We deliver and fund a wide range of community activities every year. They include libraries, venues and community events, pensioner housing, civil defence and emergency management, community safety, community sector liaison and support, village planning, museum and information services.
We also distribute a wide range of grants, loans and concessions for things like community halls, mowing; heritage, arts and culture and community events. Our aim is to help communities to identify the issue or issues they want to address, the outcomes they want to achieve and outline the processes for getting there.
One way for a community to develop is by creating a Village Plan that outlines small projects to improve the neighbourhood. These may vary from feasibility studies and concept plans to playground improvements, walkways and street furniture, and Village plans can be a catalyst for larger projects. Parua Bay was the first community to develop a Village Plan. While we will continue our relationship with Parua Bay and are now working with Otangarei, Hikurangi and Kamo.
Grants, concessions and loans
Every year we put about four million dollars of funding and assistance into the community to support of an array of facilities, services and events. In some cases this helps to bring further funding into our district, in others it helps local community groups provide local events and activities for their residents.
Supporting and empowering residents to feel safer in their communities is important to growing our district. We have a comprehensive community safety programme that involves businesses, groups and networks across the District.
The people of our District are diverse and we are committed to engaging with them all, so we have set up a number of advisory groups. These include the Youth Advisory group (YAG), Positive Aging Advisory Group (PAAG) and the Disability Advisory Group (DAG). They help us understand diverse needs and and improve what we do.
In New Zealand 97% of Councils provide libraries. Our service includes the award-winning Whangarei Central Library, branch libraries in Kamo, Onerahi and Tikipunga, and a mobile library that tours communities throughout the District. We provide information, education, recreation services and resources. We also administer grants for and offer professional support to eight community libraries staffed by volunteers: Hikurangi, Matapouri, Ngunguru, Ruakaka, Tauraroa, Waipu, Whananaki, and Whangarei Heads. We aim to provide lifelong learning including access to computers and the internet, and training in how to use them; information; relaxation and enjoyment through books, audiovisual media, technology, events at the library along with a safe meeting space, across our district.
We are part of a formally structured Civil Defence network that brings together government agencies, businesses, emergency services and other councils and communities in an organised way when there is an emergency. Much of our work involves making sure we are ready to respond when an emergency happens. Behind the scenes we are all working together with communities to ensure they are prepared for emergencies, can respond, and then recover.