“As part of our Waikanae town centre improvements, we’ve got $1 million available to make improvements to Mahara Place.

“We last consulted with the community on Mahara Place improvements in 2014 and 2016. From this consultation we developed some concepts for the improvements based on community feedback.

“Since then, things have changed. The plans and timelines for the upgrades of the Mahara Gallery and Waikanae Library have been adjusted; the community has grown; and the amount of money available for Council-funded improvements has reduced through the Long Term Plan process.”

So begins the council’s media release, which is reproduced on its website here.

It’s hard to see what difference “the community has grown” should make other than the fact that more ratepayers means more Waikanae people are paying money to the council.

On the face of it, $1 million sounds a lot, but not when the KCDC is involved with spending it.  We’ve been told that the “cultural thread” has so far cost $600,000+, and you can be excused for wondering how.

“Fit-for-purpose” has become another buzz-phrase we wish the council’s “communications team” would show restraint in using.

But there is reason for optimism that the end result will look reasonable nevertheless, based on the preliminary sketches we’ve seen produced by Boffa Miskell landscape architects, who have private sector clients around NZ as well as local government ones.

At this stage we wont reproduce any of the “pretty pictures” until we know what is (reasonably) likely.