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

 


Chamber cautions council to spend wisely

Chamber confident about Wellington’s future but cautions council to spend wisely

Wellington has a huge and dynamic future but to ensure the city reaches its potential it must grasp the many opportunities that are beginning to present themselves, says Wellington Employers’ Chamber of Commerce President John Milford.

He was making the Chamber’s oral submission to the City Council’s Draft Annual Plan.

“Looking ahead to what we can do, the Chamber has some ‘bottom lines’ for future projects and proposals, both those in the draft annual plan and those signalled for future consideration as part of the priority growth agenda’s ‘8 big ideas’,” he told councillors tonight.

“With continued uncertainty about future liabilities such as earthquake strengthening of council buildings, legal action from leaky homes, and as the region awaits the outcome from the Local Government Commission’s reorganisation proposal, it is important that expenditure within the council’s operations is well considered.”

He said the council must continue to operate within financial prudence as the economic recovery begins to be cemented in.

“This is not to say the Chamber is against future investment or consideration of future project expenditure.

“But we should be well informed and thoroughly convinced about adding to the city’s debt – with a plan on how we pay for it.”

He said that for all project proposals, the Chamber would need to see:

An investment strategy, with a robust business case, including a convincing cost benefit analysis and return on investment, with funding in collaboration with commercial partners.
A repayment strategy, with a solid commitment to service and pay down the debt quickly.

“Regardless of the overall balance sheet or the council’s credit rating, servicing our debt and paying it down needs to be made a No 1 priority.

“Given the upcoming amalgamation possibilities, we must also be clear on how each project will benefit the entire region.

“The council needs to ensure the city has what it needs, to generate business activity, to make our city regionally, nationally, and internationally attractive and vibrant.

“The council must be absolutely focused on growth – because it’s business and investment that are going to get the city humming.

“This should not be a single focus about growing the rate base – it’s about being a competitive city again.”

He also repeated the Chamber’s concerns around the council’s decision to adopt the Living Wage.

“The Chamber is very concerned with the method in which the council made this decision.

“Though a living wage is well-intentioned, and we all want everyone to share in the rewards of economic growth, what’s not clear is how this is going to help the city grow so everyone can enjoy higher wages.

“The Living Wage incurs additional operating cost on the city and ratepayers which is not in the council’s mandate. Minimum wage and employee income subsidies are a central government issue for which individuals and business contribute through tax.

“As a business organisation we question whether the adoption of the living wage was a prudent business decision.”

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell:
On Anne Tolley’s
Callous Folly

Years ago, I remember someone in the Heath Ministry telling me off the record that regulatory oversight in this country largely consisted in ‘waiting for something to turn green or fall off somebody’ before the authorities would swing into action...

Last week’s conflict between Social Development Minister Anne Tolley and District Court judge Carolyn Henwood illustrated quite a few of the flaws in the system. More>>

 

Members’ Bills: Greens' Domestic Violence And Loans Bills Pulled From Ballot

Jan Logie’s Domestic Violence-Victims' Protection Bill introduces workplace protections for victims of domestic violence, including allowing victims to request paid domestic violence leave for up to 10 days... Gareth Hughes’ Bill allows Kiwis with student loans to defer their student loan repayments into a first home savings scheme. More>>

ALSO:

IPCA: Police Did Not 'Deliberately' Use Pepper Spray On 10-Year-Old

"When spraying the man, the officer did not properly consider the necessity of using pepper spray in a confined space, the likelihood that it would affect the other innocent passengers or the fact that he was using a more powerful spray." More>>

ALSO:

Donor Bill Passes: Full Income Compensation For Live Organ Donors

Unanimous cross-party support for the Compensation for Live Organ Donors Bill represents a critical step in reducing the burgeoning waiting list for kidney donations, according to Kidney Health New Zealand chief executive Max Reid. More>>

ALSO:

Earthquake Response: Emergency Legislation Prepared

Three new Bills have been drafted in the wake of the magnitude 7.8 earthquake on November 14 to ensure the government can enable affected communities to respond quickly and efficiently. More>>

ALSO:

Housing MPs: New Building(s) For Parliament

A new building will be erected on Parliament grounds to house Members of Parliament and their staff who currently work in leased accommodation in Bowen House. The plan has cross-Party support, apart from NZ First, said Parliament’s Speaker, Rt Hon David Carter. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news