From the Chair

There’s never a dull moment, as they say, and the middle of the calendar year brings new beginnings for many in Taranaki.

David MacLeod.

David MacLeod, Chairman.

Like many other organisations, the Council kicks into a new financial year on 1 July. And as Council Chairman, it was pleasing to be able to confirm the 1% general rates rise foreshadowed in the 2015/2025 Long-Term Plan adopted last year.

These are challenging times for many ratepayers and as always, it’s vital for the Council to be effective and efficient in our work. We’re one of the lowest rating local bodies in New Zealand and we aim to keep it that way.

Given the current challenging times, it’s gratifying to see how our dairy farmers are showing consistent support for the region’s world-scale Riparian Management Programme. Once again, we’re distributing hundreds of thousands of plants across the region this planting season. Congratulations are due to all farmers who are involved in this work. Protecting and enhancing water quality future-proofs our lifestyles as well as your farms.

Congratulations, too, to all those farmers and other landowners involved in our Key Native Ecosystems programme, working voluntarily alongside the Council to protect ecological jewels like wetlands and bush remnants. Good progress is being made.

Back to those new beginnings, and I sense that Waitara could be on the cusp of an exciting new era, with a proposed Local Bill on Endowment Land set to go before Parliament. This Council strongly supports the approach that has been outlined. After decades of grievance and uncertainty, it offers a positive way forward.

This Council has been working closely, and continues to work closely, with Te Atiawa and the New Plymouth District Council on this issue. Of course different people will have different views on some of the details, but I’m confident the process that’s now under way will lead to a robust and enduring resolution.

David MacLeod

RECOUNT — Taranaki Regional Council's quarterly newsletter
Issue 101, June 2016