Future Proof began its journey in 2007 when the founding partners came together to consider some of the challenging issues associated with growth.
The need for the Future Proof Strategy emerged because of:
- Community concerns about the lack of collaboration and leadership in the management of growth.
- NZ Transport Agency concerns about the lack of integrated land use and transport planning.
- An awareness of the need to inform the Waikato Regional Policy Statement and Waikato Regional Land Transport Plan.
- Significant growth rates in the sub-region.
- An increasing recognition of the Waikato region's role in the upper North Island economy, alongside the Auckland and Bay of Plenty regions.
Three general scenarios were created during the development of the Strategy. They were:
- Business as usual
- Compact settlement
- Concentrated settlement
These scenarios attempt to paint a picture of what the future might look like. The scenarios were released for public feedback in October 2008. Feedback from consultation clearly told us that proceeding with a business as usual approach is not sustainable. Most responses supported either the compact settlement or concentrated settlement scenario, or a combination of both. As such, a combination of compact and concentrated was chosen as the preferred direction and the Strategy was prepared on this basis. More consultation was carried out from March to April 2009, and hearings were held in May 2009.
The Strategy was adopted by the partners on 30 June 2009 and launched by Prime Minister John Key and Kingi Tuheitia on 8 September 2009.
Since its adoption in 2009, the project has been strongly focused on implementation, particularly anchoring the settlement
pattern through statutory processes. Some key implementation achievements include:
- Incorporating the Future Proof settlement pattern and key principles into the Waikato Regional Policy Statement and Regional Land Transport Plan.
- Incorporating key aspects of the Future Proof Strategy into the Hamilton City, Waipa and Waikato district plans.
- Taking a joined-up approach to sub-regional growth management which has provided the confidence for funding to be provided for significant projects such as the Waikato Expressway.
- Completion of the first Housing and Business Development Capacity Assessment.
Future Proof began another chapter of its journey in 2015, with a two-phased process to update the Strategy.
Phase 1 of the update was completed in November 2017. The aim of this update was to create a document that is up-to-date, taking into account changes since the Strategy was first adopted in 2009.
The Phase 2 update is currently underway. The aim of this update is to address the requirements of the National Policy Statement on Urban Development Capacity, and the Government's Urban Growth Agenda. It is anticipated that the Phase 2 update will be completed in 2020.