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Press Release – Current Issues Oct 2018

Press release

Wanganui Ratepayers Association Newsletter October 2018
The full board of the Wanganui Ratepayers Association held its bi monthly meeting in October.
The main issues discussed were:

Whanganui and Partners: In a press release on October the 5th it was reported that a series of workshops were to be held to make another attempt to define the district’s uniqueness, and improve perceptions. The end result will be to create another new brand to replace “Whanganui – all you need (and then some)” that was launched two days before former Mayor Annette Mains end of term less than two years ago. Wanganui Ratepayers Association is greatly concerned that this is yet another costly attempt to create another new brand; one of at least three in the last six years. An inside council source confirmed to the association that the last branding exercise cost ratepayers over $100,000. ‘Whanganui – all you need (and then some )’ has obviously not delivered and the Ratepayers Association has little confidence that a new brand will be achieved, or that the cost will remain within the projected $10,000 – $12,000. The education workshop, open to the public, was held on October 3rd. The report in the press inviting public input was published two days later. This is hardly conducive to democratic process.

Hill Street shared bikeway: this joint venture between central government and our local council has cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. The Ratepayers Association have several concerns besides the overall cost. One is the potential for accidents between cyclists and pedestrians. The cycleway passes several commercial high foot traffic areas like Work and Income which is frequented by many elderly people and young mums. The question was raised as to why wasn’t extended along the Whanganui River pedestrian cycleway, linking with the already established Taupo Quay pathway. .

Trans Tasman Resources: The Ratepayers Association was critical of the Mayor Hamish McDouall and Deputy Mayor Jenny Duncan attending the victory celebration to stop off shore mining held at Castlecliff beach. It’s the associations belief that the Mayor and Deputy Mayor have no mandate from the ratepayers of the region to attend events that are considered controversial, or express council support. The Ratepayers Association foresee that, if tightly controlled and monitored, the TTR proposal could be very beneficial for the growth of the region. Overall the Association was in support of Councillor David Bennett’s letter to the editor expressing similar views.

Finally, being election year next year, it is the Association’s intention to hold public forums or locations where the public will be welcome to provide feedback and views on the issues as they see them.
Dave Hill
Wanganui Ratepayers Association

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