Your Questions Answered - Appointment of a Chief Executive
The Commissioners are pleased to advise that a Chief Executive has been appointed to lead the Council organisation from 4 July 2016. He will take over from Dr Jill McPherson who has been Acting Chief Executive for almost eighteen months.
The appointee is Graham Sibery. Graham has had senior leadership positions in the UK, Australia and New Zealand, including in both public and private sector organisations. He will bring skills to the organisation with respect to overall leadership and management, and his knowledge of planning for and project managing large infrastructural projects will be valuable.
Community engagement on important community development matters
This month the Council held open days throughout the district. We were consulting on the Annual Plan that the Council is proposing for the year beginning 1 July 2016, but as importantly, on some of the initiatives that need to be progressed in each of our communities.
In Mangawhai, town planning matters were the focus of attention. A good number of community members attended the open day. We discussed property developments that have been consented but not yet begun, and where infrastructure was needed, including footpaths and roads.
In Kaiwaka, roads were discussed, including the sealing planned for a short section of Settlement Road. Matters to do with the plans on the state highway through the town were an area of considerable interest. NZTA carries these responsibilities.
Sessions were also held in Maungaturoto, Paparoa and Dargaville.
Wharfedale Cr property section sales
Some readers are aware that Council owned three residential sections off Wharfedale Crescent. When they were put on the market, several people, including adjacent neighbours, approached Council requesting that they be held in whole or in part and made into a reserve. Council did not support this proposal.
I can report that two of the sections have been purchased by two of the adjacent neighbours, and that the one on the lower side has been purchased by a family planning to build there.
There is a spring-fed wetland in the bottom section. The NRC is the authority which regulates the way wetlands are managed. We are hopeful that the acquirers of the sections will develop them in a way that includes landscaping and planting to improve the amenity overall.
Grants to community organisations in Mangawhai
The Mangawhai Endowment Lands Account (MELA) Committee met last month to review grant applications. The Committee granted a total of $177,355.37 to community organisations.
The Mangawhai Endowment Lands Account is a council reserve with a capital base of over $5 million from which income is derived.
More Court activity
The decision of the Supreme Court to reject the application by the Mangawhai Ratepayers and Residents Association (MRRA) for leave to appeal against the Court of Appeal’s rulings was a welcome relief for your Council. This shuts down the first leg of this expensive litigation begun by the MRRA against the Council.
A second leg of litigation, on different issues, began last week in the High Court. The MRRA as first plaintiff and R B and H E Rogan as second plaintiffs have taken Judicial Review proceedings against the Northland Regional Council and the Kaipara District Council, challenging various rates imposed. Justice Duffy has reserved her decision.
The scope of the second leg of litigation is narrower than that of the first leg. The plaintiffs have questioned matters such as whether the Northland Regional Council had the power to delegate its rate collection process to the Kaipara District Council.