Plan in­vest­ment raises range of con­cerns

South Waikato News - - NEWS / HE PU¯RONGORONGO - By PET­RICE TAR­RANT

Con­cerns have been raised over the re­turn on the South Waikato Dis­trict Coun­cil (SWDC) in­vest­ment in the Waikato Spa­tial Plan.

At a coun­cil meet­ing held on Fe­bru­ary 12 the coun­cil­lors voted to ap­point Mark In­gle as the fifth non-lo­cal gov­ern­ment mem­ber of the Waikato Plan Joint Com­mit­tee.

But deputy mayor Jenny Shat­tock said she was con­cerned at the pro­posed daily pay­ment for the non- lo­cal mem­bers.

The coun­cil had put aside $10,000 in the bud­get for the non­lo­cal gov­ern­ment mem­bers as well as Maori con­sul­ta­tion.

‘‘That con­cerns me,’’ Shat­tock said at the meet­ing.

Their pro­posed daily rate was $750, ac­cord­ing to Mayor Neil Sin­clair, how­ever this still had to be agreed on by con­tribut­ing coun­cils.

Shat­tock also ex­pressed con­cern over the fact that the

gov­ern­ment Thames Coro­man­del Dis­trict Coun­cil would not be con­tribut­ing fi­nan­cially, but would still re­ceive benefits from the spa­tial plan. Cr Bill Machen agreed. ‘‘It is con­cern­ing that one coun­cil will get a ‘free ride’’’, he said.

In to­tal the SWDC had al­lo­cated $119,000 to­wards the spa­tial plan but this was still to be signed off.

The Waikato Spa­tial Plan bud­get it­self has blown to more than $1 mil­lion.

‘‘It’s just grown like Topsy,’’ Shat­tock said.

‘‘ Our ratepay­ers are pay­ing $119,000 and ex­actly what ben­e­fit is com­ing back to the South Waikato?’’

Cr Marin Glu­cina said he be­lieved the coun­cil needed to be wary of the con­cept of re­gional fund­ing.

‘‘At some stage we will have to flag it and say enough is enough.’’

He said the ear­lier the SWDC makes its con­cerns known the bet­ter.

Sin­clair said the plan is to meet with the mayor of Taupo to dis­cuss their feel­ings on it.

‘‘We are the two end Char­lies in the Waikato.’’

He said it would be ig­no­rant to shut off from the idea of re­gional col­lab­o­ra­tion all to­gether.

‘‘ There is so much push on re­gional work from cen­tral gov­ern­ment that it will hap­pen any­way.’’

He said the chal­lenge was to try and achieve ef­fi­cien­cies through col­lab­o­ra­tion with­out los­ing lo­cal democ­racy.

WAR­RIORS: Eclipse Fit­ness and Com­bat fighters Wayne Dick­son, back left, Tuhawaiki Dixon, Shaun Decker, Syar Ogle, mid­dle left, Phe­lix Farra-Cox, Richard Ogle, front left, Jenny Price, An­gela Shaw and Mark Tyson are ready to put on a show.

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