Ngāti Rangi are one of the members of a Raetihi Project Group bought together in conjunction with Horizons Regional Council to facilitate a community engagement process ahead of any decision to allocate the $100,000 RAL fine money.
A timeline and criteria to guide community input on how the mitigation funding should be spent was established during the first meeting of the group in Ohakune on 18 June.
Comprised of representatives from Horizons Regional Council, Ruapehu District Council, DOC, local Iwi and community groups, the Project Group’s key message was that the will of the community must be at the heart of the decision process.
Horizons Regional councillor for Ruapehu Bruce Rollinson says a set of criteria is currently being finalised to aid the people of Raetihi in submitting their project ideas.
“Once we have the criteria finalised, we’ll be going back to out the community and intend to hold a facilitated public workshop to help people through the process of sharing what they’d like to see,” Cr Rollinson says.
“When all ideas are in, the Group will reconvene to shortlist these according to the criteria and a public vote on the shortlisted option will determine the final outcome.”
It is anticipated that the facilitated public workshop will take place in the third week of July, with shortlisted options presented to the community for voting in August.
Criteria currently being considered by the Group include: that the project is long-term or has lasting effects, that it is able to provide benefits through engagement or participation, that the project is a new project and is unlikely to have been carried out independently of the funding, that the project is something physical or tangible that the community can see and touch, that the project has the ability to leverage additional funds, that the project is significant in terms of scale i.e. one big project will be preferable to many smaller ones.
Further information regarding the criteria and details of the workshop will be released later this month.