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

Patience: Drive Safe

Be patient before passing is the AA's message for drivers this Labour weekend.

"People taking crazy risks to get past other vehicles is one of the most dangerous things on the road,” says AA spokesperson Dylan Thomsen.

“The weather is looking good for the long weekend so the roads will be busy. Unfortunately, that also increases the chances of people getting frustrated and trying a risky passing manoeuvre. When they get past, there will probably be more traffic up ahead anyway so it won’t get people there faster.” More>>

 
 

Parliament Today:

Employment Relations Bill: Govt Strains To Get Tea Break Law Through

The Government has been left with egg on its face - failing to get its much-vaunted, but hugely unpopular, meal break law passed in the first week of its new term, Labour spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says. More>>

ALSO:

Guns: Police Association Call To Arm Police Full Time

"The new minister gave his view, that Police do not need to be armed, while standing on the forecourt of parliament. The dark irony was that the interview followed immediately after breaking news of a gunman running amok in the Canadian parliament in Ottawa..." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Tokenism Of New Zealand's Role Against Islamic State

Our contribution against IS will be to send SAS forces to train the Iraqis? That’s like offering trainers to General Custer just as the 7th cavalry reached the Little Big Horn. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Shell And Todd Caught Drilling Without Approval

Multi-national oil company Shell’s New Zealand arm and local energy giant Todd Energy have breached the new law governing New Zealand’s Exclusive Economic Zone, the Environmental Protection Authority says in an Oct. 10 document released by the Green Party. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Pharmac, Gough Whitlam And Sleater-Kinney

We’re not at the outset of these negotiations. The outset was six years ago, and negotiators were hoping to have some sort of ‘framework’ deal finished in time for the APEC meeting in a few weeks’ time. These ‘extreme’ positions are what we’ve reached near the intended end of the negotiations… More>>

ALSO:

PM Of Many Hats: Questions, No Answers On Whale Oil

Dr RUSSEL NORMAN (Co-Leader – Green) to the Prime Minister: How many times since November 2008 has he spoken with blogger Cameron Slater on the phone and how many times, if any, has he texted him?
Rt Hon JOHN KEY (Prime Minister): None in my capacity as Prime Minister. More>>

ALSO:

Aussie Investigation Dropped: Call On Minister McCully To Pursue The Case Of Balibo Five

West Papua Action is deeply concerned at the lack of any clear outcome from the Australian Federal Police inquiry into the 1975 deaths of the ‘Balibo Five’ including NZ journalist Gary Cunningham. More>>

ALSO:

'Feed The Kids' Bill: Metiria Turei To Lead Fight On Feeding Hungry Children

Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei is urging all political parties to support the Feed the Kids Bill which she inherited today from Mana leader Hone Harawira. More>>

ALSO:

Parliament Today: State Opening Of Parliament

The House sat at 10.30am on Tuesday before MPs were summoned to hear the Speech from the Throne in the Legislative Council Chamber. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news