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Waimakariri Way: Community Engagement in Kaiapoi Town Centre Plan

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Waimakariri District Council’s Kaiapoi Town Centre Plan is part of a broader recovery – and now regeneration – process for Kaiapoi following the 2010-2011 Canterbury earthquakes.

The Council employed a number of innovative and interactive tools and engagement strategies in order to facilitate public participation in the process. These tools and strategies reflect a ‘community-based’ logic, where the community can see the process of planning as having implications and effects. Being satisfied with the process – feeling heard and respected, understanding why a request was denied – can mitigate the negative consequences of not necessarily getting what is wanted. Doing engagement well places unique demands on the organisation – across budgets, human resources, personal relationships, and ‘thinking outside the box’. The success of the key messages presented in this report will likely depend on developing an institutional culture that supports this kind of approach.

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