Future Tairawhiti highlights
Future Tairāwhiti is a new committee of Gisborne District Council with a focus on the big issues for the district. Agenda and reports from the Future Tairawhiti meeting on 8 May 2014(external link).
Supporting Te Aitanga a Mahaki
Council made a submission in support Te Aitanga a Mahaki Trust’s Deed of Mandate to enter into negotiations with the Crown to settle Treaty of Waitangi grievances. Council recognises Te Aitanga a Mahaki as an iwi with mana whenua within its stated boundaries because of the Te Aitanga a Mahaki Iwi Management Plan lodged with Council on September 2013 and the role Te Aitanga a Mahaki has in the (yet to be established) Local Leadership Body consisting of three Turanga iwi – Rongowhakaata, Ngai Tamanuhiri, Te Aitanga a Mahaki.
Where is Council heading?
Confirming the vision, and setting the strategic direction of Council is the first step in preparing Council’s next Long Term Plan. Changes to the Local Government Act mean that the next plan must include a financial strategy and a 30 year infrastructure strategy.
In April councillors looked at Council’s vision. Councillors concluded the vision needed strengthening; it should be more community focussed and inclusive of Maori to reflect our 50/50 culture. They also felt it should be simpler, include ‘firsts’ and our heritage/culture with a story to explain it. At the committee meeting they approved the following vision concept, subject to further changes.
First to see the light
First choice for people and lifestyle
First choice for enterprise and innovation
First place for the environment, culture and heritage
Council generally endorsed the six key directions proposed for the financial strategy presented by Barry Vryenhoek.
- Minimise and smooth rates – increase in total rates collected set at 2% for 3 years and changes for individual property owners to fall within a band of between – 2% and 8%.
- Minimise debt levels - ($18-$35m).
- Emphasise ‘user pays and beneficiaries’ – but may increase use of district wide funding to spread cost of infrastructure for small communities.
- Increase non-rates income –maximise grants, subsidies and commercial operations.
- Maintain current levels of services.
- Improve district’s ability to pay – eg support economic development, reduce infrastructure footprint and improved productivity of Maori land.
Council generally endorsed the direction outlined by Peter Higgs for the 30 year infrastructure strategy. The strategy covers our core activities of water supply, sewerage (treatment and disposal), stormwater drainage, flood protection, roads/footpaths and community facilities.
We will focus on:
- higher quality rather than quantity
- whole of life costs
- infrastructure to support and attract business to the district
- community infrastructure that attracts people to the district
- reduce Infrastructure footprint; encourage residential in-fill and reduce urban sprawl.
Some of the key issues we will face in the next 30 years include:
- maintaining Waingake trunk water main
- extension of reticulation areas
- discharges into waterways
- Wastewater Treatment Plant consent condition
- Waiapu River erosion works
- impact of forestry on the roading network
- multi-million costs of increasing storm events
- increasing expectations for community infrastructure.
Progress on major projects
A staff report updated Council on where all our major projects are at:
Beach front walkway
The boardwalk designs will be finalised early May 2014 and resource consent is expected to be lodged towards the end of May 2014.
War Memorial Theatre
Demolition of the existing theatre and piling is now complete. The new stage house is currently going up. The concrete in the new entrance has been poured and this will be used as a platform to lift the roof of the stage house and auditorium. Construction is on track and the stage house and auditorium will be covered before winter to ensure work can continue.
Fitzherbert Street Building
Request for proposal documents were received in April. The evaluation panel is reviewing the submissions and present a recommendation to Council.
A 3m deep trench has been dug around the Cenotaph to install the new piles so the Cenotaph can be moved and realigned. The brittle concrete on the interior of the cenotaph needs to be removed to uncover a surface strong enough for the strengthening steel to fix to.
The Pohutukawa tree will be trimmed to allow access to the monument for the piling. The arborist has recommended a light trim and lift of the branches.
There were 11 responses to the request for proposal to find a suitably qualified and experienced architect to partner with through the design process. Once a partner has been identified three concepts will be developed to present to council to extend the library.