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Reihana's Petition

Here is the text of Reihana's petition (rather the Upper Coromandel Landcare Association - UCLA) on the Unitary Council proposal.

I make no comment other than to say that I think it has legs. The Mayor claimed in Council today that he did not think that it had any widespread support, or that he thought it would come up within the foreseeable future, but that mainly he needed to see some figures that indicated whether it was a goer. That should not be too difficult, but no-one was instructed to start preparing same, so I guess you can read what you like into that.

Actually, Glenn kept going about 'rumours' and 'stories' 'out there' about the demise of the regional authorities. Clearly he has not read Jane Clifton's story in the 25 Feb. Listener. If he had he would know the way that Nick Smith's thinking was moving. If he thinks that Jane Clifton reports 'rumours' and 'stories', then he has another think coming - if that story was not inspired by direct input from the same Nick Smith, I will go hang! There is movement on the way, of that we can be sure. and this Council has neither the wit or will to deal with it.

Here is Reihana's petition release:

UCLA Launches Petition Drive for Unitary Council

27 FEBRUARY 2012

A Coromandel conservation group has expanded its campaign for single-tier local government by launching a petition drive urging active support for the change from Thames-Coromandel District councillors.

The Upper Coromandel Landcare Association (UCLA) is seeking creation of a unitary local authority for the district to replace the current two-level system whereby Thames-Coromandel District Council answers to the Waikato Regional Council (WRC) in Hamilton.  Under the proposal, local government would consist of one single council combining the work of the present district and regional councils.

The petition campaign is inviting support from residents of all main centres, including Thames, Whangamata, Whitianga, Tairua/Pauanui, and Coromandel Town, as well as smaller communities across the district.

The petition asks Mayor Glenn Leach and all district councillors to take active steps “to reformulate TCDC as a unitary territorial authority, thereby providing single-tier local government for our district and removing it from the jurisdiction of Waikato Regional Council.”

The petition says its objective is to ensure “improved local government service based on decision-making by locally elected and accountable officials; policy development appropriate to our district; affordability of rates; increased council efficiency and elimination of waste; more public service jobs and economic development opportunities for our communities; responsiveness to the unique concerns, aspirations, and wishes of district residents; and provision of local benefits and value for every rates dollar.”

According to UCLA spokesperson Reihana Robinson, the campaign for a unitary Coromandel council has drawn “tremendous support all around the peninsula.“  She said the Coromandel is geographically, economically, environmentally, and socially distinct from the rest of the Waikato region.  “Our district is unique and complex.  A unitary authority would provide the local understanding, on-site management, and full resource commitment necessary for good decisions and appropriate policy development – and all at a substantial cost savings to ratepayers.”

“WRC siphons almost $10m in rates from Thames-Coromandel ratepayers each year.  Instead of going to Hamilton, those dollars should support the ecosystems, economy, infrastructure and resources of the peninsula, as well as the social and cultural wellbeing of its residents”, Robinson said.  “Regional council has proven increasingly ineffective, expensive, and unresponsive to the needs and aspirations of our communities.  Thames-Coromandel District should be more than a financial milking shed for WRC.”

The UCLA petition drive has support from groups in Thames, Whangamata, Coromandel and Mercury Bay.  Petitions will be available at fixed locations to be announced and from volunteer community coordinators.

CONTACT:  Reihana Robinson/UCLA/ 866-6620



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