Over 70 people from all sectors of the community met in Gore yesterday for the first of three workshops to formulate a plan for a vibrant, successful and sustainable Gore District.
It was the first time members of the six action teams involved in the Ready for Growth development project have come together. Their goal is to grow the Gore District population by 1500 people by 2030.
Ready for Growth is a community-led initiative. The action teams and chairs are:
- Business and Retail – chair Susie Bernard (House of Travel, Gore)
- Community Wellbeing – chair Brendon McDermott (Sport Southland)
- Facilitating Growth – chair Ian Davidson-Watts (Gore District Council)
- Industry and Innovation – chair Melissa King (Farmlands, Gore)
- Population and Workforce – chair John Hogue (Ministry of Education)
- Tourism and Natural Environment – chair Warrick Low (Venture Southland)
The team have been tasked with producing a draft strategic action plan by August.
Ready for Growth steering group chairman Richard McPhail said he was amazed at the cross section of people and that everyone had so willingly given up their time to be involved in the project.
“The experience, wisdom and knowledge of action team members will be invaluable.”
Mr McPhail said he had received some excellent feedback from the day.
While acknowledging the tight timeframe to produce an action plan, he believed the high level of engagement and sense of pride people have in the District makes it achievable.
Gore District Mayor Tracy Hicks said he was really encouraged to see people from such a wide spectrum.
“This (workshop) is where the rubber hits the road.”
Mr Hicks said he had been impressed by the amount of energy and passion people have for ensuring a vibrant future for the District.
Economic Development Coordinator Mayoral Office Ceri Macleod said the workshop had focused on exploring the challenges and opportunities the District faces.
Among the key points to come out were the strong sense of pride in the District, and the need to change or leverage off some of the perceptions about Gore.
The outcomes will be summarised so they can be built upon at the next workshop.
“Next time we will be looking for specific projects and initiatives we can develop,” Mrs Macleod said.
Caption: Ready for Growth steering group chairman Richard McPhail with (left) Social Capacity and Health Coordinator Mayoral Office Bernadette Hunt and Economic Development Coordinator Mayoral Office Ceri Macleod at yesterday first workshop for the six action teams.
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