Coun­cil: money will stay over­seas

Matamata Chronicle - - News/opinion - By STEVE EDWARDS

While Mata­mata-Pi­ako District Coun­cil has opted not to re­view its stance on the Power New Zealand Fund, the drums are beat­ing to bring the over­seas in­vest­ment com­po­nent home.

Last Wed­nes­day’s coun­cil meet­ing heard that the value of the global share port­fo­lio had dropped by about $2 mil­lion since the start of the new fi­nan­cial year on July 1.

More than $11 mil­lion of ratepay­ers’ money is in­vested over­seas by the coun­cil, which reaf­firmed a pre­vi­ous de­ci­sion to set the July 2007 value of the port­fo­lio ($15.6 mil­lion) as the tar­get to cash up and bring the money home.

Al­most $12.5m was orig­i­nally in­vested in over­seas shares in 1999.

The coun­cil has been bring­ing home div­i­dends since 2007/2008, used to off­set part of the cost of road­ing, with $676,000 re­turned in the last fi­nan­cial year. The bal­ance of the fund, al­most $12m, was re­tained in New Zealand as bonds used by the coun­cil for in­ter­nal bor­row­ing.

Lead­ing the call to bring the money home was Coun­cil­lor Ash Tan­ner, how­ever a ma­jor­ity of mem­bers in­di­cated they were happy with the sta­tus quo.

‘‘We are go­ing to look pretty silly if the (down­ward) trend con­tin­ues,’’ said Cr Tan­ner. ‘‘ We could’ve in­vested the money in the com­mu­nity or in a bank.’’

Cr Ca­role Greenville said mem­bers were get­ting flak from ratepay­ers about rates go­ing up.

‘‘We have a re­spon­si­bil­ity to our ratepay­ers,’’ she said. ‘‘ We should bring the money back.’’

Cr Mau­rice St­ef­fert also sug­gested the coun­cil bring the money home and pos­si­bly set up its own fi­nance com­pany to help the com­mu­nity.

How­ever, Deputy Mayor Jan Barnes said cash­ing up now would re­alise a sig­nif­i­cant loss.

‘‘Now is not the right time (to bring the money home),’’ said Cr Garry Stan­ley.

Fi­nan­cial ad­viser Michael Cham­ber­lain told the meet­ing that while there was some ‘‘short term noise’’ in the global money mar­ket, ul­ti­mately the coun­cil’s over­seas in­vest­ment would bring a bet­ter re­turn than in a bank back home.

Mayor Hugh Ver­coe said the coun­cil needed to de­cide ‘‘what we are try­ing to achieve’’ with the PNZ Fund.

John Mills, 73 Tawari St, Mata­mata Shar­ing sto­ries: Mata­mata In­ter­me­di­ate room 14 stu­dents took their lap­tops to Firth Pri­mary to show the new en­trants dig­i­tal sto­ries they had cre­ated. Many of the an­i­mated sto­ries had a pick-a-path op­tion so the chil­dren could choose the end­ing, mak­ing it an in­ter­ac­tive ex­pe­ri­ence for all in­volved. Firth new en­trants Jor­dan Baker, left, and Jadah Gra­ham, right, lis­ten to Madi­son Tims and Emily de Klerk read their story. This is the first time they have done an ex­er­cise like this and the chil­dren at Firth were de­lighted with it. The stu­dents de­signed the sto­ries on Power Point and Ac­tive In­spire.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.