Tough questions facing new council
The Ōpōtiki District Council’s pre-election report has been prepared and is on the Councils website. The Chief Executive is required to prepare this report to highlight the key issues that will need to be considered by the new incoming council after the October local body elections and provide a quick overview of major projects and funding for the next three years.
Acting Chief Executive, Miles McConway, said that the report was an easy-to-read summary statement of the “good stuff and challenging stuff” facing the district.
“The idea of a pre-election report is to produce a document that is easy to read that summarises the challenges and opportunities facing the district in the coming three years.
“It isn’t a political document, and it aims to be a free and frank assessment of how we are tracking to achieve our long-term goals. While it is a legislative requirement that we write one, it is also a useful pulse-check to inform debate and discussion as we head towards the elections,” Mr McConway said.
The report is prepared before elections every three years. While the report doesn’t have any new information (most of the information is available in documents like the Long Term Plan and Annual Reports), it is packaged together to provide a useful starting point for anyone approaching council business for the first time.
Ōpōtiki’s pre-election report highlights the growth seen in the district over the last three years, with more than $135million injected into the economy through the Provincial Growth Fund alone. Added to that are huge private investments in new and existing industry such as mussels and kiwifruit. This growth leads to a number of challenges, particularly housing and infrastructure and the issue many councils face – how to fund growth before the new houses and residents can pay for themselves.
The report summarises the national “reform storm” of change in resource management, three waters, climate change, waste management, civil defence and the wider questions about the role of local government into the future. The new council will need to face these challenges head-on in the coming three years.
Mr McConway hoped that the report would be a catalyst for increased interest in the coming elections, encouraging candidates to step forward, bringing a wide range of skills and background to the council table.
“This report was written with our community in mind, and I want to encourage everyone to read it if they can. It might spark new ideas and ways of facing the challenges ahead and inspire people to stand for council or vote in the elections. Diversity of thinking and approach around the council table is going to be key to facing these challenges as a community.
“Whether you’re thinking of standing for council, are looking for information to inform your vote in 2022, or are interested in understanding local challenges better, this report is for you,” Mr McConway said.
Ōpōtiki District Council’s Pre-Election Report is available to read below, download from our website, and there are hard copies in various locations including Council offices and Te Tāhuhu o Te Rangi.
Key election dates:
- Current - Candidate nominations, check and ensure you are enrolled to vote, enrol as ratepayer elector.
- 12 August: Enrolment closes for the printed roll (voters need to enrol by this date to receive voting papers in the mail; if they enrol after 12 August, they can request special voting papers from ODC’s electoral officer)
- 12 August: Candidate nominations close at midday
- 16-21 September: Voting documents sent to all enrolled voters
- 7 October: Last day to enrol to vote in the 2022 local elections
- 8 October: Voting closes at midday.