The article your paper ran on September 13 on page 3, ‘New $30m Spa promises local jobs and money.’
Whilst it is very encouraging to see the confidence in Rotorua’s growth and economy I wonder if in the case of the above, this is duplication of what QE Health is presently doing. As one who has nothing but the highest praise for QE and its unique point of difference in how it provides its services, I wonder if the trust would not be better advised to join hands with QE rather than potentially compete against them?
Surely if this was to happen this would be a win-win for all concerned, Rotorua included.
In my view it would be a great shame to see the historic past of QE and its place in our holistic history disadvantaged.
I think there would be more to be gained for not only Rotorua but users of such a facility if both entities were to merge their respective strengths and abilities.
The debacle that is the Hemo roundabout sculpture, lies squarely on the failure of council and project management to actually ‘manage’ the project.
A figure of $570,000 has been bandied about but council is still ‘‘considering all options’’.
How can a project be accurately costed when the contractor has not been confirmed, though we do know that the work will need to be subcontracted out to a Canadian firm because the ‘‘specialist engineering and construction methods required aren’t available in New Zealand’’.
That won’t be cheap. One also has to wonder why wood carving experts were assigned to design a steel sculpture in the first place.
Also, how can the project have been approved when the final cost is yet to be determined and total funding yet to be assured, except of course, if council always intended to ‘underwrite’ the lot, ie ratepayers to cover all but the $200,000 from NZTA.?
Based on past experience, ratepayers can safely assume the finished item will cost much more than the budgeted $570,000 especially given the outsourcing of its construction.
Instead of what will undoubtedly be a very expensive blockage of ‘sight lines’ at the roundabout, can I suggest that we have a mud pie as the centre piece, after all it would have much more significance for Rotorua than an Olympic Flame look-alike and would definitely come in under budget which would be a first for council.
providing emergency housing there are positive and practical solutions available. Start by opening the waiting list to quantify real need, researching low-cost options and revising the housing bylaws.
One solution being developed in Hong Kong is to negotiate with developers and lease suitable land on a temporary basis at token rates. The Council of Social Service wants to build container homes with NGO partners and offer affordable accommodation to 2-5 people per unit on the temporary housing list.
When we built Abu Dhabi University we housed hundreds of workers in container homes. There are other prefabricated and multi-story homes customized by climate being used in Holland and Britain to temporarily house families.
So, instead of hounding the victims of homelessness with trespass notices, can we please rekindle our Kiwi humanitarianism and offer our fellow citizens a basic right; affordable shelter.