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Franklin North-Waikato link their communities
In mid-2018 people in the North Waikato brought the Commission, the Waikato District Council, the Waikato Regional Council, and the Franklin Local Board of Auckland Council together for a hui. They wanted to discuss their concerns about public access and transport in their growing region.
The people of Pokeno, Pukekohe, and Tuakau wanted their communities and towns connected to each other and to the outdoors.
One of the outcomes of this meeting was our Connecting Franklin – North Waikato project. The project area stretches from Pukekohe in the north, to Rangiriri in the south, and between the west coast and Mangatawhiri to the east.
Communities in this part of Aotearoa are growing rapidly, and this growth will continue for many years. Farms are subdividing into homes and suburbs, and industry is intensifying. We need to preserve and enhance the quality of life currently present in these areas.
This week we published a stakeholder report on the project:
The Commission spoke with more than 60 people who live, work and play in the area. Using these interviews we wrote a report that describes how to ignore the artificial boundaries between the Auckland and Waikato regions.
The report identifies potential routes to create a network of largely off-road tracks and trails for walking, cycling and, where appropriate, horse riding. These routes will connect communities, towns and natural amenities.
The project promotes a shared vision and strategy for public accessways across the region. These accessways will cater for many purposes, including recreation, tourism and commuting - walking, cycling, running and horse-riding.
Now that the report is finished, the Commission has engaged Shades of Green Ltd to use the report’s themes to identify some key projects that can turn the vision into reality. Local councils will create a governance structure to implement the key projects. This will involve council staff, central government, developers, local community volunteer groups and residents.