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


Waitomo Calls On King Country To Join Forces

30 April 2004

Waitomo Calls On King Country To Join Forces For Golden Future

Waitomo and Otorohanga districts will retain their independent councils after the results of the Amalgamation postal ballot were announced today. Returns from Waitomo district voters showed 60% in favour of amalgamation and 40% against. 87% of Otorohanga voters chose to remain independent, with 13% voting for the new council.

The ballot had been ordered by the Local Government Commission, which identified potential benefits for a unified council administration.

Leaders at Waitomo District Council, who supported the proposal, have now turned their attention towards some exciting times ahead for the district.

“We are entering a decade of dynamism here in Waitomo,” said Mayor Allan Andrews. “Te Kuiti and the entire district of Waitomo have been identified by the Government as a “go-ahead” area.

“We are drawing up a 10-year strategic plan and there is a real buzz of excitement about what our region could achieve in the next decade.”

Waitomo District Council will continue to seek closer ties with neighbouring councils to improve the economic prosperity of the King Country.

Despite the rejection of a unified authority, the Council received a huge amount of positive feedback for its determination to work with partners to boost the profile of the wider region.

Waitomo sees considerable advantage in working together regionally to develop a stronger economy, encourage tourism and improve infrastructure.

Mr Andrews added that, ironically, one of the difficulties of selling the idea of a unified council to the public was the present Waitomo District Council’s record.

“We have held the district’s rates at the same level for the last three years thanks to the continued drive to achieve efficiency within Council operations. By changing our focus we have been able to make savings for ratepayers while delivering key improvements to services. Our residents have seen extensive road improvements, enhanced civic facilities and improved water supplies.

“Through our own initiative we are starting to attract major retailers like The Warehouse to Te Kuiti. When residents see all this happening it is naturally going to be difficult to persuade them to ditch their existing council.”

David Jack, CEO of Waitomo District Council, said he had noted the support among the public for more collaborative initiatives among regional partners.

“The feedback on regional co-operation has been very positive and we are looking at how we can take these initiatives further,” he said. “As a council we will continue to improve local services and make savings where we can. But to promote the King Country effectively we need support from neighbouring councils and regulatory bodies.”

Mr Jack added that Waitomo District Council has just launched a promotional campaign See What You’re Missing to enhance the district’s profile in terms of attracting new businesses and migrants.

Mayor Allan Andrews believes Waitomo will be at the heart of a golden era of economic expansion if authorities across the King Country can synchronise strategies.

He noted that Regional Development Minister Jim Anderton had been excited about the potential of the Waitomo District during a recent visit to meet local businesses and economic development agencies.

“Mr Anderton was impressed with improvements to Te Kuiti and said he felt ‘something is happening here’. We know that for sure. We are developing an exciting 10-year-plan and a dynamic campaign to put the district in the national and international spotlight,” said Mr Andrews.

He concluded: “The future looks bright for Waitomo and for the whole of the King Country if we can work together as a region and put small-minded parochialism aside.”


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>


Corrections Corrected: Supreme Court Rules On Release Dates

Corrections has always followed the lawful rulings of the Court in its calculation of sentence release dates. On four previous occasions, the Court of Appeal had upheld Corrections’ practices in calculating pre-sentence detention. More>>


Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>


General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our Posturing At The UN

In New York, Key basically took an old May 2 Washington Post article written by Barack Obama, recycled it back to the Americans, and still scored headlines here at home… We’ve had a double serving of this kind of comfort food. More>>


Treaty Settlements: Bills Delayed As NZ First Pulls Support

Ngāruahine, Te Atiawa and Taranaki are reeling today as they learnt that the third and final readings of each Iwi’s Historical Treaty Settlement Bills scheduled for this Friday, have been put in jeopardy by the actions of NZ First. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Damage De-Regulation Is Doing To Fisheries And Education, Plus Kate Tempest

Our faith in the benign workings of the market – and of the light-handed regulation that goes with it – has had a body count. Back in 1992, the free market friendly Health Safety and Employment Act gutted the labour inspectorate and turned forestry, mining and other workplace sites into death traps, long before the Pike River disaster. More>>

Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news