Councillor Craig Watson

Public to have say on parks

by Anonymous Author

The Selwyn District Council has called on the public to have their say on the use of the district’s parks. This month, the council voted in favour of a review of the Parks and Reserves By-law going out for public consultation.

It is in response to community concerns about such issues as the use of model aircraft and drones, unsupervised children in parks, animals on parks and reserves, and the rules around lighting fires in public places.

Councillor Craig Watson, who has been appointed to the panel hearing submissions, encouraged the public to have their say about what they wanted to see in a new by-law, particularly in view of the changing face of Selwyn and the advent of new technology.

“The Local Government Act requires by-laws to be reviewed within 10 years of the last review, so hence we are now looking at reviewing this one.

“A lot has changed since the 2009 writing of the current by-law. Drones are now a thing; they are cheap and accessible to all. We are also a more urban district than 2009.

“Also, we have become a more risk-averse society, so legislation and community expectations of reserves and facility use has changed.”

Councillor Watson said that he worried that the community would not input into the review as the council just held several similar reviews and is currently undertaking a district plan review.

“I hope that people do feed into the [parks] review, we can only consider changes to the draft by-law if you submit, it is simple and easy to do, and you do not have to present it in person as we weigh written submissions equally with oral submissions.”

Submissions on the draft by-law are open until November 20. Council is expected to adopt the bylaw in February 2019.