Council to meet to discuss report on financial issues

By Matthew Martin

Council's chief financial officer Dave Foster.
Council's chief financial officer Dave Foster.

In an unprecedented move, the Rotorua District Council will today release details of a confidential report detailing financial issues faced by the organisation.

New council chief executive Geoff Williams and the council's chief financial officer Dave Foster spoke to the Rotorua Daily Post yesterday outlining some of the financial issues the council is facing.

However, neither could release the full report until it had been tabled at today's meeting - after being moved from the confidential section of the meeting's agenda.

District councillors will meet today at 9.30am in an open meeting to receive Mr Foster's financial report and discuss solutions for the problems.

Expected changes include a big drop in capital works programmes, a debt reduction strategy, affordable rates increases, a simplified accounting structure, a review of council assets and stronger internal efficiency programmes.

Mr Foster is to table his report and an update on the council's financial position which will also outline a proposed strategy to ensure sustainable financial management and delivery of services.

Mr Williams said releasing the report was important for the council as it needed to be far more transparent to the public.

However, Mr Williams said the issues were not disastrous and could be worked through in the hope finances could be put back in order within five years.

The Rotorua Daily Post understands that last week, district councillors were given a brief overview by Mr Foster of the council's financial position, of which they were not entirely pleased.

Mr Williams said the proposed new financial strategy emphasised robust forecasting and simplified reporting to ensure greater understanding by both councillors and the community of the financial impact of council decisions.

Mr Williams said further discussion would be part of the council's upcoming Annual Plan process which would allow the public to make submissions for or against any of the council's future proposals.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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