Councillors want more info before giving extra funds

Councillors want more info before giving extra funds

Otorohanga District Council is considering increasing its tourism promotion funding by $20,000. At a council meeting on Tuesday, it was proposed that ODC’s annual con­tribution to Hamilton and Waikato Tourism (HWT) be increased from $40,000 to $60,000 from the 2015/16 year onwards.

The proposal came following a meeting with HWT representatives in council on November 18 where the tourism promotion agency ex­pressed a desire to increase its overall expenditure from a current level of $810,000 to $1.4m.

ODC chief executive Dave Clibbery said for HWT to achieve this it would be reliant upon 50% increases in con­tributions from its local government partners and obtaining new funding from the regional council.

“I believe that council needs to discuss its response to this proposal so that relevant amounts can be reflected in budget estimates for the 2015/25 Long Term Plan.”

Mayor Max Baxter said he would like to know more about what other councils were doing before commit­ting to a funding increase.

“I certainly appreciate the urgency that something has to be done before work begins on our Long Term Plan, but I would like to have a bit more robust discussion because it is a con­siderable amount of money.”

Councillor Robyn Klos said tour­ism is a “key way forward” for the continued growth of Otorohanga, but requested more information be pro­vided about the benefits of increased funding.

“Some information is provided but not very much in the scheme of things and I do think that more in depth con­versations with Kiri [HWT chief ex­ecutive Kiri Goulter] around private information would be useful to have.”

Further discussion about the fund­ing increase will be held at council’s next meeting on February 17

Published in 22 January 2015 issue.