People living throughout the Whakatāne District are being asked to contribute to a new initiative which aims to make it easier and safer to use our roads, pathways, tracks and open spaces, and gain access to services and activities.

The Active Whakatāne transport and recreation strategy project includes a public survey, which will help decision-makers gain a better understanding of how people are travelling on our roads and footpaths, and what their concerns are. The survey can be filled out by individuals, or on behalf of school-aged children and whānau, and can be found on Whakatāne District Council’s Facebook page (facebook.com/WhakataneDistrictCouncil) and website (whakatane.govt.nz).

Ann-Elise Reynolds, the Council’s Team Leader – Strategy and Asset Management, says some really useful insights were  gained from last year’s Whakatāne Ki Mua community engagement process, but more detail is needed to identify the ‘active transport’ options people would like to see developed.

“Within the Active Whakatāne project, we are running the Safe Ways to Schools programme, which uses in-class and online surveys and geospatial mapping technology to engage school communities,” Ms Reynolds says. “We want to partner with our schools, whānau and the wider community to see everyone enjoying the benefits of less car-use and more active travel.”

The Active Whakatāne strategy will address the needs and safety requirements of a wide variety of travelers, including walkers, cyclists, e-bikers, mobility drivers, scooter riders, and even horse riders. It will also include the needs of visitors to our area, people who have disabilities, and active recreational users (mountain bikers, walking track users etc.).

The strategy will form a key reference document, ensuring that future roading and recreation projects keep the community’s desire for safe and easy accessibility front-of-mind.