‘Amalgamation’ process unsatisfactory

LETTER

Re: Amalgamation set for year-end now, September 10 editorial.

I attended the recent Heart of Gisborne annual meeting expecting to hear the GDC’s “High Level Transition Plan” for the proposed amalgamation of the Heart of Gisborne functions into Activate Tairawhiti (AT), as had been indicated would happen in the report presented to council on June 28. Alas it was not forthcoming, which is why there now needs to be a Special General Meeting held by HofG.

I’m not really sure that the term amalgamation is a correct one either for this situation, as the council is really proposing to take the targeted rates funding currently given to one organisation (HofG) and give it to another (AT) to carry out the same tasks — in the same way as the tourism funding that Tourism Eastland was previously receiving was moved over to AT.

Steve Breen said at the AGM that AT had yet to even decide if they really want to take over the funding to provide the required tasks, while the GDC’s Keita Kohere indicated that all options were on the table for consideration, from no amalgamation, to amalgamation, to dropping the whole concept of a city centre vibrancy programme altogether.

I do have to wonder, however, how open this process has been, when it was kicked off with an initial council report with a recommendation of the amalgamation of HofG functions with Activate Tairawhiti as the preferred option before either of those two parties were even involved in any discussions.

Unfortunately, we are not privy to the reasons behind this recommendation as the initial report was heard in the public excluded portion of the May 17 council meeting.

Given that the rest of the discussion is now out in the open, why is this report still secret?

Why have all subsequent reports from council made it seem like the amalgamation proposal is already a fait-accompli?

If it is believed that AT can do a better job with the targeted-rate funds, let the targeted ratepayers in the CBD (the members of HofG) see a definitive proposal as to how moving the funding would provide better outcomes than the status quo.

Scott McSloy

Re: Amalgamation set for year-end now, September 10 editorial.

I attended the recent Heart of Gisborne annual meeting expecting to hear the GDC’s “High Level Transition Plan” for the proposed amalgamation of the Heart of Gisborne functions into Activate Tairawhiti (AT), as had been indicated would happen in the report presented to council on June 28. Alas it was not forthcoming, which is why there now needs to be a Special General Meeting held by HofG.

I’m not really sure that the term amalgamation is a correct one either for this situation, as the council is really proposing to take the targeted rates funding currently given to one organisation (HofG) and give it to another (AT) to carry out the same tasks — in the same way as the tourism funding that Tourism Eastland was previously receiving was moved over to AT.

Steve Breen said at the AGM that AT had yet to even decide if they really want to take over the funding to provide the required tasks, while the GDC’s Keita Kohere indicated that all options were on the table for consideration, from no amalgamation, to amalgamation, to dropping the whole concept of a city centre vibrancy programme altogether.

I do have to wonder, however, how open this process has been, when it was kicked off with an initial council report with a recommendation of the amalgamation of HofG functions with Activate Tairawhiti as the preferred option before either of those two parties were even involved in any discussions.

Unfortunately, we are not privy to the reasons behind this recommendation as the initial report was heard in the public excluded portion of the May 17 council meeting.

Given that the rest of the discussion is now out in the open, why is this report still secret?

Why have all subsequent reports from council made it seem like the amalgamation proposal is already a fait-accompli?

If it is believed that AT can do a better job with the targeted-rate funds, let the targeted ratepayers in the CBD (the members of HofG) see a definitive proposal as to how moving the funding would provide better outcomes than the status quo.

Scott McSloy

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