Mayor's Column for March 2017

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Welcome to this month’s column. I hope you have been enjoying the summer weather that has finally arrived. With the summer weather also comes road works, as the maintenance and construction season gets into full swing.

Inframax performance

At Waitomo District Council we have for many years rated the performance of our road maintenance contractor on a monthly basis. The last few months has seen Inframax Construction Limited attain performance scores higher than I have seen before, and I congratulate them on this achievement. We are hearing of similar feedback for all the contracts they are involved in, and excellent feedback from NZ Transport Agency and other councils they are doing work for. This transformation has been achieved by sheer hard work, and an excellent understanding of the “business” by a very motivated Board, and all staff. They have now forged a strong reputation in the central North Island, as a very reliable performer, who delivers a high standard of work, and one that other companies are very keen to work with.

Healthy Rivers

WDC has, over the past couple of months, been putting together a submission to the Healthy Rivers proposed plan change on behalf of the communities of our district. We have received valuable feedback from the King Country River Care group, and others, which has been incorporated into our final submission. It is great to see many farm businesses very engaged in this submission process, and I know there will be a substantial number of submissions from this area received by the regional council. I’m sure we will be in for a lengthy process, as all the submissions will be heard, by the independent commissioners.

Tuia Leadership programme 

Over the weekend, the first wananga of the year for the Tuia Leadership programme took place at the Tahaaroa Marae. This programme was started in 2011 by Marcus Akuhata-Brown, a gifted leader, and motivator of young people.

One of its key purposes was to create more young community leaders throughout Aotearoa. Mayors from around the country, choose and then support young Maori rangatahi for a year,  as they attend 5-weekend wananga around the country over the course of the year and mentoring in areas of leadership.

I have been involved since this started in 2011, with a small group of 11 Mayors and their rangatahi. This has grown to 45 participating this year. I have my 8th rangatahi Pianika Waugh participating this year. I am very much looking forward to working with Pianika over the coming year.  Hilary Karaitiana is also a great supporter of this kaupapa and has been involved with me along the journey. This project is an inspiration to be part of and is very satisfying to see how it has grown, and the numbers of young leaders that are now very involved in their respective communities.