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Wednesday
Jun272018

Other Matters Arising 

Hahei Parking

Hahaei Residents & Rate-payers Association (Chair - Bill Stead) gave an excellent and well constructed presentation of the unbelievably bad summer parking problems faced by that small holiday destination as tourists desperate to get to the highly recommended (Lonely Planet etc.) Cathedral Cove park up at will, and with total disregard for signage, and locals.

Foreigners come in their hordes and the locals are utterly frustrated at the parking problems that accompanies their welcome in the town. I have observed this influx myself, and totally understand where they are coming from. It is all outlined in an extremely professional Power Point  presented to Council yesterday (at no cost to Council, I should emphasise).

The upshot was that the Chief Executive recommended that the $175k allocated in 2019/20 be brought forward to 2018/19 for the purpose of grading and metalling a 200 car facility on Council reserve - to be completed by 1 December. This seemed to mollify the delegation, and at least provide temporary respite while other options regarding parking restrictions are thoroughly explored.  I heard no mention of the Lees Road park, the access to which has already had over $1m spent on it. Leach's Walkway appears to be going nowhere (just like most of his other projects)

Alcohol Bylaw, and Concessions

This appears to exercising the minds of all the Eastern councillors, and it seems likely that the forthcoming consultation will be vigorous, and bring out many opposing points of view. The action of Police imports over the Christmas period appears to be getting right up Cr McLeans nose - he believes that they are unnecessarily officious, and that alfresco dining, and picnicking within the town boundaries needs a far more 'hands-off' policy.

Cr Connors reacted with her usual 'red rag to a bull' response to any criticism of The Force.

Cr McLean was equally enraged about the way in which concessions had been administered by staff, and particularly that it would take two years at least to correct the situation. He mentioned a glass-bottomed boat concession at Whitianga Wharf that he claimed took in over $1m per annum, but paid only about $1k in council fees to use the wharf.

Overall he reckons that the Whitianga Board has lost over $200k - oh well, you lose some etc...........

Delegations

Now this is interesting - Tony Brljevich suggested that with all the delegations (to staff, no less!) that have taken place recently, that there was little left for the Regulatory Committee for one, to do and that perhaps the need for committees generally may need to be examined. I think he was simply making a point, but it certainly raised the ire of Committee chairs who suddenly saw their prerogatives dissipating. They are all "very busy" you understand!

At the very least, this has raised an issue that will not go away, and Mayor Sandra, and the Chief Executive immediately stated that the situation will be examined, and a paper prepared for the next Council meeting (I think - it was not a resolution as such).

Chief Executive

Estimated that 73% of the Capital Works Program will be completed by 30 June, but that far better processes had been put in place to achieve improved results in the years ahead. The upside of this of course is that they will able achieve a better end of year financial result, so it is not all bad. They have certainly had some adverse weather issues to deal with.

Hauraki Tail Trail

Strat Peters reported on the remarkable achievement of 100k users for the year to 30 June on the Paeroa to Waihi sector. Strangely, we never seem to get similar reports on the Thames to Paeroa sector, but I should avoid being churlish in that regard. The new GM - Diane Drummond, appears to be doing a great job, and doing her best to stir up this sector with greater imput from Thames business.

Strat indicated that a an Auckland to Kaiaua sector is shortly to open, and further connections are planned, but we heard little about the restoration of the Kaiaua to Thames sector.

Three Waters Update

Mayor Sandra reported off agenda about her attendance at the meeting of the LGA in Wellington last week that was addressed by an Internal Affairs representative who presented a stark outlook for the future involvement of councils in the three waters - along the lines of my earlier post that you can read here.

The real shocker  came when the Mayors were apparently informed that while they be about to lose the three waters to some overarching authority/s, they would instead be awarded the grand compensation of 'social housing' - golly! Mayor Sandra (and I imagine all the other Mayors) was not best pleased at that prospect, and I imagine our councillors would probably be likewise - the thought of them managing housing for the indigent almost beggars belief, but what else could they do? Not much I suspect. 

Mayor Sandra indicated that the Department of Internal Affairs is following a political agenda that Cabinet appears determined to push through in the near future. Forces will be gathering around the country to try to put a stop to it, but councils that are resisting policies designed to assist health outcomes, and water quality issues generally are not helping their cause.

The anti-chlorination movement in certain areas is but one of these. And our Mayor is strongly opposed to any further controls over what goes into rivers - she takes the dairy farmer standpoint on most of these issues. This not what Nanaia Mahuta wants to hear, and there are surely political forces at work here that need soothing rather than confrontation. Labour is in the 'box seat' like it or not.

 

 

 

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Reader Comments (1)

This appears that Cnr McLean does not understand the roll of council. A Business case for the cost pf running and maintenence of the Whitianga wharf would show the amount of revenue Council could expect from the users of the facility. It has nothing to do with how much any individual makes.It has everything to do with the cost of service Council provides.
Bill Muir

June 27, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterWilliam Muir

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