From the Mayor's Desk

Articles and letters from the Mayor of Kaipara District - Greg Gent. 
 
11 July 2017 - Roading Meetings

I write this in Dargaville after just completing the last of the six roading meetings that were held across the district. Meetings were very well attended. I would like to think ratepayers and residents gained an understanding of the issues that Council is grappling with.

The overwhelming feedback from ratepayers was the lack of water table maintenance and then when it is done, the standard of that work. Culverts not being cleaned to an acceptable standard, and grading were also consistent concerns.

As a result of these meetings we will form community groups that can provide local input to our engineering staff around the priorities for their area and also feedback on how well contracts are being delivered on. This should get ratepayers much closer to the decisions we need to make in our roading network. A number of attendees at meetings indicated a willingness to be part of such a group in their area and I thank them for that. We will now have to define what those regions are and ensure we have reasonable coverage of community representation. If you are interested in such a role but could not get to a meeting then please email Sean Mahoney (smahoney@kaipara.govt.nz) your contact details and register your interest. We think these groups could meet quarterly at the start and as things progress that may be able to be pushed out to three times per annum.

Like almost every decision your Councillors make our debt position is a major consideration. After leaving some of the meetings I am not sure the reality of our situation was well understood.

In the Local Authority Comparatives table (below) you will see a sample of similar rural district councils and/or our neighbouring councils and their indebtedness. Some of those councils will be on the brink of embarking on a major capital spend, the Far North being a good example but overall Kaipara is unfortunately the outlier. You will see from the sample of smaller councils like Kaipara our debt per ratepayer is over double the average of the group. That is the reality that your new Councillors have to work within. Our ability to spend additional money on roads that does not carry an NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) subsidy is not an option for us at present.

For those who could not attend a roading meeting the presentation, which is quite self-explanatory, is on Council’s website here.

Local Authority Comparatives (Annual Report year ended June 2016)*

Local Authority

Population 2016

Rating units (RU)

Rates $000's

Rates per RU

Debt  $000's

Debt per RU

Debt by popn

Ashburton DC

 33,700

 15,397

30,157

1,959

 47,352

 3,075

1,405

Clutha DC

17,450

11,998

 17,764

 1,481

 0  

 0  

   0

Far North DC

     62,000

  38,548

       73,710

    1,912

    26,500

       687

   427

Gore DC

      12,500

   6,047

       14,284

    2,362

    12,000

    1,984

   960

Grey DC

13,550

    9,096

       13,109

    1,441

     30,300

    3,331

2,236

Hauraki DC

       19,550

     11,839

          20,473

       1,729

       34,010

       2,873

       1,740

Horowhenua DC

       30,100

     17,933

          27,807

       1,551

       49,000

       2,732

       1,628

Kaipara DC

       21,700

     15,298

          28,361

       1,854

       64,961

       4,246

       2,994

Manawatu DC

        27,500

     25,833

          25,833

       1,000

       53,000

       2,052

       1,927

Masterton DC

        24,600

     12,240

          26,237

       2,144

       52,300

       4,273

       2,126

Matamata-Piako DC

        34,100

     14,877

          32,097

       2,157

       25,000

       1,680

          733

Southland DC

        30,900

     20,749

          38,431

       1,852

                0  

             0  

             0  

Tararua DC

     17,600

     10,595

          20,589

       1,943

          9,924

          937

          564

Thames-Coromandel DC

        28,400

     26,848

          58,668

       2,185

       35,000

       1,304

       1,232

Waitaki DC

        22,100

     13,202

          29,544

       2,238

               12

              1

              1

Whangarei DC

        87,700

     43,077

          72,800

       1,690

     152,052

       3,530

       1,734

Average

        30,216

     18,349

          33,117

       1,844

       36,963

       2,044

       1,232

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Auckland Unitary Council

   1,614,300

  536,549

    1,565,000

       2,917

  6,941,000

     12,936

       4,300

*Made up of similar rural district councils (DC) and/or our neighbouring councils


23 June 2017 - Dargaville Town Plan
 

As you will be aware from earlier Columns I have written, Council wishes to begin a process to develop a Town Plan for Dargaville. I will refer to Dargaville however, done well, supporting communities should get a spinoff. The classic hub and spoke rationale of regional development.

The vision is          Dargaville a great place to live

                            Dargaville a great place to visit.

We have spent time with people from the Dargaville Business Forum, Dargaville Development Board, Te Uri o Hau, Dargaville Promotions Society, and Te Roroa and come up with some key work streams. What is proposed will build on and enhance the great work some of these community organisations are doing.

1        Develop an identity (brand) for Dargaville

2        What infrastructure is needed in the Town

3        Town Centre improvements

4        Community Facilities

5        Population demographics (older persons and Maori youth being examples)

Governance Group Needed

Council will fund the work within a budget. What is required are individuals to be part of a Governance Group that will drive the whole process. We would expect a large part of servicing the Governance Group will come from Council staff, however some key areas, brand for example, will require external expertise.

The ideal size of the governance group would be five plus a Chair. Costs would be covered for members at Council rates and possibly a modest honorarium for the Chair.

This Group will drive governance, not representation, so will act in the interests of Dargaville and its surrounds. The very important function of representation will be driven by very regular community engagement along the way.

We are seeking individuals who are prepared to put their names forward for the Governance Group. Skills would include:

1        A passion for Dargaville and its surrounds

2        The ability to think laterally and look at things with a fresh approach

3        Proven ability to work within a group

4        A visionary

5        No overt political affiliation

Diversity in all of its facets will also be important for a very effective Group.

If you would like to contribute and be part of this Group then please get your relevant details to Sean Mahoney (smahoney@kaipara.govt.nz or 09 439 3602). Council will then work through a selection process.

We would like to get this project started by spring. Once appointed the Group would come up with their Draft Terms of Reference and budget, both of which will need Council signoff.

If you believe you have the skills and want to give something back to your area I urge you to put your name forward for what will be an exciting project.


CONTACT US

Online Requests 

Kaipara District Council
0800 727 059 (24 Hours)
Phone: +64 9 439 3123
Email: council@kaipara.govt.nz
 

OFFICE LOCATIONS

Office hours: 8 am to 4.30 pm Monday to Friday

Address: 42 Hokianga Road, Dargaville 0310
Address: Unit 6, The Hub, 6 Molesworth Drive, Mangawhai 0505

Mail: Private Bag 1001, Dargaville 0340
 

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