October Mayoral Column

mayoralcolumn1
October Mayoral Column
2014-10-21

Economic Growth – Otorohanga’s Opportunity

As most people will be aware, rural areas face a challenging future. A continuing drift of people and businesses towards the larger urban centres has seen many rural areas stagnate or decline, and Otorohanga has – and still is - feeling these effects, which if continued will have major impact on residents.

Opportunities for substantial economic and employment growth in rural areas are increasingly rare. It is therefore absolutely essential that when such an opportunity presents itself, that the council and community does as much as possible to translate this into real benefit for our people.

Such an opportunity, in the form of a potential major new business that would provide significant new employment, rates income and other support to the Otorohanga township and district, is now being proposed by a group of major investors.

An important part of the development of new businesses is however obtaining Resource Consents under the Resource Management Act. The intent of the Act is sound, but it does also provide the possibility for individual objections to impede developments that offer broad benefits to the community.

The developers of the major new project will soon be engaging with locals who might be affected in some way. I hope these discussions go smoothly as delays in the issuing of a resource consent may result in the establishment of this business not occurring at all due to the tight time constraints faced by the developers.

The prospect of a substantial new business development in Otorohanga is an opportunity that we cannot afford to lose and one I am sure the district will embrace.

Water Usage

With summer looming I ask that we all give consideration to how we use water in our houses and on properties. It is becoming more apparent how vulnerable a number of towns and cities are, not only for growth and development but also for their current requirement.  Otorohanga is one of the few towns in the Waikato that has not had regular water use restrictions placed on it during periods of drought or water supply problems. Although not an issue now, substantial savings can be made quite simply by repairing dripping taps, reducing the length of time spent in the shower or what time of day and amount of time spent watering the garden. Our domestic consumption in summer can be around 400 litres per person per day where in some communities through thoughtful conservation measures they are using only half this amount.

Otorohanga Support House Whare Awhina

Having recently attended the AGM of the Otorohanga Support House and hearing what has been achieved I would like to give a huge thanks to all of the Support House staff and volunteers. Their generous contribution of time and effort looking after people in need, within our community is never recognised enough. There are many areas where Support House offers help to our residents, one of which is the Otorohanga Community Foodbank.  Leading up to Christmas Support House is always after donations of food for families or gifts for children at Christmas. So please give consideration to those of our community that need help and give generously.

Nga mihi

Max Baxter
MAYOR