January Mayoral Column

January Mayoral Column

Happy New Year Otorohanga,

I have confidence that 2015 will be a happy, prosperous new year. I am certain it will also bring its challenges, whether that be confronting a New Year's resolution, focusing on study, building relationships with family and friends or facing up to what may develop into another drought.

I start this new year with a positive state of mind. This is due to a visit from family overseas, a rare occurrence, with two members of the family visiting New Zealand for the first time. As a family we had the opportunity to enjoy much of the North Island, travelling to both inland and coastal locations to give them a decent look at what Aotearoa has on offer. What stood out for our overseas travellers was the forever changing topography of our beautiful land, and also the warmth and friendliness of New Zealanders. What a great way to remember our country!

Having completed my first calendar year as Mayor I have arrived in 2015 with an increased workload and a greater level of expectation. Our year will begin with the development of our LTP (Long Term Plan). This plan is a document that will provide the long term focus for the decisions and activities of the local Council for the next 10 years. It is a requirement under the Local Government Act 2002 that a LTP will be produced once every three years. The most significant change this year is the replacement of a draft LTP with a Consultation Document (CD) which will be out for public consultation in April or May prior to the adoption of the LTP. The CD gives our Council the opportunity to engage with our ratepayers by highlighting the key issues in our proposed LTP, ratepayers can express their views on these key issues.

2015 may well be remembered as the year that New Zealand won the Cricket and/or Rugby World Cup, possibly as a successful business year, or more humbly as the year that you did a nice deed for a neighbour or member of your family. In the mean time I should make this year memorable by performing a successful rain dance to bring a stop to this never ending summer.

Nga mihi,

Max Baxter