Mayor's Column for July 2016

Tuesday, 05 July 2016

Welcome to this month’s column.

Nice to see the sun again this past weekend, even if it was accompanied by a couple of cracking frosts!

Building projects

It is exciting to see so many building projects on the go in our district, and like many of you I am looking forward to the completion of many. The Te Kumi site of the Gull service station has at least one other business planned to join this site, and we are fielding several other enquiries from potential developments. It is great to see strong investment interest and confidence in our local economy, and we are here to help these investments happen

 

Bailey Ingham

For the first time for a few years I attended the Bailey Ingham Farmers evening last week at the Otorohanga Club. This is a great initiatives as farmers and business people from both districts enjoy an evening of catching up, and enjoying some much needed camaraderie before calving starts for many. Congratulations to Bailey Ingham, and the many other sponsors for putting on such a generous and well attended event.

Social Sector Trials

We received notice at the beginning of June that the Social Sector Trials, which began in 2011 were to officially end on July 1st. 2016, after 2 periods of extension.

For 10 of the 18 sites, this finish date is permanent. For the other 8, including Waitomo, we have been given till the end of the year to develop the “trials” into a permanent, locally- led targeted program of works. Throughout the country the Waitomo trial is hailed as the exemplary model of targeting actions that produce great results in our community, and the statistics speak for themselves. The key to this success has been the “local” advisory group, and of course the incredible work of Hilary Karaitiana and her team. Hilary is so connected with young people throughout our community, and her passion is unequalled anywhere. The Youth hub “No 12” delivers so many benefits to our youth, from driver training to employment options, it is a great asset to this community.

The local advisory group is unanimous that this work must continue, but this will have its challenges as funding for much of what we do will end at the end of the year. We will be lobbying the 5 agencies that have supported the trials (Police, Justice, Education, Health, and Ministry of Social Development) to look closely at their budgets to continue to fund the many action plans we have in place that have delivered huge benefits to our Waitomo community.

I have had several conversations with Minister Tolley (Min of Social Development) and MP Barbara Kuriger has lobbied hard on our behalf, with good results. Minister Tolley is hoping to visit us in August to see first-hand how we operate here.