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New chair elected, mayor and CEO attend.

By Stan Stewart.

After a rousing speech, Richard Woodcock (nickname Chocky) was elected as the new Chairperson of the Whitianga residents and ratepayers Association. The occasion was the Association’s Annual general meeting in the Whitianga Town a, Sunday 3.00pm 23 July.

The Mayor Len Salt and the Thames Council CEO Aileen Lawrie, attended and addressed the gathering making the following points:

  • The Ten Year Plan has been put on hold as Council has been occupied with disaster relief

  • Roading – there are currently 50 active work sites and the Council’s roading bill is $90 million

  • They have pushed the government to meet 91% of this amount.

  • The Council relies on Radio and Newspapers to keep the public informed.

  • The Council is aware of the problems related to Whitianga’s water supply.

  • The council’s plans for waste management for Whitianga is behind schedule.

  • Global warming is a fact and it is effecting the Council’s 400k of coastline

Question: (from the audience) How can the Council help with transport of the elderly and sick to the new Medical Centre?

Answer: The Council is aware of this need. Announcement soon.

Other matters at the meeting:

· Special Guest, Sarah Webb, a Community Advisor who has been a great help to the Whitianga Association, outlined the tasks and responsibilities of a Residents and Ratepayers Association. She stressed that it is a legal body and there are rules to follow.

· The acting and interim Chair, Deborah Phillips, reviewed the recent year and the difficult last few months. She stepped down from her temporary role at the conclusion of this meeting. During the meeting it was stressed that ‘Residents’ as well as Ratepayers can join the Association. A new Committee member, Fleming Rasmussen was also elected. To reach a quorum, a new committee member must be found. However, in the interim, while actively seeking an additional member, the committee and operate.

· Members Drive: The membership fees are to be reduced: Couple from $30 to $20. Single person from $25 to $15. Comment: In the current climate are these reductions signs of more to come – Is this reduction a world first? Could this start a trend? Is recovery on the way?

Caption: Whitianga Residents & Ratepaeys Association logo.


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