Growing Hamilton

Positive response to Your Neighbourhood open day

They came, they saw, and they asked questions about a swimming pool, a library and a supermarket.

Several hundred people attended the Your Neighbourhood community engagement event at The Peak (Rototuna High School) this week, where they took advantage of the opportunity to find out about a range of the Council’s project, and hear from other organisations.

Retirees Eddie and Katie Wullems, Rototuna residents since 2000, were particularly interested in the planned town centre developments presented at the event.

“I like the way you’ve got the community centre, the sports grounds and the leisure facility,” Mr Wullems told ourhamilton.co.nz

Mr Wullems is a regular swimmer, was particularly interested in the proposed development of a swimming pool in Rototuna – a project which would mean he didn’t have to commute to Waterworld or Gallagher Aquatic centre.

The couple were impressed by the Council’s effort to “come out to the community” and felt the Your Neighbourhood events could be enhanced with the involvement of other agencies and organisations.

“It’s been a good set-up, good displays and lots of information,” Mr Wullems said. “I went to the last one here, maybe 18 months ago – and it’s good to keep up with what’s going on. I really feel more informed.”

Working mother of two Kate Monahan-Riddell brought her children Elliot (eight) and Xanthe (six) to the event, and as a long-term Rototuna and Flagstaff resident she was enthusiastic the prospect of development in her community.

“I’m really interested in finding out about the town centre,” she told ourhamilton.co.nz. “I love the idea of a pool, I love the idea of a library that is going to be really inclusive for our community.”

Ms Monahan-Riddell, a writer and journalist, says the library ideas appealed as the project will blend modern technology with familiar library physical collections of books and magazines.

“We could ride our bikes up and spend half a day here – go to the library and get some books, go for a swim, or bring a picnic and meet some friends.”

Ms Monahan-Riddell had brought her children straight from school and appreciated the breadth of information available at the session, and the fact staff and presenters were very approachable. She also appreciated the child-focussed activities which kept her children occupied while she visited stands.

Being greeted at the door by a staff member, and told about the event “meant I felt like I really understood the options”, she added.

“I’m really excited about this for our area, and our community.”

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