Annual Plan community forums, held in Oamaru, Otematata and Palmerston, have proved to be a popular way for the public to discuss issues with the mayor and councillors.
The decision to hold these forums in the community, rather than formal submissions in the Council Chamber, was to encourage people that would otherwise not engage with Council, and to discuss important issues that impact on what plans are made for the next 12 months.
Mayor Gary Kircher says the informality of people sitting around a table having a discussion about issues that are important to them has worked well.“We wanted to trial this type of engagement to see what sort of response we would get,” says Mayor Kircher.“The results have been very positive, with numerous participants giving enthusiastic support for the concept. The forums have seen people discussing a wide range of issues including infrastructure, tourism, how we can grow our district, and how we can meet the needs of our elderly folk.”
The feedback from these forums, together with written submissions, will provide Council with some insights while they decide what projects will be included in the 2017/18 Annual Plan. All relevant information can be found at and the final 2017/18 Annual Plan will be formally adopted on Wednesday 21 June.

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