24 April 2020
Watch a video from the Annual Plan forum here
Rotorua Lakes Council’s 2020/21 Annual Plan will have a clear focus on enabling local economic recovery, says Strategy, Policy & Finance Committee chair Cr Merepeka Raukawa-Tait.
The fourth in a series of annual plan forums and workshops yesterday resulted in a clear consensus, she says.
“Everything has changed since our pre-COVID-19 annual plan sessions so we need to reconsider and reshape our thinking and direction.
“It was a very informative session that helped us come to a clear consensus and provide direction around how we need to enable the recovery strategy for Rotorua through the annual plan,” Cr Raukawa-Tait says.
“We were fortunate to hear the views of a panel of speakers, including well respected economists Dr Ganesh Nana and London-based Peter Rice (Ngati Whakaue), which really helped to inform our thinking. They shared their views about the role of local and central government in the recovery and we had the chance to question them and test our thinking.”
Deloitte Rotorua director and Rotorua Economic Development board chair John McRae, and Te Tatau o Te Arawa board chair Te Taru White, also provided their perspectives on Rotorua’s recovery.
Council’s Group Manager Strategy, Jean-Paul Gaston, presented eight proposed strategies to provide the basis for the development of the Annual Plan, which the majority of elected members present supported.
“Overall, I think it gave us a good sense that we are headed in the right direction with our recovery strategy,” Cr Raukawa-Tait says.
“Rotorua is a very diverse community with an above-average youth population so it is important to ensure everything Council does is future-focussed.
“We need to focus on enabling businesses to get back up and running, create an environment for potential new business, and get Rotorua’s recovery going as soon and as fast as possible. I am absolutely convinced, as I think the majority of councillors are, that we on the right track and must proceed. We have to have the courage to go forward, because the community is depending on us to show fearless leadership.
“After yesterday’s session Council staff will work up some further detail and develop scenarios and options for us to consider, and there will be further debate when the draft consultation/information document comes back to us,” Cr Raukawa-Tait says.
“The majority of councillors are forward-thinking and committed to Rotorua not only surviving, but thriving, despite the challenges we are confronting right now.”
Cr Raukawa-Tait says she believes the wider public will also be interested in what the speakers at yesterday’s forum had to say has asked that these be made available for the community to view.
You can view the speakers HERE
More about the invited panelists
- Economist Dr Ganesh Nana of Berl was recently appointed to the board of CCO Rotorua Economic Development board.
- Economist Peter Rice (Ngati Whakaue) resides in London, has worked internationally and is currently advising Te Arawa.