When your current Mayor and her CEO suddenly start talking about economic growth and streamlining council, be aware, be very aware!
Your current Mayor, her councillors and their new CEO has spent the last 3 years ignoring the economic truth, hiding it from you and sticking their heads in the sand. This sort of behaviour has gone on for many years and is the sole reason why Whangarei is standing still.
In this year’s Pre Election report our CEO speaks of, ‘Whangarei is on the up two years of economic growth, increasing population and falling unemployment are bringing significant benefits and new challenges for our district’. Really! See the statistics.
Everybody but our Mayor and our council recognise that our economy is in very poor shape. We all see the closing businesses, the empty shops, the empty streets. We see the social issues that are evolving from an unhappy society especially our youth, we see the falling agricultural incomes and struggling support industries.
Something needs to change and quite frankly if you listen to the promises now being made by your Mayor and your councillors and believe that after 3 years they now ‘really’ believe the time is ‘just’ right to start on economic growth. You’ve got rocks in your head.
Your current Mayor and her councillors adopted their Long Term Plan, your Mayor stated “it heralds a change of focus for our district for the next 10 years.” Unfortunately economic growth was never mentioned in that summary and if we wade through 107 pages and get to page 108 titled ‘Economic Growth’ all it seems to say is that “council will provide an accurate bookings and information service which influences more visitors to stay longer and spend more”. Really that’s about the heart and soul of this councils strategic economic growth policy, it got barely 2 pages in the LTP. They gave it a budget of around $3.8 million and took $3.77 million to pay themselves!!.