It is my intention to hold an "AGM" for Council for the financial year just completed. The meeting will be an opportunity for you to hold us to account for that year. We finished the year with a surplus of $2.8 million which will be used to retire debt. That was against a budgeted surplus (budget set by the Commissioners) of $200,000. All of the surplus will be used to retire debt.
The year also ended very positively from a working capital perspective however weather meant we got less infrastructure projects completed. We will spend some time having a look at that carry over and see how much can be rolled forward or whether further debt reduction is an option.
For this year we will hold one meeting at Maungaturoto Centennial Hall on Wednesday 25 October 2017 at 1.00pm. If that is well supported we are happy to have more next year across the district.
Council has an Audit, Risk and Finance Committee. Its primary role is to consider financial matters in more depth than full Council has time to do, work with the auditors both internal and external, and have oversight of risk. To help ensure history cannot repeat we believe it is important that Committee is independently chaired. For the first year Richard Booth, one of the Commissioners, has done the job. He believes he should step down so that Council can truly move on from that phase of its history. I would like to thank Richard for staying on to do this job for us.
In his place we have appointed Stana Pezic. Stana is a working Chief Financial Officer, and has chaired a number of Audit Committees including Crown entities. I have been a part of an Audit Committee that Stana has chaired. She is currently on the board of SCION (a Crown research entity) and is chair of their Audit Committee.
Her fee will be the same as that paid to Richard (circa $5k pa). Stana lives at Waimauku and works on the North Shore.
Mangawhai Community Plan Open Days
The draft Mangawhai Community Plan had an Open Day at the Mangawahi Club on Saturday which was great. I would welcome those of you who’ve not looked through the document to do so, and offer feedback via the Council website. There is another Open Day this Saturday 07 October, starting at 2pm. Council officers will be in attendance to answer questions pertaining to the plan.
Our regional roading groups are to get together for the first time on Wednesday 01 and Thursday 02 November 2017 with four meetings being held across the district. Ideally we would have started these earlier, however most who put their hands up to be on these groups are farmers and we wanted to wait until on-farm conditions improved and farmers could take the time out. Our intention, subject to feedback, is four meetings per year with the next one planned for late January 2018.
An awards ceremony was held at Paparoa Friday 22 September, attended by our five newly awarded citizens, and a number of previous recipients. A special mention to those of you who took the time to nominate such deserving members of the district. I would welcome you to continue to think of other people in your community who are deserving of a Citizens Award and ensure you nominate them in the next round.
The Kaipara has lost one of its great community members, Noel Hilliam, who passed away after 80 amazing years. His tenacity led to the Lighthouse Function Centre and Museum becoming a reality. His passion for marine history and the Kaipara was truly a life’s work.
What a night, and sold out for both nights. The standard was as good as one would see anywhere supplemented by great local entertainment and talent. Circus Kumarani was the standout for me. Their acts were truly world class. Congratulations to Cheryl Carmichael and the many local volunteers who gave us a spectacular night.