Exciting year for committee chairwomen

By Matthew Martin

5 comments
IN COMMITTEE: Rotorua Lakes Council committee chairwomen Merepeka Raukawa-Tait (left) and Janet Wepa have a busy year ahead. PHOTO/BEN FRASER
IN COMMITTEE: Rotorua Lakes Council committee chairwomen Merepeka Raukawa-Tait (left) and Janet Wepa have a busy year ahead. PHOTO/BEN FRASER

Committee and council meetings for staff and councillors at the Rotorua Lakes Council resume next week. The Rotorua Daily Post asked two committee chairwomen what they wanted to achieve in the year ahead.

Operations and Monitoring committee chairwoman Janet Wepa:

Uppermost in my mind is ratepayer affordability and being a financially prudent organisation.

The committee's role is to monitor all financial and non-financial information against our Annual Plan, Long-Term Plan and strategic goals/priorities.

We've got to live within the funding parameters we all agreed to through the Long-Term Plan.

This year, with the help of two extra people through the Te Arawa Partnership, we will monitor the Rotoiti/Rotoma sewerage scheme, land disposal treatment systems, the library and children's health hub, development of the former City Focus and council-controlled organisations.

My job is to be well prepared before the meetings and make sure I have all the background information I need to run the committee effectively.

There are times we can't go into the level of detail some councillors might want.

It's not that anyone wants to keep councillors in the dark; it is up to them to find out more about what they are passionate about in the same way that I have always done.

Sometimes there's a lot of questions and it can be challenging as the chairwoman to get them to focus on the higher level when they also want to know what's going on in a detailed way.

I want them to have their questions answered. I do find it rewarding when we get through the meeting and everyone has had their opportunity to have a say.

Strategy, Policy and Finance Committee chairwoman Merepeka Raukawa-Tait:

This will be a full-on year. This term we made some key decisions and plans and we now have to focus on their successful delivery.

Some of the key projects include final detailed designs, with contracts tendered and building completed for city focus.

Work to get under way on the library and new health hub and finalise plans for Jean Batten Park and Haupapa St.

The library must be temporarily relocated to enable work on the building to be undertaken.

All District Plan appeals resolved and the District Plan fully operative.

Kuirau Park development to continue, including upgrading the popular foot pools.

Complete the review of how we deliver economic development and tourism services.

At the start of the electoral term we set a number of priorities for 2016. And the above projects are important in helping us deliver against them.

Our community confirmed these through Rotorua 2030 so we have continued to have these front of mind.

I spent this summer break at home and it has been very pleasing to get such positive feedback from locals and visitors alike. They can see the progress council has made in such a short time and tell me it is obvious we are on the move.

We have to continue the momentum.

This year, with the recent establishment of the Te Arawa Partnership, we will have the added benefit of Te Arawa's bright minds to assist us. That's exciting.

The council is future focused working hard to make our city and district a thriving, inclusive place for our youth, families and older persons to live, work and play.

Mark your calendar:
- Operations and Monitoring Committee meetings:
- Thursday February 4
- Wednesday March 2
- Thursday April 7
- Thursday May 5
- Thursday June 2
- Thursday July 7
- Thursday August 4
- No further meetings until after October's elections.
- All meetings start at 9.30am
- Strategy, Policy and Finance Committee meetings:
- Thursday February 18
- Thursday March 17
- Thursday April 21
- Thursday May 12
- Wednesday June 15
- Thursday July 21
- Thursday August 18
- No further meetings until after October's elections.
- All meetings start at 9.30am
- Rotorua Lakes Council
- Thursday February 25
- Wednesday March 30 (draft Annual Plan)
- Thursday April 28
- Thursday May 26
- Thursday June 30 (adopt Annual Plan)
- Thursday July 28
- Thursday August 25
- No further meetings until after October's elections
- Thursday October 27 (inaugural meeting for new council)
- All meetings start at 9.30am

- Rotorua Daily Post

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