Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


Hutt City Is Not A Dog

Hutt City Is Not A Dog

Hutt City Council, at its meeting last night, discussed the necessity of communicating more directly with its audiences about the positive business environment that exists in the city.

"The importance of enhancing our communications effort has been highlighted by the ludicrous situation where one millionaire property investor calls this city a 'dog', and receives extensive media coverage of that comment with little questioning as to why he continues to invest in commercial property in the City," said Mayor Terris.

"There has been no questioning as to why this particular Council critic is now, for example, investing in Wingate - an area where Council is working in partnership with local businesses to make environmental improvements that will make it more attractive to businesses and workers.

"There has been much made of a handful of unnamed businesses who are apparently unhappy with Council's efforts to promote their interests, through rates remissions and other measures, but no acknowledgement of the fact that there are 7000 businesses in this city.

"The claim in the Dominion Post that the Westfield rates remission has 'angered many' in the business community, is dubious when none are named and nor is it made clear how many are in fact occupants of buildings owned by, or associated with, the interests of this lone, wealthy critic.

"No effort has been made it seems, to seek comment from business leaders or business organisations, who support our economic development strategy and helped formulate it.

"The recent criticism of our rates remission policy as 'corporate welfare' that 'pushed up the rates bills of other businesses' is rubbish - no business would face increased rates bills as a result of rates remissions, they would, in fact, pay less once those limited rates remissions lapsed. And rates remissions are only applicable to the capital value of the new works.

"There has been no attempt to examine - if the city is indeed 'a dog' - what benefits rates remissions and similar incentives, have brought about in other places, which might also be gained here.

"There is no mention of other local authorities, who dole out incentives without any awareness on the part of their ratepayers that this is happening. At least this council makes it known what we are doing.

"What such negative reportage does, of course, is give credence to a completely distorted and inaccurate view of this city's economic health and undermines the confidence of business people in their future here. It is, in effect, economic sabotage.

"The negative comments by this single wealthy individual, who doesn't even live here, and the disproportionate publicity given them, has already had serious adverse effects. It has resulted in an organisation that was considering applying for a rates remission deciding to withdraw that application rather than become embroiled in 'cheap political point scoring'," said Mayor Terris.

"This city has faced some significant challenges in recent times, and in the last few years we have developed an Economic Development Strategy that has already started to show positive results."

Other strategies either developed or nearing completion, include a retail strategy and a visitor strategy.

"We have taken control of our future and pursued a very proactive strategy to engage in meaningful partnerships with the business sector. That is what businesses have told us they want.

"As a result of the events of recent days, my Council will, at its next meeting in early March, be considering ways in which the many good things that are happening in our city, can be given the publicity they deserve.

"We are proud of our city and extremely positive about the future. Robust debate about future directions is of course welcomed and encouraged. Cheap political point scoring which gets publicity out of all proportion to its validity and worth, is clearly not," said Mayor Terris.

"The media have a role in scrutinising Council and informing the communities in which they operate. However, they are not serving these communities fairly by focusing on the negative, or paying lip service to 'balance' by giving precedence to almost any criticism someone cares to make and then including alternate views at the end of shoddily researched articles.

"There are a handful of people at most who never hesitate to use any opportunity to criticise Council. They are a tiny minority and yet the media are ever keen to provide them with a ready made soapbox to air their petty grievances.

"This is not a trend restricted to reportage of Hutt City. But if this City, and country, is to thrive and prosper we need to change a mindset that allows whinging and cheap political point scoring to gain priority over coverage of the many positive and innovative things that local authorities are doing to try and improve the social, economic and cultural wellbeing of their cities and towns," said Mayor Terris.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Also, Loan Interest: Productivity Commission On Tertiary Education

Key recommendations include better quality control; making it easier for students to transfer between courses; abolishing University Entrance; enabling tertiary institutions to own and control their assets; making it easier for new providers to enter the system; and facilitating more and faster innovation by tertiary education providers... More>>


Higher Payments: Wellington Regional Council Becomes A Living Wage Employer

Councillor Sue Kedgley said she was delighted that the Wellington Regional Council unanimously adopted her motion to become a Living Wage employer, making it the first regional council in New Zealand to do so. More>>


Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>


Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>


With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>


Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news