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Council Briefs

Mangroves - The fury of the Whangamata representatives was evident yesterday, and Johnston is demanding the the costs of removal and control should be a District charge - he claim that it is a District wide problem, but I don't hear the same calls from elsewhere for pristine harbours. Opposing Iwi came in for a bollocking, but can't imagine that will help to change their position, and we all know what the average denizen of Whangamata thinks of our relationship with the various Iwi that are Tangata Whenua of that area. WRC is accused of being "negligent" and the CEO and Friar came in for some rough treatment. Boy, they certainly get their knickers in a knot over this issue.

Moanataiari - Watch this space - there is a very definite move afoot to discredit the 20ppm limit that the DOE have in the past determined as the upper level of tolerance for arsenic. Day claims that they now on board with a re-think that may let us off the hook as regards remediation. They have given away the idea of 'background sampling' in any case - all too difficult, and what would it prove? - nothing that they want I suspect.

Financials - A substantial drop in revenue was noted by CFO Steve Baker - we are going to be close to the 150% of rate revenue borrowing limit before too long as capex is not dropping fast enough. Opex is down $5.2m at this moment, and the redundancies have cost $700,000. Development Contributions are again down - what is new, and Steve Claims that they will just about be "zero-rated" for the new year. Ho-hum! The breaking of the borrowing limit was approved - according to Fox (Chair of Audit) - "It is just a blip".  

Destination Coromandel - John Sandford (Chair) and Brent Page (Trustee) came to give the bad news about the losses that had been pinpointed in the Tourism Coromandel accounts - mostly down to a substantial loss that had apparently been under-written on the Whangamata Kids Festival, and which certainly was not revealed in last years accounts. What was revealed was a substantial 'sundry debtors' that should have been listed as 'bad debt' and written off. It was apparently a disputed amount owed by Hauraki DC. Never mind, TCDC (and presumably HDC) has provided $75,000 'bridging finance' (don't you love it!) to get them through, and adopted the new budget and business plan that they have produced for the coming year.

It all looks good - and so it should with these rather expensive professionals involved. They plan to change the whole emphasis away for marketing 'units' to providing "the sizzle" for the whole Peninsula. In fact we heard the word 'sizzle' several times - a bit like 'charette' - what does it all mean? Interesting to note that 82% of our visitors are from NZ, and they plan to push that market keenly.




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