I have just attended the council meeting (February 28) considering the motion to return the decision of future management of the Aquatic Centre to the drawing board.
Outsourcing management or keeping it in-house, run by Rotorua, for Rotorua.
I was intrigued about two facets of this meeting. One was its apparently scripted format and secondly, there were two options on the table but only one was afforded time (over one hour) to present its case verbally to the full council.
In spite of this anomaly, the meeting progressed with heated discussion and finally a vote of 6-5 passed the motion. More work needs to be done. Outsourcing is not a given. I applaud those councillors who want more information before making a decision.
It was not a decision with winners and losers, of little fish v sharks or of losing face. It was an intelligent decision that puts the Rotorua public first. We must thank the union, Aquatic Centre staff, RDRR and other interested parties who put many hours into preparing the alternative proposal to keep the management of our Aquatic Centre in-house, the revenue staying in Rotorua. It was an uphill struggle.
What must now happen is a burying of the hatchet and a coming together of what were "sides", to work collaboratively to find a solution for running the centre that is future-focused, financially viable and mutually acceptable. As the saying goes, "more hands make light work".
Online census help
The census is upon us, and we are all expected to complete our returns online.
I fear that there are many members of our community who will find this difficult if not impossible.
The census organisers do not seem to appreciate that not everyone has embraced the digital age.
The instructions we have been given could be confusing for some people.
In an effort to help, SeniorNet Rotorua will be in the Rotorua Library on Monday, March 5 from 10am to 4pm to offer advice and to help people do their returns online.
This service is free. People wanting help should bring the access code they have received in their mailbox.