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Monday
Mar212011

Destination Thames

CB Chair Strat Peters presented a draft document to today's meeting that purported to be a proposal for setting up a Destination Thames Committee as a Sub-Committee of the Thames Community Board.

I respect Strat because his heart is in the right place, and I do want to see him get his 'passion' for this project fulfilled, as long as it does not have to be paid for out of my (ratepayer) pocket.  He has of course sought $50,000 from the Annual Plan budget, but curiously, it was suggested today that the approval of this budget following the Annual Plan process was not an essential element of the  plan. Presumably, Strat has some other way of obtaining the money should the Board's bid to have it added to the Thames local rates fail. Did someone mention the TUGPRA Account, or the Thames Retained Earnings Account? I hope these people retain some of these accounts for their re-election year! 

What was excrutiating today was the palpable embarrassment arising from Strat's novel manner of seeking to stack the Committee with his own six choices to join himself, Cr. French and Board Member Bridgman. His choices were Bruce Oliver, Mark Skelding, Morrie Dunwoodie, John Sinclair (Auckland heritage architect), Rex Simpson and Geoff Furkett. These people have apparently all been approached and given their approval, but the CB members were not universally enamoured with this unconventional approach.

Councillor Connors set the ball rolling with a demand that these people should simply be regarded as "nominations, along with others who may be interested in putting their names forward". Cr. Hoadley agreed, suggesting that the process was faulty, and discussion of names in open meeting "embarrassing". CB Member Baverstock was clearly incensed at another example of the old white middle class male mafia at work. It will have to have a female representative to assuage her concerns, middle class or otherwise. 

Strat was clearly mortified at this turn of events, but he brought it on himself through hubris - again letting his 'passions' run away on him. He will now have to explain the situation to all his 'nominees', but they will probably allow their names to go forward, as the Board is unlikely to do more than add another (female?)

The Committee will be pro bono, and the costs are really based on administration - it will have to comply with the LGA and the LG Official Informations and Meetings Act, though sanctions on an unpaid committee are pretty minimal.

Now for the crunch - the functions of the Committe. It is to:

  • Develop a strategic plan that can deliver on the PURPOSE
  • Provide advice on the development of Thames so as to not diminish its individual character and investment in heritage assets.
  • To provide advice in a way that enhances its historical, geographic and social qualities and ensures they contribute to the benefit of the area.
  • Formulate objectives concerning desirable outcomes, the methods by which they can be achieved over time and the actions necessary to do so.
  • Provide information for consideration by the Thames Community Board and further recommendations to Council.
  • To provide overall advice to the development of heritage and tourism ventures.
  • To provide ways to keep visitors in the town and establish our "unique" character and identity.
  • To encourage and assist all heritage ventures to be of a high standard and tell their own story.
  • To encourage a Maori experience and feel for our local tangata whenua.

Don't know that our local tangata whenua are going to be particularly thrilled at the last of these, or that visitors will appreciate being "kept in the town".

Good luck to the Committee - it is planned that it will meet two monthly, and I guess it won't be too long before they find ways to spend our rates, but we must not pre-judge, and they do look like a bunch of worthies of good character, if a little white, and male.  

 

 

 

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Reader Comments (1)

We seem to have a mania for committees reporting to committees. The fact that we have a Community Board at all for such a dsinterested electorate seems an expensive over representative system. Surely if Strat feels a need to do this, then it is the function of the existing elected body. Strat would do better to get a Business Association up and running again as any initiative that achieves anything will be to their benifit not the 60% Superanuantants who make up the residents. How is it that once someone gets elected to Council or Government they lose sight of where the money comes from and how difficult it is for the individual to get money?
There is actually more than 40 places to eat in Thames with most closed by 3.00pm so maybe this is the theme?
COME TO THAMES AND HAVE 40 VARIETIES OF CHIP BUTTIES BEFORE 3PM

March 22, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterpeter feran

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