Wed, May 8, 2024 8:00 AM

Public feedback vital for challenging plan


William Woodworth

Marlborough’s next ten-year strategic outline is almost finalised as the mayor says it’s been her most challenging to date.

The 2024-34 Long Term Plan is a balancing act, says Marlborough Mayor Nadine Taylor.

And as the deadline for last submissions looms, she is reminding people to tell council what matters to them most.

Nadine says the 2024-34 Long Term Plan provides the basics well, with focuses on infrastructure while balancing tricky economic times and acknowledging requested community improvements.

“This Plan is my most challenging since being at Council … but I'm proud that for this Long-Term Plan, and previous ones, Marlborough has always and continues to invest in its infrastructure.

“My main planning concern is ‘did I miss something and is there something more we could have done?’ which we need the public’s input with via submissions.

“But it’s always exciting reading ideas, from schools and local mums and dads requesting new playground equipment to full submissions on our roads and water - we're really open to everything because if it's important to you, we want to hear it.”

The 10-year, $1 billion Long Term Plan is awaiting final roading funding decisions of up to $450 million, and a further $442 million allocated on water, sewerage, and stormwater infrastructure.

“The Sounds Roading Recovery Project rebuild is the single biggest project that Council’s ever undertaken in terms of scale, attention, and community impact as we’ve discussed through meetings and plan submissions as we must balance fair and affordable.

“We've heard particularly from farmers saying those roads need access for heavy vehicles integral to successful farm operations, but I'm also mindful we're asking everyone to pay", she says.

While roading infrastructure remains up for debate, Mayor Taylor points out recent drought conditions and national water testing quality upgrades means investment to continue water security and infrastructure projects.

“Council is careful with water investments because we serve diverse communities with specifically local solutions - for example, Awatere Rural ratepayers don’t need to pay to treat all water to drinking standards when most goes to agriculture, so we’re exploring household point-of-entry treatment solutions for that community.

“Picton is at capacity water-wise, so a reclaimed water treatment center is crucial alongside universal water metering, investigating and fixing leaks - it’s more cost-effective now to save 25-30 per cent as Renwick did with their metering”.

Water infrastructure spending includes promised upgrades to the Peninsula Road Stopbanks in Spring Creek, but also much requested funding for removing silt from the Taylor and Opaoa River’s.

“I’m personally responsible for the communities I serve, so we need to do everything to prepare for hard times however they come”, Nadine says.

“Investment into Spring Creek’s stopbanks is crucial, and also why we’re prioritising replenishing our Emergency Events Reserve to quickly stand by Marlburians in future times of need”.

“We also recognize the Taylor River is of huge amenity value to the people of Marlborough - we've had plenty of feedback the river needs more attention, so sediment removal is a direct response to communities wanting a higher level of service”.

And while Mayor Taylor says priorities have been covered, there’s always areas she, and fellow councillors, wish they could include.

“One area is marine environment science - we support work alongside community organisations, but I’d have personally liked supporting more directly”.

Public Submissions for the 2024-34 Marlborough District Council Long-Term Plan close at 2pm on the 13 of May. Read the plan and submit at

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