June Council meeting highlights
Here's the agenda and staff reports for the Council meeting held Thursday 27 June 2013(external link)
Rarotonga to receive waste minimisation advice from Council
Council has approved Anne Lister’s, Waste Minimisation Officer, visit to the Cook Islands in July/August as part of the NZ Foreign Affairs & Trade Aid Programme facilitated by Local Government NZ.
Anne has been requested to provide advice on waste education programmes and the development of an environmental education centre based on the Gisborne model. Estimated costs for the week long trip are $3-4k. This will be fully funded as part of the NZ Foreign Affairs & Trade Aid Programme. Council has been proactive in waste minimisation practices over the years and the request for technical assistance in this area acknowledges this experience.
Cenotaph Soldier will not go on display
The soldier that has been removed from the top of the cenotaph will not go on public display. A recommendation to publically display the soldier on the grass in front of the Lawson Field Theatre at a cost of $13,000 has not been supported. Council was keen to focus efforts on getting the Cenotaph repaired. The soldier is encased in a metal frame and is in secure storage in a warehouse. The soldier cannot be viewed by the public whilst it is housed in the warehouse.
Pohutakawa tree will stay
At the last meeting Council voted for the Pohutukawa tree adjacent the Cenotaph Monument to be removed. That decision has been overturned after public support to save the tree. Support included a petition with 400 signatures presented to Council this week by 12 year old Cameron Wood. The decision has been overturned and the Pohutukawa Tree, which is approximately 80 years old, will remain on site.
Council’s 2013/14 Annual Plan gets the green light.
Council has adopted its 2013/14 Annual Plan and plans to collect $50m in rates; an increase of 2.5% on the last financial year.
The level of rate increase has been reduced by $2m from what was predicted in Council’s 2012-2022 Ten Year Plan. Actual changes in rates for individual properties will vary depending on where they live, the value of their property and the services provided in different areas.
The changes vary significantly across the district. While 1400 ratepayers are likely to pay slightly less in rates this year, some property owners will pay significantly more. Changes in rates for soil conservation, pests and plants and rural fire are one cause of the large increases.
Council resolved to review as a matter of urgency the possibility of a remission for the three rates.
Partnership between Council and NZ Transport Agency
Council endorsed in principle a proposal to enter into a collaborative partnership with the New Zealand Transport Agency to manage the Gisborne region local roads and highways as one roading network.
The partnership would be an innovative, new way of jointly managing a road network - the first of its kind in New Zealand. The aim would be to provide the best possible rural road network, and deliver a consistent and safe experience for customers.
250th Anniversary of Cook’s Arrival celebration supported
Council has confirmed its support of the 250th Cook Anniversary preparations. Council considered an application from Eastland Community Trust, Tairawhiti Heritage Trust and Historic Places Trust at the 2013/14 Annual Plan Hearings for seed money to start the preparation for the event.
While the money was declined at this stage, Council has now expressed commitment and support for the project. Representatives will meet to consider the benefits of establishing a Cook’s anniversary working party.
Feedback wanted on Speed Limits bylaw
Council has reviewed its Speed Limits Bylaw and is proposing to reduce the speed limit in the Sponge Bay subdivision and along Sponge Bay Road. No other changes are planned to the speed limits on local roads in the district. The bylaw covers all the local roads in the Gisborne district, but not State Highways.
Council adopted the proposed bylaw for consultation. Community feedback on this is now sought.
Chief Executives Activity Report for May and June
Judy Campbell updated Council on the progress of all of Council’s major projects, the staff restructure, Council buildings and planned improvements to building and resource consents and the District Plan.