News & Media » Council consultation wins New Zealand Planning Institute’s Best Practice Award

Council consultation wins New Zealand Planning Institute’s Best Practice Award

Published: 18 April 2017

News type: Local news   

consultation award2Palmerston North City Council, Opus International Consultants and Green Infrastructural Services have won the New Zealand Planning Institute’s Best Practice Award for their consultation on the He Ara Kotahi pedestrian/cycle bridge. 

The Awards celebrate the important role the planning profession plays in the community and highlight the best of the best from around the country. 

“He Ara Kotahi is a new 6.6km shared pedestrian/cycle path and bridge linking Palmerston North, Massey University and Linton Military Camp,” says Ray Swadel, General Manager City Networks at Palmerston North City Council. 

“Our consultation strategy included letter drops, neighbourhood visits, an open day, two drop-in discussions and two public meetings.” 

Opus urban researchers and behavioural scientists designed an online behavioural and consultation survey, collecting views on the participants’ preferred options for the location of the bridge across the Manawatū River. 

“The survey was released through a variety of communications channels including the Palmerston North City Council website, and received an astounding 656 responses in the two weeks it was live. Still images of bridge locations and fly-by videos gave residents an indication of what a prospective bridge would look like.”

He Ara Kotahi is a key component of Palmerston North’s urban active transport network, and is the result of a partnership between Palmerston North City Council, Massey University, Rāngitane, Horizons Regional Council, the New Zealand Army at Linton Military Camp and the New Zealand Transport Agency. 

The award was accepted on behalf of Council and Opus International by Ray Swadel (Palmerston North City Council), Rob Green (Green Infrastructure Services), Andrea Harris and Ann–Marie Mori (representing Opus International) at the New Zealand Planning Institute Conference Awards dinner in Wellington.

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