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TCB Economic Grants Boondogle 

If ever there was perfect example of rate-payer funded boondogle, it is the "Local Economic Development Grants Policy" that is to be adopted at Monday's meeting.

Where these people think they have the right to spend our rates in this  manner (in election year mind you!)  completely escapes me. It started with Leach and Day, and it has been enthusiastically adopted by all the board managers because this provides them with extarordinary powers in guiding the distributrion of these funds - in our case $50,000 to:

  • Provide a fund to support local economic development initiatives
  • Encourage and support local community endeavours to develop tourism infrastructure and visitor attractions within the Thames Community Board area.

The accompanying document  makes perfectly clear that the projects to be funded should have "strong linkages to providing tourism and visitor attraction outcomes."

This exemplifies the direction that this Council has taken in emphasizing tourism as the be-all and end-all of economic development in this District. The Board has latched on to the policy whole-heartedly, and you and I, as ratepayers are required to fund these schemes regardless.

Central Government wavers between extolling the virtues of councils sticking to core business, whhile at the same time Joyce and others encourage local bodies to extend there activities into these extraneous areas. It is a conrtradiction to say the least, and shows a total lack of leadership and consistency at Cabinet level - they just cannot get their story straight, and this is exemplified by the Government contribution to the purchase  of the Awarua Sand Bar.

I really recommend that all readers pay very close attention to the Principles, Criteria and Process outlined in the document. It is an outrageous concept that will iundoubtedly result in certain favoured groups putting their hands up for contributions to their activities. It is not what our councillors and board members were elected to undertake. It is an out and out boondogle by which members can curry favour with the electorate.

It will undoubtedly be adopted on Monday, and implemented before anyone can raise objection as we 'sleep-walk' towards October. 




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Reader Comments (1)

What saddens me is the fact that existing business in Thames struggles along, meeting all the various compliance costs and TCDC / Govt requirements, with the TCDC EDC not giving them (small business especially) a second's notice, except, perhaps to ask for increased rates and levies Our existing small and medium businesses are not, contrary to opinion in some quarters, making and declaring huge profits at the end of each financial year. I dare say even, that many small businesses are hanging on - just, so that any initiative targeted at them by the TCDC EDC may be appreciated. It would be heartening indeed to see TCDC representatives going to Wellington and banging on desks in a bid to win some concessions for business in provincial Thames. Thames needs strong small business and enterprise to keep young people in the town - to give those young people meaningful work opportunity, a sense of future, and a consequent commitment to Thames. Tourism is but one string to our economic fiddle, and a fickle one at that; and, taken to [extreme] success, one that changes and damages the very qualities of a place that attract visitors. A double edge sword indeed. Yes, new businesses are always welcome in our town, but let the TCDC take the lead in ensuring that our existing business is positioned to stay in Thames and remain a vibrant and stable strand of our various revenue streams. Notwithstanding broadband, businesses at Kopu might offer some useful insights into how our local body supports their development needs.

February 27, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterRussell

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