Asian trip surprises councillor

By Sophie Pricesophie price@hbtoday co nz

17 comments
Lawrence Yule
Lawrence Yule

Hastings councillor Wayne Bradshaw has slammed Mayor Lawrence Yule for not disclosing his recent trip to Asia to his colleagues.

In Saturday's paper it was reported the Mayor travelled to China to talk to a potential investor in a hotel.

The hotel Mr Yule is seeking support for had been raised in the Hasting District Council's 2015-25 long-term plan.

"As outlined in the consultation document, the next six months will see the further development of two key projects, culminating in community engagement processes," the report reads.

Mr Bradshaw said the revelation of the trip was a surprise to him - especially as councillors had discussed the Tihei Heretaunga project, of which the hotel is potentially one stage of the development - at last Thursday's council meeting.

"I would have thought he would have told us as councillors that he had been away and that was the purpose, seeing as we were discussing the hotel," Mr Bradshaw said.

In a letter to Hawke's Bay Today, Mr Bradshaw said he read with surprise in the newspaper about Mr Yule's trip.

"No mention was made by Lawrence about his most recent China trip or its relationship to his promoted hotel," the councillor wrote.

"This surely would have been the time to advise his full council of his activities and intention, rather than in a story printed in the local newspaper."

However the Mayor defended his movements, saying he had only returned from China on the morning of the council meeting.

"I only got back that morning, I hadn't written a report for the council meeting and it was too late to get it on [the agenda]," he said.

Mr Bradshaw said if the council was going to consult with the public, it should consult on all the information available.

He said the project was a $15 million-plus project, not the $5 million that had been reported.

Mr Yule said there were a variety of options when it came to the hotel. "One is it needs some strengthening, which is our contribution of $5 million or thereabout, and the other cost is on the investor - that is the theory," he said.

The Mayor said in earlier reports that while it was too early to say how it went, his trip did follow the potential investors who were looking at Hawke's Bay to invest.

People will get to have their say on stage one of the the Tihei Heretaunga project from as early as February 19.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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