Councillors to table their wish lists

LOUISE BERWICK
Last updated 05:00 22/01/2014
Opinion poll

What would be on your wish list for the city?

Free parking

Free wi-fi

A theme park

An international airport

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Poll: They have their wish lists written and ready to go and on Saturday they will decide where the city's priorities lie.

Invercargill City councillors will attend a strategic meeting - the rebranded retreat - on Saturday to discuss the issues they want the council to focus on this term.

Council chief executive Richard King said he had asked each councillor to bring their top five issues to the meeting, so the group had the chance to fully discuss what challenges the council faced. Many of the ideas crossed over, he said.

The three-letter topic on everybody's lips was the CBD.

Some wanted it to move faster, others wanted more public consultation, but everyone wanted to talk about it.

But along with the CBD, each councillor had topics on their own agendas they want addressed.

However, Invercargill Mayor Tim Shadbolt said he just had one aim for this year and therefore would not be taking his five points to the meeting.

He wanted Invercargill to be the most democratic city in the country and planned to see it through by using "provocative campaigns".

Deputy Mayor Darren Ludlow refused to comment on his ideas ahead of the meeting.

Councillor Ian Pottinger said he did not have a list of things he wanted to focus on this term, but instead a list for the next six months.

Those topics included revising the Auckland-to-Bluff Yacht Race and reversing the council's committee structure back to eight councillors per committee, instead of six.

Graham Sycamore said he hoped to discuss the Awarua land, a topic he thought was vital to the future of Invercargill and also a part of his portfolio.

"I have always believed our future lies there."

Councillor Lindsay Thomas said storm water and sewage discharge were issues the council needed to look at closely, two things that fall into the committee he is chairman of, ahead of the government's implementation of water standards.

His main priorities were focused around heritage buildings, both council and privately owned.

He believed the council needed to form a plan to deal with buildings which would be affected by earthquake standards.

Councillors Karen Arnold and Lloyd Esler echoed his view on historic buildings.

Cr Esler also wanted the redevelopment of the museum to be a priority.

Urban rejuvenation projects were the focus of some councillors, with both Alan Dennis and Neil Boniface saying they were a priority.

First-term councillor Rebecca Amundsen said her five points revolved around more public consultation and interaction with the public.

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Councillor Graham Lewis said while his focus was on the CBD, he would like to see the council in active discussions with Shell and see how both Awarua land and the port could be utilised.

Mr King did not believe the priorities of councillors would vary hugely, because the major issues were on everybody's mind.

A budget workshop would also be held on Monday, he said.

Council managers would highlight the upcoming issues in their areas as well as explain what they would be using the money for.

Finance and policy committee chairman Mr Boniface said it was a chance for councillors to bring together their priorities on Saturday and see how it affects rates on Monday.

 

- © Fairfax NZ News

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