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Youth view important for Rotorua lakes strategy

Thursday, 22 September 2011 12:32 p.m.

The Strategy for the Lakes of the Rotorua district is being updated - and young people can contribute to the new strategy with art and story telling. 

The Strategy is an overarching policy document that provides a vision for the future of the lakes, with some practical steps to achieve that vision. It covers issues and goals about protection, use, enjoyment and management of Rotorua's lakes.

The Rotorua Te Arawa Lakes Strategy Group, which includes Te Arawa Lakes Trust, Rotorua District Council and Bay of Plenty Regional Council decision makers, is charged with overseeing the Strategy and providing policy guidance for its implementation. Last year the Group considered an independent review of the Strategy and approved updating the document, which is now 11 years old. 

Bay of Plenty Regional Council Sustainable Development Manager Kataraina Maki said today's youth were the future guardians of Rotoroua Lakes so it was important that their views and opinions be considered in developing a new strategy.

"To gain a youth perspective we are holding a Rotorua Lakes Short Story and Art competition. It is an easy way for the younger generation to tell us what they think about the lakes and why they are important while being able to win some great prizes."

She said the competition was the first part of community consultation for developing the updated Strategy. A public workshop would be held in December to gain input from the wider community.

"A series of speakers and workshop exercises are being planned that will help establish key values and themes, ways to implement a vision and priority actions. This will help determine the focus and structure of the next Strategy. The workshop will be attended by stakeholders, interest groups and staff.

Entry forms for the Rotorua Lakes Short Story and Art Competition are available at the Regional Council's Rotorua office. For more information on development of the strategy, or if you would like to attend the public workshop please call the Bay of Plenty Regional Council on 0800 884 880.

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Rotorua Lakes short story and art comp 2011 lowres