Mayoral switch-over this Thursday
This Thursday will see the last council meeting chaired by Mayor Meng Foon. During the meeting Rehette Stoltz will assume the mandate of office of Mayor, having been unanimously voted by council to that role on August 8.
Following the conclusion of the council meeting, the community will thank and celebrate with the Mayor and Mayoress Ying Foon at a function at Te Poho o Rawiri Marae. Meng’s first swearing-in was at this marae and it is fitting that a function to acknowledge his enormous contribution to this community is held there too.
Meng and Ying have been unfailing in their support for everyone in this district. Meng has attended hui and functions up and down the region at all hours of the day and night. We will miss Meng’s personality in the role of Mayor and the community will miss his easy relationship with everyone he meets. His fluency in te reo has been a very significant attribute that he brought to the role as our Mayor.
The council will welcome in a new era under Mayor Rehette Stoltz, until the outcome of the elections on October 12th confirms the Mayor for the next three years. Congratulations to Rehette. The council agenda indicates that Mayor Stoltz will confirm a deputy until the next election and she will sit as the council’s trustee on Eastland Community Trust until the October election.
Also on the agenda is a substantial document on procurement policy. Procurement is a significant process as the council and councillors seek to see that local businesses are given every opportunity to successfully tender for tasks the council undertakes. Contracts are thousands of dollars to millions of dollars, and one-off to several years’ work. Frequently we hear anecdotal comment about the process and whether local suppliers were given a fair chance at tendering. The scope of a document is the guide by which officers must abide when letting contracts.
The draft Stock Control Bylaw approved at the last environmental policy committee meeting goes to the council for adoption. What a protracted process this has been, from hearings more than two years ago and an appeal to the draft bylaw process by NZTA. This is now resolved and the bylaw is fit to proceed to adoption.
A Matauranga Maori Assessment of the mauri of the Makauri aquifer is part of the long-term assessment and planning for any recharge of the aquifer (the MAR project). Te Aitanga a Mahaki Trust led the science along with five marae sitting above the aquifer and with students from Gisborne secondary schools. This is a very significant project and the whole paper should be read rather than just a precis of the work in this column. See the council agenda on the GDC website for the complete document.
There is a Provincial Growth Fund progress report that is very interesting. While $40 million has been announced for Tairawhiti local roads, $11m of that is contracted to be spent. To secure the remainder several business cases have to be completed and approved by NZTA; work does not commence as fast as we might wish?
An overview paper by members of the camera trust, police and service providers in Rotorua, Tauranga and Whakatane compares how security coverage for other cities is maintained. It is an information paper prior to any discussion for the next three-year plan.
I am delighted to have been re-elected unopposed to the Tawhiti-Uawa Ward for the next term of council. Thank you Tawhiti-Uawa, I look forward to continue working for the Coast and the region.