Starting at the beginning of my time as Mayor of Kaipara District four months ago I set out to communicate better what’s going on at Council. This short column is the latest part of sharing hot-off-the-press updates with the community.
Good news from last week is the appointment by Council of a new Chief Executive. Louise Miller will be relocating her family to Kaipara from Tauranga, and is enthusiastic about being part of, and working with, communities like ours. To whet her appetite before joining the team in September, Louise will be spending a few days with existing Council staff in coming weeks. Acting Chief Executive Peter Tynan will be moving on in June, having led Council through a very busy time, plenty of transformative change and the preparation of the first Long Term Plan by an elected Kaipara District Council since 2012. All thanks to him for being great to work with and helping set a clear course towards the future.
Council feels to me to be very much improved from the place I arrived at in February; still as busy as ever and running on a shoestring but now with a sense of renewed optimism. The fact 119 people applied for the Chief Executive role shows that Kaipara has great expectations.
Speaking of great expectations, feedback on the idea of reviewing the District Plan was very clear during the recent Long Term Plan 2018-2018 consultation. You wished us to get on with the review and to allocate funding for this action. We have listened. I’m delighted to report we will undertake a comprehensive review commencing in the new financial year. This is an expensive but unavoidable exercise. We have added $6.9m funded over the ten years of the Long Term Plan. This has been achieved without any increase to rates by reprioritising other activities and expenditures. Considering growth pressures and opportunities all across Kaipara District – it seems everyone I meet has a story of someone trying to subdivide or build or make way for more Kaipara businesses or residents – then this is a highlight for me from the Long Term Plan.
Beyond business as usual the next few weeks will be outstanding for Kaipara District: we’ll see final careful audit checks by Deloitte (who work under appointment of the Auditor-General) of the draft 250 page Long Term Plan 2018-2028, the appointment with Northland Regional Council of commissioners for resource consent hearings on the Arapohue chicken farm, signing of the new roading contract (2018-2021) for upkeep of our Kaipara roads and the commencement of preliminary discussions on a Treaty of Waitangi settlement for the Kaipara Harbour. Plenty of fresh activity here.
I look forward to updating you on these developments and much more as we go along. Stand by for another short memo in a couple of weeks’ time. In the meantime, go safely and with care as the nights get longer and the season gets wetter.
Nga mihi nui