Cr Tony Todd: Impressions of a first-timer
Firstly, can I say I am enjoying my first stint as a District Councillor. We have a good team working collectively for the betterment of our district.
When standing for Council, I was told there are two Council meetings a month, which of course is technically correct. However, can I list a few of the other activities we partake in: Civil Defence briefings, Budget workshops, Council Agencies reports, Citizenship Ceremonies, International Student visits, Council Activities briefings, Annual Plan workshops, Waste Management workshops, Alcohol Control Bylaw and Local Alcohol Policy (LAP). Plus, interesting trips to Clandeboye and Kate Valley.
One strategy that is just out for public consultation this week is the Draft Economic Strategy 2023-33.
This is a comprehensive document, that sets out objectives, goals and actions we wish to achieve.
First goal, that our residents are engaged and invested in our community. Secondly, our businesses are thriving, innovative and resilient to change, and thirdly, our district is a destination of choice for locals and visitors, with great leisure, entertainment, recreational and retail activities.
I encourage all those keen to see our district thrive and grow to submit your ideas and thoughts. We need your input. Go to ashburtondc.govt.nz/haveyoursay
On Three Waters I have been, and still am, opposed to this reform of our water assets. This has been well and truly canvased and looks set to become an election issue later in the year.
I am also concerned about the uncertainty caused by the inclusion of Te Mana o Te Wai statements in the reform legislation (these statements refer to the fundamental importance of water as the foundation of all decision-making for freshwater management and is included in the Essential Freshwater regulations introduced by Government in 2020).
I believe this could give an unfair advantage to Maori, with only iwi and hapu able to issue Te Mana o te Wai statements. Further, this creates uncertainty as the concept has yet to be legally tested and could vary even within districts.
However, I am delighted Mr McAnulty has seen sense and excluded our very own ACL from the three waters reforms. This would have been devastating for ACL and our district if this had proceeded.
The debate is now firmly an election issue that will not go away.
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