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 Bank Scandals (And Air Crashes)

Last month, the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) filed proceedings against Westpac over activities that have some distinct echoes of the Libor scandal. More>>

Budget: Health Funding Must Keep Up With Need

NZNO: “The nursing team has been doing more with less for years. It’s getting to the point that we’re really worried about our colleagues, our patients, our jobs and the level of health care available for people in our country." More>>

ALSO:

Emissions Inventory: Time For The Government To Do The Right Thing

It’s time for the National Government to step up and do the right thing to reduce climate pollution as data shows New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions are higher than ever, the Green Party said today. More>>

ALSO:

Budget 2016: More Partnership Schools To Open

Seven new schools will join the eight Partnership Schools already open, along with further new schools opening in 2017. “The growth of this policy is a reflection of the high level of interest from educators and community leaders,” Mr Seymour says. More>>

ALSO:

No Correspondence With English: Did Brownlee Make Up Sale Of Navy Ships ‘On The Hoof?’

Having revealed that several Royal New Zealand Navy vessels have not left port in years, New Zealand First is now asking the Minister of Defence to prove he did not come up with the idea of selling HMNZS Taupo and Pukaki until the media asked him. More>>

Housing Plans: Labour- Abolish Auckland Urban Boundary
The Government should rule out any possibility of an urban growth boundary in Auckland Council’s Unitary Plan if it is serious about fixing the housing crisis. More>>
Greens - State House Solution
The Homes Not Cars policy allows Housing New Zealand to retain its dividend and, in addition, would refund its tax, to spend on the emergency building of around 450 new state houses. More>>

ALSO:

Houses And Taxes: Post-Cabinet, Pre-Budget Press Conference

The Prime Minister said that the pre-budget announcements showed that his Government is “investing in a growing economy”. He re-affirmed the National Government’s commitment to lowering personal tax rates but that any such change must fit with the fiscal reality of the time. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news