Positive buzz within GDC corridors

Rehette Stoltz

COLUMN

We had all our committee meetings last week, so there are no official council meetings this week. I will share a few general council thoughts and happenings.

We have had our first couple of weeks in our new GDC building and it is lovely to have most of our staff under one roof — the last staff will join us soon. It is a welcoming, modern work environment and you can feel a positive buzz within the GDC corridors. Contractors are still doing some finishing touches and I expect we will have some growing pains to sort out while we settle in.

Feedback from our community is overwhelmingly positive. Several people have popped in to take a look around and some have stayed a while to listen to council debate in our new chambers. GDC has now modernised (a bit!) and you can tune into all council meetings via our website. Yes, you do not have to attend meetings you might be interested in in person — just click on the GDC website link and you can sit back in the comfort of your home to keep an eye on your local representatives. Politics is not everyone’s cup of tea, so you might wonder who would bother to tune in? Surprise, surprise — hundreds of people logged on to experience this new technology in action!

It is exciting to see our new, renovated library taking shape. It is our most-used council facility and people are eager to get back to enjoying this shared community space. Staff did the best they could from their temporary premises, and I am sure they will be delighted to move back. This project was initiated decades ago when money was generously bequeathed to the GDC, and it has been a major council project-in-planning since 2010. There have been some expected and some unexpected hick-ups and delays, and the official opening will be in early April. As was always the plan, Murray Ball’s famous Wal and Dog statue will take its proud place in front of the new library.

The feedback period for letting us know your thoughts on changing the name of Poverty Bay to Turanganui a Kiwa/Poverty Bay has now finished. The council has received a lot of feedback and it will be compiled and shared with councillors and the community soon. We have a passionate community with strong views, and both sides of the proposal have had a good trashing in the paper and online.

Last but not least, councillors have decided to include the proposed $28m Olympic Pool upgrade in our Ten-Year Plan consultation. There will be a council/rates contribution of about $6m, and the rest will have to be sourced externally. Feedback has been on different ends of the spectrum. So far, from what I have seen on social media and in The Herald, there are two camps — those saying, “Yes, get on with it and do the required work to get the pool complex up to date”. Then there is another group that feel it is a massive amount of money to spend on a pool complex, and they would rather have that quantum of money spent elsewhere (or not spent at all). We will be asking for your opinion in March during the Ten Year Plan consultation period, so be sure to let us know what you would like to see happen with the Olympic Pool complex.

We had all our committee meetings last week, so there are no official council meetings this week. I will share a few general council thoughts and happenings.

We have had our first couple of weeks in our new GDC building and it is lovely to have most of our staff under one roof — the last staff will join us soon. It is a welcoming, modern work environment and you can feel a positive buzz within the GDC corridors. Contractors are still doing some finishing touches and I expect we will have some growing pains to sort out while we settle in.

Feedback from our community is overwhelmingly positive. Several people have popped in to take a look around and some have stayed a while to listen to council debate in our new chambers. GDC has now modernised (a bit!) and you can tune into all council meetings via our website. Yes, you do not have to attend meetings you might be interested in in person — just click on the GDC website link and you can sit back in the comfort of your home to keep an eye on your local representatives. Politics is not everyone’s cup of tea, so you might wonder who would bother to tune in? Surprise, surprise — hundreds of people logged on to experience this new technology in action!

It is exciting to see our new, renovated library taking shape. It is our most-used council facility and people are eager to get back to enjoying this shared community space. Staff did the best they could from their temporary premises, and I am sure they will be delighted to move back. This project was initiated decades ago when money was generously bequeathed to the GDC, and it has been a major council project-in-planning since 2010. There have been some expected and some unexpected hick-ups and delays, and the official opening will be in early April. As was always the plan, Murray Ball’s famous Wal and Dog statue will take its proud place in front of the new library.

The feedback period for letting us know your thoughts on changing the name of Poverty Bay to Turanganui a Kiwa/Poverty Bay has now finished. The council has received a lot of feedback and it will be compiled and shared with councillors and the community soon. We have a passionate community with strong views, and both sides of the proposal have had a good trashing in the paper and online.

Last but not least, councillors have decided to include the proposed $28m Olympic Pool upgrade in our Ten-Year Plan consultation. There will be a council/rates contribution of about $6m, and the rest will have to be sourced externally. Feedback has been on different ends of the spectrum. So far, from what I have seen on social media and in The Herald, there are two camps — those saying, “Yes, get on with it and do the required work to get the pool complex up to date”. Then there is another group that feel it is a massive amount of money to spend on a pool complex, and they would rather have that quantum of money spent elsewhere (or not spent at all). We will be asking for your opinion in March during the Ten Year Plan consultation period, so be sure to let us know what you would like to see happen with the Olympic Pool complex.

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Rehette Stoltz - 5 months ago
I must have been affected by the heat and high humidity when I wrote my column yesterday as there is indeed a council committee meeting on this week that I omitted to mention. On Thursday at 1pm, the Regional Transport committee will meet in the GDC Chambers to discuss the Draft Regional Land Transport Plan Significance Policy as well as the Draft Proposed Regional Public Transport Plan. Feel free to pop in to listen (or watch online!) if you are interested in these agenda items.

John Fricker - 5 months ago
It's a new building, of course people are excited. Don't worry though the shine will soon wear off and you will all be able to get back to your somnolent best.

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