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Friday
Aug192011

Council Reacts

 

Well talk about instant reaction.

No sooner had my posts on Tourism Coromandel and the Information Centres gone up yesterday, together with the comments about the secret Economic Development discussions at Council on 10 August, than we get a burst of PR activity from the Castle this afternoon for your weekend delectation.

It is of course what isn't said rather than what is said, but our Mayor is surely determined to fight the PR war on all fronts, and create the impression of a really 'go-getter' administration. There is much to be admired, but equally one has to treat a great deal of this with due scepticism. For instance, they must not be allowed to get off the hook on postponed capital works being used as the means to achieve the rate reduction - that is straight out 'smoke and mirrors'.

Take him at his word and let your councillors know what you think about it - I suspect a level of naivety in the ranks, and our Mayor is giving the impression of having a jolly good time. His linking of 'ongoing global economic issues' to our progressing of the aquaculture industry is pertinent - wonder if he has heard of the Holcin news out of Zurich today to postpone a 'go' decision on the $400m Oamaru cement plant until Christmas.  This has huge consequences for the building industry, and is reflective of the general environment that points more and more to recession.

Battening down the hatches may be a better option than spouting off about economic development. Capital could be in very short supply in coming months, even for the aquaculture indistry. 

Here is the Press release:

Mayor Glenn Leach: Economic Development is a priority now more than ever

Contact the Mayor

"With the announcement yesterday of the legislation to establish a new aquaculture marine zone in the Hauraki Gulf as well as the ongoing global economic issues we are all facing, I thought it would be a good time to explain how we are doing everything we can to improve things in our local economy".

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Information Centres: A key in the tourism industry

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Information Centers are a key asset to our district and a vital component of the tourism industry on the Peninsula.

We want to make sure Community Boards, Information Centers and other local associations (like business groups) are all working together in their community.

We will be giving Information Centers more profile, autonomy and accountability through access to district and local funding, based on the development and submission of annual business plans. The funding and business plans will be approved by Community Boards.

It is through Community Boards, Information Centers and Business Groups working together that will ensure local communities can drive their own destiny to stimulate visitor growth and increases in visitor spending.

Tourism Coromandel will also be working closely with the Information Centres and setting joint objectives.

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Changes proposed for Tourism Coromandel

Over the past few months, we have been working with Tourism Coromandel and its other major funder, the Hauraki District Council, to review the governance structure of Tourism Coromandel to make sure that it is 'fit for purpose' for the next ten years or so.

As a result of the review, at the Tourism Coromandel's AGM in late September, we will be asking the membership to dissolve Tourism Coromandel as a legal entity.

A new trust structure and independent Board of Directors will be established to take the organisation into the future.

"Tourism Coromandel and its past and current Directors have done a great job in marketing our Peninsula to the world and I thank them personally for all their hard work and for the results they have achieved for our District".

Without Tourism Coromandel we wouldn't have the sealed State Highway between Coromandel Town and Whitianga, which has resulted in huge economic pay-offs for the Mercury Bay area and we wouldn't be a premium destination for thousands and thousands of overseas and domestic visitors, creating much needed investment, jobs and cash for our economy.

Visitor numbers are growing at approximately 2.3% per annum and Tourism Coromandel has played a large role in making this happen.
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The new Board will be tasked with reviewing the operations of the organisation with a mandate to develop a new strategy and business plan.

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More Council initiatives to facilitate economic growth

Aquaculture
With the Government's recent announcement of a new 300ha aquaculture zone in the Gulf, this Council is already well on the way with an initiative to investigate new wharfing infrastructure with the industry to ensure the Peninsula can meet the growth in aquaculture.

Hauraki Rail Trail
The Council has already invested in the Hauraki Rail Trail to take advantage of the Government's $4m contribution. This will bring many visitors to our Peninsula and will be completed by the end of 2012.

Rates Remissions
As part of the 2012 Ten Year Plan, we are also looking at how rates remissions can be used to stimulate job growth and new commercial and residential developments.

District Plan Review
We are reviewing the District Plan to make sure it can facilitate, where appropriate, economic development.

Social Housing in Coromandel
The Council has recently supported a local community group to build 7 pensioner flats in Coromandel Town, to take advantage of $1.3m from Housing New Zealand.

Economic Development Strategy
The Council is in the middle of developing a new economic development strategy to make sure all the planning and activities we deliver are conducive to and support our economy wherever possible.

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Quality Council services at affordable rates

Elected members and Council staff have already delivered an average rates reduction across the district (that's $1.7million dollars that is staying with our residents and rate payers) and we will continue to deliver cost savings and efficiencies over the next few years to keep any rates movements under inflation.

It is vital that the Council leads by example in these tough economic times and looks within to find better ways of doing things, which deliver good outcomes for the community, while keeping rates as low as possible.

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Stay in touch

As you can see the Council is working hard to do all it can to support local industry and facilitate economic growth, while making sure it too is also spending wisely and working hard to make each 'rate dollar' go further.

Stay in touch with what we are doing - join our economic development eNewsletter and please feel free to contact me or any of your elected members if you have anything you'd like to discuss with us. 

 

 

 

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