Waikato Plan will bring re­gion’s key play­ers to­gether

Matamata Chronicle - - News -

A group of Waikato MPs and iwi rep­re­sen­ta­tives have been briefed by the Waikato May­oral Fo­rum on pro­pos­als for a three- year work pro­gramme to help boost the re­gional econ­omy and de­liver multi-mil­lion dol­lar cost sav­ings for ratepay­ers.

The brief­ing, which also in­cluded Prop­erty Coun­cil rep­re­sen­ta­tives, fol­lowed the fo­rum’s lat­est meet­ing in Toko­roa where may­ors and the re­gional coun­cil chair­men re­ceived an up­date on the pro­posed work streams and the ini­tial level of coun­cil in­ter­est in fund­ing them.

‘‘MPs and iwi were very in­ter­ested to hear first-hand what’s be­ing pro­posed,’’ said fo­rum chair­man Hugh Ver­coe, the mayor of Mata­mata-Pi­ako.

‘‘It will be im­por­tant to have MPs and iwi en­gaged as we seek to progress re­gional pros­per­ity through tak­ing a Waikato Inc ap­proach. We will look to keep up­dat­ing them and oth­ers stake­hold­ers as our work pro­gresses.’’

Mr Ver­coe said it was also en­cour­ag­ing to hear, ei­ther for­mally or in­for­mally, that many coun­cils were look­ing favourably at pro­vid­ing fund­ing or in-kind ser­vices to sup­port the es­ti­mated $1.39 mil­lion cost of the work pro­grammes.

‘‘We won’t know the fi­nal level of sup­port un­til the coun­cils’ an­nual plan pro­cesses are fin­ished over the next few months.

‘‘But signs are that most coun­cils may be look­ing to sup­port all or some of their sug­gested share of the work pro­gramme costs. It will be up to in­di­vid­ual coun­cils to say where their think­ing is on that and an­nounce any fund­ing com­mit­ments.’’

It is es­ti­mated that in 10 years the work pro­grammes could gen­er­ate col­lec­tive sav­ings for coun­cils worth tens of mil­lions of dollars, through greater ef­fi­cien­cies and joint op­er­a­tions. The pro­posed work streams – cov­er­ing plan­ning and gov­er­nance, eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment, wa­ter and wastew­a­ter, and road­ing – rep­re­sented an in­te­grated pack­age de­signed to de­liver solid re­sults, said Mr Ver­coe.

A cen­tral fea­ture of the pro­posed work is the cre­ation of a Waikato Plan to de­velop a shared vi­sion and col­lec­tive voice on the high pri­or­ity re­gional and sub-re­gional op­por­tu­ni­ties that can im­prove the qual­ity of liv­ing in Waikato in the next 30 years.

Be­sides a Waikato Plan, high­lights of the work pro­gramme in­clude:

Work on a re­gional eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment strat­egy with busi­ness.

Ex­am­i­na­tion of cost sav­ings and ef­fi­cien­cies for wa­ter, wastew­a­ter and road­ing ser­vices.

‘‘We’re work­ing well to­gether on get­ting our ducks in a row and we hope to be in a po­si­tion to an­nounce more pos­i­tive de­vel­op­ments in the near fu­ture,’’ said Mr Ver­coe.

Hugh Ver­coe

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.