How much spent on sister cities?

LETTER

Could Mayor Meng Foon tell Tairawhiti ratepayers how much is budgeted this year for visits to sister cities, friendly cities and sister ports?

Earlier this month Mr Foon led a party of Tairawhiti Poverty Bay Gisborne representatives to Mahina in Tahiti, one of our so-called sister cities.

How much ratepayer money was spent on this holiday?

We have sister and friendly cities in China, Japan, Australia, Spain, Italy, USA, England and Tahiti.

Why do we continue to vote for members who spend ratepayers’ money on such events and these relationships?

This excess of funds should be allocated to our serious sewer problems getting flushed into the rivers and bay of these cities’ beautiful sister city here in Tairawhiti.

Ray Young

Footnote from Mayor Meng Foon:

The council provides $15,000 for our service level agreement, which the Sister Cities Committee manages.

My trip to Tahiti cost $2000, paid from the service level agreement funding. We also gave gifts valued at $734, which came from council budget.

Another councillor travelled to Tahiti at his own expense.

All of our sister cities have a link to Gisborne — Tahiti and Spain are linked through family. The relationships are historic and it is my responsibility as Mayor to continue to nurture relationships going into the future.

I’m always keen to grow our economic base through trade and tourism, and sister city relationships provide many opportunities for this. Next year we have over 100 people from Mahina visiting Gisborne. Uawanui Kapa Haka group are going to Tahiti to perform. Mahina have hosted our waka ama groups before too, saving thousands.

In our Long-Term Plan we have budgeted $46 million on wastewater projects over the next 10 years.

Could Mayor Meng Foon tell Tairawhiti ratepayers how much is budgeted this year for visits to sister cities, friendly cities and sister ports?

Earlier this month Mr Foon led a party of Tairawhiti Poverty Bay Gisborne representatives to Mahina in Tahiti, one of our so-called sister cities.

How much ratepayer money was spent on this holiday?

We have sister and friendly cities in China, Japan, Australia, Spain, Italy, USA, England and Tahiti.

Why do we continue to vote for members who spend ratepayers’ money on such events and these relationships?

This excess of funds should be allocated to our serious sewer problems getting flushed into the rivers and bay of these cities’ beautiful sister city here in Tairawhiti.

Ray Young

Footnote from Mayor Meng Foon:

The council provides $15,000 for our service level agreement, which the Sister Cities Committee manages.

My trip to Tahiti cost $2000, paid from the service level agreement funding. We also gave gifts valued at $734, which came from council budget.

Another councillor travelled to Tahiti at his own expense.

All of our sister cities have a link to Gisborne — Tahiti and Spain are linked through family. The relationships are historic and it is my responsibility as Mayor to continue to nurture relationships going into the future.

I’m always keen to grow our economic base through trade and tourism, and sister city relationships provide many opportunities for this. Next year we have over 100 people from Mahina visiting Gisborne. Uawanui Kapa Haka group are going to Tahiti to perform. Mahina have hosted our waka ama groups before too, saving thousands.

In our Long-Term Plan we have budgeted $46 million on wastewater projects over the next 10 years.

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Rae - 18 days ago
One hundred and seventy eight years approx. and still waiting, as the population grows... Tis time to fix the sewer problem. Priorities. Sister cities will understand, and wonder also why nothing has yet been accomplished. I expect now every year, as winter rolls around, to read about schools closing etc because of sewage in the school yard continuing. Don't be like the National Party and not have a leg to stand on when they complain about something, now out of office. The first thing that comes to my mind is "You had nine years to rectify whatever you are moaning about." So no symphathy.

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