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CHR - "Benefits & Costs"

These are set out with some impressive, if unsupported projections:


As noted, the specific benefits of the Coromandel Heritage Region will be seen in 3 areas:

1. Environmental: the Signature Species monitoring framework (See Section E) will measure progress against short, medium and long term goals across 10 or so critical and indicative species plus air and water quality (fresh water and ocean). The objective in all cases will be to have a natural, clean environment and protect and nature native species which if not thriving, are returning to robust and healthy long term levels.

2. Community Prosperity (Economic). The community’s prosperity in this context includes local residents, business owners, employees, investors, shareholders and other stakeholders. These goals should be based off the Thames Coromandel Economic Development Plan of 2013 – aiming to lift this performance with a medium to long term ‘step change’. Given the longer term vision of the Heritage Region these goals should be set not as 5 years – but 10+ years, with targets initially in 2025. All these goals should be sustainable; consistent with achieving progress in the environment and social areas.

  • · An increase in Exports so that the Ratio of Exports to GDP is 50% by 2025 (vs. a 40% current target in 2018 in the 2013 Development Plan)
  • · An increase in Employment of 15% by 2025 (vs. a 5% increase targeted to 2018)
  • · An increase of visitor nights of 7.5% per annum or higher by 2025 with a focus on growth in the shoulder and off seasons (vs. a 5% or higher increase targeted to 2018)
  • · An increase in rateable income and revenue streams directly related to the Heritage Region as to provide a positive ROI on the incurred costs of the Heritage Region by 2025

3. Social: these will build off the existing community goals at a District, Regional and National level across key agencies including Heath, Education, Justice and more. Based on the results of similar “Protected Landscapes” internationally two specific goals can be identified as examples of the type of social progress that can be targeted as priorities:

  • · Growing youth employment and population. Tackling a common problem of rural areas, the Coromandel Heritage Region will support a young adult and family population that is at a broadly similar level to the National average (as a % of the population). This will be driven by employment, education housing and cultural/entertainment options that attracts and retains these residents.
  • · Cultural and Artistic Expression. The Coromandel is known nationally and internationally as a focal point of New Zealand – Aotearoa cultural and artistic expression including Māoritanga and a diverse and rich range of other art and cultural forms.


As noted it is impossible to be specific about the medium to long term costs in the establishment and management of the Coromandel Heritage Region. However, in the short term the costs associated with the Coromandel Accord process should be modest and able to be funded from within the existing, discretionary budget of the Mayor if a decision is made to proceed.

The reference to the Mayor's "discretionary Budget" in the ultimate paragraph will undoubtedly raise hackles. Leach had this fund which no-one is allowed to know about, and which was increased quite substantially on his election. If the fund enables him to undertake major policy initiatives of this nature without further reference to Council for financial authority, then it constitutes (in my opinion!) a mis-use of public funds, and needs to be watched very closely.

I will make a OIR on this fund in due course as to quantity, and detail. If this in not forthcoming, I will refer it, again without any real expectation to the Auditor General for closer examination.  




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