an essential component of innovation and that being able to transfer skills across industries and sectors was also important. Our thinking has also considered other knowledge systems that exist in our communities, such as Mātauranga Māori, having access to knowledge and knowing how we may be able to apply knowledge to help us find solutions to some of our most pressing issues as a region.
One of the things that matters most to those we engaged is that people and whānau are healthy, happy, and able to pursue the things they value to flourish. We are mindful that mental and overall health is a priority across our communities. Still, we are also clear that it is a core function of, and funded via, our regional public health system. We don’t aim to duplicate existing funding systems but want to focus more on how we can enhance our communities beyond the core functions. Our framework reflects this thinking, as we consider how best to maximise the resources of the Trust for our communities.