Ten Year Plan
July 9 2018 by Mayor Jim Boult
Last Thursday was a day of great significance for our district. I felt a huge sense of pride when our Council adopted what was, by a long shot, the most ambitious and bold Ten Year Plan any Council in our district has ever before embarked upon.
We proposed, and our community approved, a level of capital expenditure three times greater than anything Council has undertaken in the past. It wasn’t a case of just putting up some big numbers though. We have responded to the enormous challenges facing our district. Blindingly fast growth means we need urgent action to ensure we protect the lifestyle of our residents, and the economic lifeblood of our towns through investment in tourism-related infrastructure.
Council received 586 submissions on the Ten Year Plan. On the whole we received almost a clean sweep of support for the big issues and the community has given us a mandate to get on with it. We certainly valued the well-considered suggestions for enhancement and made changes accordingly.
There are a lot of thank yous that need to be issued. Firstly, I want to thank the entire district for joining us on this path to deliver better outcomes for all who make this incredible part of the world home. I also wish to thank the QLDC team for the enormous job they have undertaken in delivering this Ten Year Plan. The workload has been daunting and they should all feel very pleased with and proud of the outcome. Thanks too, goes out to our Councillors. They are an outstanding team and have worked in a positive, challenging yet collaborative manner to bring the plan to fruition. I truly believe they have done the best for the community as a whole.
If I have a personal disappointment around the Ten Year Plan, it is the ongoing frustration we face with Central Government’s lack of traction in recognising the important role that our district plays as the focal point for New Zealand’s largest industry. Our district should not have to shoulder the financial burden of this on its own. In effect, our ratepayers are paying to support the New Zealand economy and sustain New Zealand’s jewel in the tourism crown. This does not sit at all comfortably with me.
Failure is not an option and I see this as another challenge we will overcome. Nothing will stymie our drive to deliver the right outcomes, it simply makes our future choices more difficult and potentially our delivery more stretched. That may not be tenable. Rest assured, I am not going to shy away from the Central Government conversation. These challenges are not going away and neither are we.
No plan is perfect and while our new Ten Year Plan is an excellent one, there will be future enhancements. We have a strong focus coming in the Upper Clutha. I also think we have a task before us in better recognising the part arts and culture and particularly our māoritanga will play in our district in the future. These will be addressed in future Annual Plans.
In my view, our Council is a bold one but not a reckless one. Our plan is fit for purpose and I now look forward to being part of a council team which delivers on our powerful vision: Vibrant Communities, Enduring Landscapes and Bold Leadership.
Mayor Jim Boult