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Environment Bay of Plenty to move to Tauranga


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Environment Bay of Plenty decides ‘in principle’ to move headquarters to Tauranga

07 Dec 06. For immediate release:

The regional council, Environment Bay of Plenty, today decided ‘in principle’ that the head office of the organisation should be relocated to somewhere in the greater Tauranga area subject to further detailed investigative work on costs and location.

Chairman John Cronin says that the councillors made the decision today following an independent report from Deloitte on the organisation’s accommodation needs and location. Councillors agreed with the report’s key finding that the move to ‘Tauranga’ is necessary to better fulfil Environment Bay of Plenty’s regional leadership roles and functions particularly under the Local Government Act 2002. Council will only make the final decision though once more detailed information has been presented to them early in 2007.

“In our Ten Year Plan we flagged to the community that we intended to take a stronger regional leadership approach and we now believe that we need to be in the fastest growing area of the region to do this well,” Mr Cronin says. “The result of recent changes, particularly the enhanced role of leadership, is that our functions as a regional council are now more closely aligned to the centre of the Bay of Plenty population and economic activity than perhaps they were in the days of catchment boards and the early days of regional councils with the focus on natural resource management.

“We are well placed to act as regional coordinators and facilitators for a wide range of activities from sustainable development through to our more traditional environmental work. We know that many regional leaders have expressed a strong desire for us to take on this role and we agree with the consultants that we would be more effective in doing this from the strongest growing economic and leadership base in the region.”

Mr Cronin says that this will be an exciting opportunity for the organisation, councillors and staff to redevelop a powerful vision and successful future. However, he also acknowledges that in the short term at least, the eastern Bay of Plenty and particularly Whakatane will bear the largest impact of the move.

CEO Bill Bayfield said that he was excited by the challenge ahead but acknowledged that the lives of many Whakatane based staff will be strongly impacted by the proposed move. He says that consultation with the staff and unions will now occur.

Mr Bayfield will now gather further information on costs and locations for all Environment Bay of Plenty offices in the Bay of Plenty before making a final recommendation to Council by mid 2007.

ENDS

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