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Committee Highlights 10 and 11 October 2012

Committee Highlights


10 and 11 October 2012


Environment and Policy Committee

Parking Fees in the CBD

Parking fees were raised from $1 per hour to $2 per hour in the CBD in July to increase income from fees and reduce rate increases. It was assumed the higher fee would result in a revenue increase of at least 50%. Revenue from fees has increased but not to that level.

Three reports went to the committee this week including a petition forwarded by Mayor Meng Foon with 69 signatures asking Council to take the fee back to $1. There was also a report from Councillor Manu Caddie and a staff report.

Decision

Staff will work with Heart of Gisborne and report back to Council with an analysis of the situation, the potential impact on CBD businesses and alternative policy proposals.

Crown Minerals Bill

The issuing of royalties was raised in a submission by Local Government New Zealand on the Crown Minerals Bill. Council has prepared a submission that builds on that.

It suggests that a proportion of royalties be payable to local councils in whose area the mineral extraction activities take place. This is to provide for local benefits to the community that may be adversely affected by the activity and to support the Council that is likely to incur costs as a result of local exploration initiatives.

Decision

The committee endorsed the staff submission on the Crown Minerals (Permitting and Crown Land) Bill as a Council submission.

Operations

Who won the tenders

• For trenchless wastewater pipeline renewals in Customhouse Street and The Esplanade Hydrotech Drainage and Plumbing Ltd.

• For 52km of sealed road resurfacing in 2012/13 the tender was awarded to Downer New Zealand.

NZ Transport Agency – State Highway Safety Projects

Ken Holst, NZ Transport Agency Traffic and Safety Engineer, discussed upcoming road safety projects for the Gisborne district including:

• proposed speed reductions at Tolaga Bay and Wainui

• relocation of speed signs at Makaraka

• Intersection SH2/Salesyards Awapuni Road passing bay

• Awapuni School road safety improvements

• Esplanade/Wainui Road (SH35) intersection changes

Rural Transfer Stations changes

Since changes were introduced to Council’s rural transfer stations on 1 October rubbish volumes have dropped, Ruatoria residents are using their kerbside collection more instead of travelling to the transfer station and composting courses have been well attended.

Other things to note:

• Mailing out refuse stickers will be reviewed as it is hindering Council’s ability to send out rates invoices electronically.

• There will be additional opening hours over Christmas/New Year from Saturday 22 December 2012 to Friday 18 January 2013 in Te Araroa, Te Puia Springs, Tokomaru Bay and Tolaga Bay transfer stations. These areas tend to get large number of visitors/campers at this time of year.

• Skip bins at Onepoto Bay and Waipiro Bay will no longer be provided.

Finance and Monitoring Committee

Gisborne Holdings Annual report

Council owns Gisborne Holdings which operates Tauwhareparae Farms.

The farms had a good result from their farming operations in the last 12 months. Council gets a $2.017 million return on its investment this year; more than $1million above what was expected. The farms pay Council a dividend equal to 70 percent of cashflow profits.

ENDS


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Gordon Campbell:
On First Time Voting (Centre Right)

For the next two days, I’m turning my column over to two guest columnists who are first time voters. I’ve asked them to explain why they were voting, for whom and what role they thought their parental upbringing had played in shaping their political beliefs ; and at the end, to choose a piece of music.

One guest columnist will be from the centre right, one from the centre left. Today’s column is from the centre right – by James Penn:

As someone who likes to consider himself, in admittedly vainglorious fashion, a considered and rational actor, the act of voting for the first time is a somewhat confusing one. I know that my vote has a close to zero chance of actually influencing the outcome of Parliament. The chance I will cast the marginal vote that adds to National or Act’s number of seats in Parliament is miniscule. The chance, even if I did, that doing so would affect the government makes voting on a strictly practical level even more spurious as a worthwhile exercise.

But somehow I have spent a large amount of time (perhaps detrimentally so, depending on the outcome of my upcoming exams) agonising over how to cast my first vote in a national election. More>>

 

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