Development charges, action plan

Josh Wharehinga

COLUMN

This past week we saw 57 kapa haka teams from around the nation descend on our piece of paradise for Te Mana Kuratahi, the primary schools kapa haka nationals. Each team has approximately 40 students with around the same number of parents, tutors, teachers and caregivers for support. If we include the camera people, judges, media and other professionals associated with the event, Te Tairawhiti had an influx of around 5000 people who stayed here for a week.

I want to pay homage to our marae and the haukaenga who played a vital part in hosting our visitors, to our local kapa who stood; you made us all so very proud.

Lastly, but definitely not least, I want to acknowledge all of the kaupoi/volunteers who managed gates, tickets, clean-up, schedules and every other facet of the event; you made the week run fantastically. Especially you, aunty Charlotte Gibson, you are always our go-to-person, solid as a rock, Te Tairawhiti cannot do what it does without you. Kei te mihi.

This week in council we have our Future Tairawhiti meeting.

Future Tairawhiti’s purpose is to give focus and dedicate time, in addition to our committee and council meetings, to discuss our region’s major strategic projects, plans and policies.

This week in FT our agenda is quite light but still very important. I have chosen to elaborate on the development contributions (DC) policy review and the update on the Tairawhiti Economic Action Plan.

DCs are charges imposed on people or businesses that are developing buildings, houses, businesses etc, to pay for the capital works required to support their development. So if I decide to put another house on the back of my property, it’s going to put more strain on our public system (water, sewerage etc) — so I have to pay a development contribution that connects the new house to the public infrastructure and helps upgrade it to handle the additional strain.

Our current DC charges are low when you compare our district with other similar districts. There is room to adjust charges, which is why the paper is asking councillors to task the chief executive to develop a draft policy for consultation and to focus on the quantum of charges, which includes an increased charge.

The Tairawhiti Economic Action Plan update is quite exciting to read. It’s great to see all different groups leading different parts of the plan; Activate Tairawhiti, iwi, Ngati Porou Miere and the council to name a few.

There are gains being made in several strategically significant areas. Investigating wood processing locally and regionally will create higher-value products and jobs on the ground here in Te Tairawhiti, which makes sense because we are a forest-heavy region.

The focus on manuka honey development, extraction and research also makes sense due to our already established manuka forests, ideal manuka-growing lands and tricky coast terrain. Due to the manuka not having to be harvested, and access for bees being the only requirement, means that planting can occur on previously unproductive land.

There are other focus points; tourism, long-term sustainable access to water, improving our State Highways and also developing our people to be work-ready in this ever-changing world and work enviroment.

For more details, please feel free to read the Future Tairawhiti agenda which is available to the public online and at the council, or come along to our meeting this Thursday at the Cossie Club from 9am.

As always Te Tairawhiti, it’s my privilege and honour to serve you.

This past week we saw 57 kapa haka teams from around the nation descend on our piece of paradise for Te Mana Kuratahi, the primary schools kapa haka nationals. Each team has approximately 40 students with around the same number of parents, tutors, teachers and caregivers for support. If we include the camera people, judges, media and other professionals associated with the event, Te Tairawhiti had an influx of around 5000 people who stayed here for a week.

I want to pay homage to our marae and the haukaenga who played a vital part in hosting our visitors, to our local kapa who stood; you made us all so very proud.

Lastly, but definitely not least, I want to acknowledge all of the kaupoi/volunteers who managed gates, tickets, clean-up, schedules and every other facet of the event; you made the week run fantastically. Especially you, aunty Charlotte Gibson, you are always our go-to-person, solid as a rock, Te Tairawhiti cannot do what it does without you. Kei te mihi.

This week in council we have our Future Tairawhiti meeting.

Future Tairawhiti’s purpose is to give focus and dedicate time, in addition to our committee and council meetings, to discuss our region’s major strategic projects, plans and policies.

This week in FT our agenda is quite light but still very important. I have chosen to elaborate on the development contributions (DC) policy review and the update on the Tairawhiti Economic Action Plan.

DCs are charges imposed on people or businesses that are developing buildings, houses, businesses etc, to pay for the capital works required to support their development. So if I decide to put another house on the back of my property, it’s going to put more strain on our public system (water, sewerage etc) — so I have to pay a development contribution that connects the new house to the public infrastructure and helps upgrade it to handle the additional strain.

Our current DC charges are low when you compare our district with other similar districts. There is room to adjust charges, which is why the paper is asking councillors to task the chief executive to develop a draft policy for consultation and to focus on the quantum of charges, which includes an increased charge.

The Tairawhiti Economic Action Plan update is quite exciting to read. It’s great to see all different groups leading different parts of the plan; Activate Tairawhiti, iwi, Ngati Porou Miere and the council to name a few.

There are gains being made in several strategically significant areas. Investigating wood processing locally and regionally will create higher-value products and jobs on the ground here in Te Tairawhiti, which makes sense because we are a forest-heavy region.

The focus on manuka honey development, extraction and research also makes sense due to our already established manuka forests, ideal manuka-growing lands and tricky coast terrain. Due to the manuka not having to be harvested, and access for bees being the only requirement, means that planting can occur on previously unproductive land.

There are other focus points; tourism, long-term sustainable access to water, improving our State Highways and also developing our people to be work-ready in this ever-changing world and work enviroment.

For more details, please feel free to read the Future Tairawhiti agenda which is available to the public online and at the council, or come along to our meeting this Thursday at the Cossie Club from 9am.

As always Te Tairawhiti, it’s my privilege and honour to serve you.

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