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Thursday
Feb202014

Waikato Spatial Plan

A presser late yesterday makes the attitude of TCDC to the WSP quite clear

The meeting at which this matter was discussed was held at TCDC on Monday morning, and still those who control the news from Waikato Mayoral Forum managed to get it totally wrong - TCDC will not be funding or endorsing the Plan.

The antipathy towards the Forum is palpable, and in particular that of Leach and Hammond. Just how that was not made clear on Monday, and previous meetings is in the mind boggling category. Their attitude verges on contempt.

Leach claims that TCDC is well served by its Blue Print, the Regional Policy Statement and our District Plan review. And amalgamation of some kind or other is just around the corner.

The extract puts the attitude of our Mayor in perspective:

"Our Council also currently has a number of shared service arrangements, and is actively seeking closer economic relationships with our historic Auckland neighbours. Our observation is that the best shared service arrangements are with a small number of councils who share similar organisation culture and priorities."

There is a determined effort afoot to secure a closer relationship with Len Brown and his Council that may well provide a greater logic that our historic alignment with the Waikato, but brings with it  real dangers - supping with the devil requires a very long spoon. Talk about muddying the waters!

Leach is determined to leave his mark on this District, and it behoves every rate-payer to keep a very close watch as his thinking, and machinating evolves. 

 

 

 

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Reader Comments (4)

In his election campaign Glen Leach was VERY critical of "The Blueprint" which he said was a waste of money, would never work because no one can plan that far ahead, and promised to review [and close down] all the ideas it contained. Well clearly he has, and has come to the opinion that is not such a bad plan after all, and the BIG plans of the Mayoral Forum, which appear to be a unitary authority covering most of what is now Waikato Regional Council, would see TCDC swallowed up. Remember this unitary thing needs a clear plebiscite, which is a lot more then the 1000 signatures gathered by Reihana Robinson, and the call for a catchment based coalition is logical and viable. Be fair, the Mayoral Forum which is an ad-hoc group have asked each council for a lot of money, and Mayor Leach, true to his word, has said we're not spending anything we don't have to, and certainly nothing we have not budgeted for. Changing his mind after having a good look at the options takes a big man. "I was wrong" is the hardest thing for anyone to say. Disagreeing with the other Mayors is OK if what they want does not fit with TCDC, that's what we elect Mayors for, and CEO's generally do what policy dictates or they find themselves in a different catchment. Yes the Regional Council Lot are trying to blindside TCDC, and given what they want to do, and the money they are asking for the top two to stand up and say Nah is the least we can expect. If a change in local government structure was deemed desirable there would be lots of letters to the editor, and many more comments here, and elsewhere. Mayor Leach set out to ratchet back the rates, and encourage people to invest, and has been shafted on a continuing basis as, day after day, long term rorts rise to the top of the cesspool. He has managed to eliminate a large number of staff, which he quietly allows has been done without a single court action. Never mind that TCDC may have had cause to prosecute ex employees, sometimes the cost is not worth it. This is a minor tiff between members of the Mayoral Forum, and yes TCDC's clear position has not been reported by the Regional Council's spin doctors. We're not immune from that sort of thing either. Mayor Leach has been thwarted from dealing with the real issues, and now having to monitor the Community Board meetings, presumably to avoid any more disasters, all the good things promised will take just that much longer. Year 4 of 6 and it has never been easy going. Establishing the true financial position has taken some doing, and perhaps including the holder of council's single biggest contingent liability in the economic planning is in fact a very wise move!

February 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterThe Elephant

What on earth are you talking about - is it this post, or the last - not very clear.
Anyway - enough excuses for Leach - by year four he should have a handle what he can do, and what he can't - not much evidence of that.
And don't pussy-foot about the finances - if he does not understand the simple concept that borrowing is borrowing, no matter its source, then he should not be in the job - that is the bottom line. And "ratcheting back the rates" while continuing to spend like there was no tomorrow, and hiring high priced gurus with more cunning than sense does not auger well for the last two years of his dictatorship - that is all too evident in the manner in which he runs the CB meetings, and which you appear to categorise as 'benign" - like Hell!
His fury over the walkway, and Coromandel is clear for all to see -staff had better keep out of his way in the aftermath. And my observations of the EDC were from the sidelines - not from out of town. As for your veiled reference to Hopper (I think!) - go pull the other one!

February 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBill Barclay

Oh my, just as I suggested back in March '13. [see below]
amazing how now Leach acknowledges the Blueprint whilst telling all and sundry during his tilt for Mayor it was a 'complete waste of money'
It was and still is one of the most widely consulted on documents and was a leader of its kind amongst TLA's--- but sadly has been bastardised by the current Council.
Not sure what 'cultures and policies' Leach would pursue with regards to Auckland but there is a certain symbiotic relationship already in that by most of the absentee ratepayers originate from Auckland- -
As for The Elephant comment on staff reductions - the Annual Plan doc. shows there has actually been an increase in staff - and it is fair to say, many of those that are working within the Council are not happy employees. As for the 'rorts' of previous years - we would all like to know just what these were?
I have spoken to many ex Councillors and most indicated that Ruru run the Council on a very tight budget - no laptops for councillors in those daysr proposed junket trips for the boys overseas!!
And the reason he has to monitor CB meetings is that he gave them a free reign and is now paying the price- came about from all that rubbish about Councils being swallowed up in almalgamation and the need for self contained outposts [CB] went againist the general tenor of the LGA 2002.
Cyclops thoughts a year ago-[cut and pasted from previous blog]------ chickens have come home to roost
Now here is a thought - if Central Govt. wants to control Councils-Regional or otherwise - they may see 'our' current disatisfaction with Waikato Regional Council as an opportunity to lump us in with the Auckland unitary authority - after all Auckland controls most of the gulf islands - right out to the Barrier - the Hauraki Gulf forum lords over all of the water virtually right around the Peninsula down to Bowentown [Waihi Beach] under the current Hauraki Gulf Marine Park Act 2000 - so including TCDC into the mix might just suit this current Covernment thinking . Sometimes one needs to be very careful what they wish for - especially when the local Mayor gets offside with his neighbours [ and fails to attend LGNZ conferences] - big brother has a way of bringing such problem children into line----------------------------------------------------
March 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCyclops

February 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCyclops

Mayor Leach is desperate to disassociate himself with any greater Waikato grouping. But in any case it is all for nought. The TCDC will not be allowed to form a Unitary Authority. Far too small ratepayer base with too high level of debt. The Current Council simply does not have the expertise nor political leadership to look at the bigger picture that Unitary has too. The current Wellington Regime is not in a mood to pander to provincial blowhards such as Leach. A Big Fish in a tiny gene pool.

The TC Community Board has a certain ring to it though:)

February 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPeter

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