Elec­tion can­di­dates have their say

The asked Cen­tral Otago mayoral and coun­cil can­di­dates to tell us in 100 words what they be­lieved was the big­gest is­sue fac­ing their com­mu­nity and what the coun­cil could do to help. Be­low are their re­sponses to as­sist with your de­ci­sion mak­ing as you cast

Central Otago Mirror - - NEWS - Lyn­ley Clar­idge Shirley Calvert

Cen­tral Otago Dis­trict Coun­cil has fore­cast in its long term plan $4.5 mil­lion debt for the 2013/14 fi­nan­cial year blow­ing out to $20m by 2017/18, mainly to cover wa­ter and in­fra­struc­ture up­grades. We need to find ways to bring this down. We must have more jobs which will bring the pop­u­la­tion to cope with any debt oth­er­wise our small and ag­ing pop­u­la­tion will be left car­ry­ing the bur­den. We must tar­get op­por­tu­ni­ties and as­sist de­vel­op­ers that bring jobs. It’s time to re­new the Dis­trict Plan. This is the blue­print for al­low­ing de­vel­op­ment with the min­i­mum of has­sle but pre­serv­ing what is spe­cial about Cen­tral Otago. We have got it right in the past and it is time to do it all again. You can talk about be­ing busi­ness friendly and cre­at­ing jobs but this is the doc­u­ment that dic­tates how we will go about this and I will help achieve that goal. The ‘‘3 Waters’’: waste wa­ter (sewage and storm wa­ter), drink­ing wa­ter and ir­ri­ga­tion. The Cromwell waste wa­ter treat­ment plant no longer com­plies with the new Cen­tral Gov­ern­ment reg­u­la­tions. Up­grad­ing it will be a very ex­pen­sive project. I’ll make sure all op­tions are con­sid­ered for the type of plant in­stalled; me­chan­i­cal, bi­o­log­i­cal, chem­i­cal or a com­bi­na­tion. The sys­tem used should be cost ef­fec­tive and sus­tain­able into the dis­tant fu­ture. I don’t be­lieve a short term quick fix is in the com­mu­nity’s best in­ter­est. I’ll en­sure the pub­lic are part of the de­ci­sion mak­ing process by keep­ing them fully in­formed. Cromwell is lead­ing Cen­tral Otago in eco­nomic growth be­cause of its lo­ca­tion at the Junc­tion of High­ways, Lake Dunstan, and ex­ist­ing fa­cil­i­ties. The ad­di­tion of High­lands

with lo­cal busi­nesses, with the Com­mu­nity Board and, be­tween us, find el­e­gant so­lu­tions that work for all our di­verse com­mu­ni­ties. A key is­sue our com­mu­ni­ties face is our re­liance for our well­be­ing on a nar­row and shal­low eco­nomic base. We need to con­trib­ute pub­lic fund­ing and re­sources to put in place eco­nomic en­abling in­fra­struc­ture such as broad­band en­hance­ments and ap­pro­pri­ate fa­cil­i­ties such as the Wanaka Sports Fa­cil­i­ties. This is needed to grow our vis­i­tor in­dus­try and at­tract a wider range of visi­tors for longer pe­ri­ods. Ex­pan­sion of the Otago Polytech­nic and Univer­sity pres­ence in Wanaka should be en­cour­aged and I would strongly pro­mote and sup­port pri­vate pro­pos­als for point of dif­fer­ence at­trac­tions such as a world class per­form­ing arts cen­tre. The main is­sue fac­ing Wanaka is the cre­ation of high qual­ity, full time jobs with­out hav­ing to sac­ri­fice the unique­ness of Wanaka to cre­ate them. Wanaka needs to be­come a hub on in­no­va­tion. This is where tal­ent wants to live and is al­ready liv­ing. We need to do a bet­ter job find­ing and fos­ter­ing this tal­ent, get­ting them out of their homes and into col­lec­tive spa­ces where syn­er­gies of re­sources, knowl­edge, and ideas can be re­alised. This will dis­tin­guish us from Queen­stown, make our lo­cal econ­omy more diver­si­fied and re­silient and cre­ate high qual­ity jobs for younger gen­er­a­tions.

(also stand­ing for Wanaka Com­mu­nity Board) Tourism is the very lifeblood of both Queen­stown and Wanaka, and we must be vig­i­lant as a so­ci­ety, to nur­ture and cher­ish the ex­cep­tion­ally beau­ti­ful sur­round­ings, which we are priv­i­leged to oc­cupy. In­cur­sions into this ‘‘Out­stand­ing Nat­u­ral Land- scape’’ must be re­pelled at what­ever cost, in or­der to pre­serve th­ese as­sets for fu­ture gen­er­a­tions. Rep­re­sen­ta­tion? As with any com­mit­tee, be it a Sports Club or Gov­ern­ment cau­cus, a blend of in­tel­li­gent, ex­pe­ri­enced, prac­ti­cal, car­ing, down to earth and com­mer­cially savvy in­di­vid­u­als, mixed with some for­ward think­ing and youth­ful types is the ideal. They must all be­lieve strongly in the com­mon goal of do­ing the right thing, and re­flect­ing the wishes of the com­mu­nity which they have been elected to serve. The pro­posed sports fa­cil­ity. The facts - cost $16.84 mil­lion. The coun­cil’s fig­ures have it mak­ing an op­er­at­ing loss of $864,750 per year, $2370 per day! 85 per cent of the coun­cil iden­ti­fied stake­hold­ers told me in the last three weeks that they will not use it! The MLT Events Cen­tre in Gore (pop­u­la­tion 9700, dis­trict 12,500) cost $3.1m to build in 2010 and the Cross Recre­ation Cen­tre in Bal­clutha (pop­u­la­tion 4200, dis­trict 17,000) cost $5.2m in 2011. Los­ing $1m a year is not fu­ture proof­ing our fu­ture. I would pro­pose an al­ter­na­tive: a $5m in­door sports fa­cil­ity, $2m up­grade of the Wanaka camp­site and $9m up­grade of the swim­ming pool. We al­ready own the land. All the re­ports have been writ­ten! The money is in the An­nual Plan! Keep it sim­ple! Keep it af­ford­able! Keep it lo­cal!

The big­gest is­sue is the re­stricted

bet­ter for busi­ness and for Cen­tral Otago’s di­verse com­mu­ni­ties. The big­gest is­sue is the coun­cil telling busi­nesses to move from Alexan­dra to Cromwell. This plan was in­tro­duced with­out con­sul­ta­tion! This is hav­ing a dra­matic ef­fect on the age de­mo­graphic and the earn­ing power of Alexan­dra and Clyde peo­ple. This will lead to more busi­nesses and Gov­ern­ment de­part­ments leav­ing Alexan­dra and cause more job losses. If elected I would en­sure the Coun­cil did not force their ideals on the pop­u­la­tion and proper con­sul­ta­tion would take place. If busi­nesses want to set up in the Alexan­dra/Clyde,Omakau, Roxburgh ar­eas they should be en­cour­aged to do so. The big­gest is­sue fac­ing my com­mu­nity, and the wider dis­trict of Cen­tral Otago, is that of sus­tain­able so­lu­tions in re­gard to pro­vid­ing wa­ter ser­vices, be it potable or waste wa­ter. Con­sid­ered eval­u­a­tion is crit­i­cal in en­sur­ing fi­nan­cial and en­vi­ron­men­tal sus­tain­abil­ity. It is im­por­tant that the wards are merged to give dis­trict wide unity in re­gard to the study, as­sess­ment, de­ci­sion mak­ing and de­vel­op­ment of th­ese crit­i­cal long term projects. My ob­jec­tive as a coun­cil­lor and/or board mem­ber would be to en­sure the right de­ci­sions are made and that wa­ter ser­vices are af­ford­able for all ratepay­ers in the dis­trict. I think the big­gest is­sues fac­ing our com­mu­nity are wa­ter and em­ploy­ment. To help the wa­ter is­sue we need to de­bate com­pli­ance cost­ing of res­i­den­tial and waste wa­ter. Also as­sist and en­cour­age large scale ir­ri­ga­tion both pri­vate and com­mu­nity schemes. In terms of em­ploy­ment, with the wide range of busi­ness in Cen­tral Otago we need to as­sist in match­ing skills to the busi­nesses in our area and en­cour­age skill sets to our area. We need to work hard at main­tain­ing the Man­iototo as a de­sir­able place to live and work – that will in­volve main­te­nance of our ru­ral roads and town­ship ser­vices in­fra­struc­ture, wise use of wa­ter re­sources, en­cour­age- ing sus­tain­able lev­els of wa­ter qual­ity, pri­or­i­ties in de­liv­ery

Terry Em­mitt

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.