2012 IN REVIEW – AUGUST
August 1, 2012 ‘‘Talk to your children’’ Last year Chief Coroner Judge Neil MacLean released national statistics on suicide.
The data showed the number of New Zealanders taking their own lives had remained steady since 2007, around 540 deaths a year. By comparison, 375 people died on New Zealand’s roads last year.
Coroner MacLean expressed his concern with the suicide toll and acknowledged that what was being done was not working.
‘‘The suicide toll is a really concerning commentary on our society, and I believe anything we can do to aid more accurate information can only be for the better,’’ Judge MacLean said. August 8, 2012 Whaea Amy era ending It is being described as an end of an era. Whaea Amy Awatere has called time on teaching at Tokoroa Intermediate and is moving to be with her family.
The Tokoroa stalwart has been a driving force behind the use of te reo Maori for decades, encouraging many in the South Waikato to learn the language.
She moved to Tokoroa at the age of 16. Now, at 67, she is leaving to be closer to family who live in Queensland. August 15, 2012 Nepotism claims ‘‘obscene’’ – Mayor South Waikato District Mayor Neil Sinclair wants to end a ratepayer-funded Mayoral Scholarship valued at $15,000.
During last week’s council meeting, Mr Sinclair handed a notice of motion to chief executive David Hall suggesting that the council review the Mayoral Scholarship with a view to removing funding for the scholarships for 2012 and 2013.
Mr Sinclair was distressed by an article in the South Waikato News.
The August 1 article was a report of a community and assets committee meeting where the the scholarship was discussed after the community raised concerns about past and current recipients being related to council staff and elected members. It was suggested during the meeting that an external adviser be involved in the process.
One mother of a student who did not meet the requirements, raised her concerns with council and spoke with South Waikato News. August 22, 2012 $380,230 breach A High Court judge has ruled that South Wai kato District Council breached a preliminary contract when awarding a tender and should pay the unsuccessful company $380,230 including GST in damages.
Roading and Asphalt Ltd sued in the High Court in Hamilton after complaining the council had breached its terms of tender when awarding a waste disposal contract.
In 2010, the council invited tenders for solid waste disposal in Tokoroa.
The terms of tender were split into two stages, the first being assessed against six non-price attributes, on a pass or fail basis – relevant experience, track record, technical skills, resources, management skills and methodology. At the second and final stage, any tenders that qualified were to be rated according to price.
Terms of tender made it clear that the council did not commit itself to accepting the lowest or any qualifying tender.
Two tenders reached the final stage, Roading and Asphalt Ltd (RAL) and Materials and Processing Ltd (MPL), which held the contract to transport residual waste from Putaruru to Tokoroa.
The RAL tender was $40,000 less than the MPL tender. However, based on its service manager’s recommendations, the council found that the cost to the council of MPL’s bid was less than RAL’s. August 29, 2012 Who dumped oil in lake? A possible diesel or oil spill that seeped into a feeder stream at the southern tip of Lake MoanaNui last week joins a list of ongoing issues with pollution.
The slick was discovered by Tokoroa man Bob Talbot while on a routine walk.
He notified the Waikato Regional Council and the South Waikato District Council.
Mr Talbot praised the swift efforts of both councils.
‘‘It is an ongoing problem with pollution coming down the stream,’’ he said. ‘‘They think it was diesel. ‘‘It was most likely that somebody tipped it down the stormwater drain on Tainui St and it has made its way into feeder stream at the top of Lake Moana-Nui.’’