Council Meeting Today
Tuesday, February 21, 2017 at 4:30PM
Bill Barclay

Today’s Council meeting was conducted with the utmost decorum – Mayor Sandra demonstrated patience with long-winded submitters on the draft Property Maintenance and Nuisance Bylaw, and dealt with dissent, even the hint of same with consummate ease and skill. What a change. Bullying, bluster and bull-dozing is a thing of the past.

The Treasury case for funding was first up and I have dealt with that in a separate post. Then came the extremely well written Thames Sub-Regional Aquatic Centre submission that I am pleased to say was prepared and presented before Greg Hampton’s untimely departure. He will be missed, but easily located in his new business having purchased the historic Carson’s Book Store. Greg seemed very excited at this prospect.

The Submission brought all the various angles together to permit staff to proceed with the drafting of a feasibility study in accordance with the requirements of the Waikato Sports Facility Plan that was presented along with Greg’s Report.

As many have noted, this is long overdue, and the fulfilment of a promise made long ago by Strat Peters in particular. I had not expected to see it proceed to this stage until at least 2020. The adopted recommendation was that the 2017/18 funding ($53,299) for the feasibility Study be brought forward into the current financial year, and that staff be directed to commence work accordingly without delay.          

Securing the agreement of Hauraki, and our Area Boards to participate in the development of this Centre will be a major task, but all the signs are good, and there seemed to be at least preliminary agreement around the table this morning. I for one look forward to the full commitment to and fulfilment of the Sub-Regional concept. It looks great, and it appears to be within reach. This is a project that will benefit all the residents of the town – not just a favoured few.

Sam Napia then presented the paper on the proposed Local Bill relating to mangrove management. I have already explained this, but take note of the appended Statement of Intent and Action List between the WRC and TCDC - undated, but presemably recent. Note the heavy emphasis on balancing amenity and environmental values. The environmental NGO's will be watching very carefully to see what emerges., and a 'shit-fight' seems inevitable, but I guess we should just wait and see. 

There is something screwy going on over the Sugarloaf – a Report was placed in Public Excluded that relates to ownership, and the appeal by Te Kouma residents to the Environment Court that was alluded to, but not discussed in the open.- apart from in the form of a minor spat between McLean and Brljevich over ‘conflict.’ Heaven knows what that was all about – can anyone enlighten me?

Mayor Sandra reported on the success of the Gulf Forum meeting in Auckland yesterday. It seems that there is a distinct lack of leadership in there that has allowed some of the most outrageous of the proposals to ‘get legs.’ It seems that Sandra made her mark and suggested some ways around the impasse outlined previously in this blog. We await further information.

In the meantime, here are the comments of a reader Susan Short, who also attended.

"I attended the Hauraki Gulf Forum meeting today, and must say I am very impressed by Mayor Goudie. Even though this was her first Forum meeting she had a good understanding of the issues, and contributed to the proceedings with much wisdom and good humour. It is a pity she was not nominated as the Chair, as I am sure if elected would do a much better job of controlling the proceedings than Mayor Tregida, who is ineffective, especially when confronted by those who resort to intimidatory language. Do his constituents know that he believes we have moved on from democracy, and that co-governance is where it's at now? Because that is what he said at the meeting today. I was gobsmacked!"



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