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Council looks forward to a new relationship

A memorandum of understanding between Gisborne District Council and Eastland Community Trust offered exciting opportunities for the district, the council was told.

The draft memorandum was approved by the council at its meeting this week.

Chief executive Nedine Thatcher Swann said this was not a perfect MOU but it was certainly not a relationship that could be likened to the agreement between the United States and North Korea.

It was a starter for the relationship between the two parties.

Amber Dunn said she agreed with the document with some tweaks she thought important.

She thought the purpose should be more explicit than stated in the document — you had to hunt for it.

She was a firm believer that good results came from quality relationships. Some parts of the document could be more clearly defined.

Probably the biggest thing was that they should think much deeper about how to truly connect and involve the intelligence in the community.

Informing them was simple enough, the council should know that by now. She suggested a think tank.

But those were minor things It made complete sense to put the talents and the thinking and strengths of these two entities together for the benefit of the community. That was a great step forward.

If someone was to ask her to put the MOU into simple terms, she would say it was their job to make our people and our city successful.

It was bold and it was exciting. She wished it had started yesterday.

Brian Wilson said MOUs were great documents to write on paper but it was actually what you did afterwards that counted.

If they followed the good feeling and carried it on, that would be a good start.

It was important to keep stakeholders involved.

“The other thing is that we need to keep our community on board,” he said.

There were some things that were obviously going to have to be confidential but where they could, they needed to keep the public informed.

“There is always a suspicion from our community and from the media that we like to do things behind closed doors. I think that at every opportunity we can we need to be upfront and tell people what we are doing because, as councillor Dunn said, we are representing a broad range of people and their interests out there.

“The feeling from the community that things are going on in secret is not a good way to go, so the process from here should be active, it should be often and it should be transparent,” he said.

Meredith Akuhata-Brown said she represented a divergent view involving people from children through to the aged.

She felt they were in a new space of future thinking and it was up to them to make sure they maintained the relationship so all the region benefited. She was looking forward to it. They should focus on getting the best from it for the region.

Larry Foster said this was really exciting and the possibilities from this relationship could be immense.