Gumboots needed for trip to Tassie

TARYN UTIGER
Last updated 05:00 02/07/2014

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Andrew Judd's trip to Tasmania will be a whirlwind of gumboots and suits.

The New Plymouth Mayor and councillor Richard Handley will visit the council's multimillion-dollar Tasmanian farms next week and Judd has said he will use the trip to find out how close the council is to selling off the investment.

The itinerary for the trip was released this week and shows Judd, Handley, and Mike Trousselot and Keith Sutton from Timl will meet with the directors of Van Diemen's Land Company for dinner.

The company is 100 per cent owned by Tasman Farms Ltd of which the New Plymouth District Council has a 98.42 per cent share through Timl, set up eight years ago to oversee its $259 million Powerco share proceeds.

"Eyeballing the people who run our asset is important," Judd said.

"I want to get a sense of the how the farms are going and how they are turning around."

The trip will also include a tour of the farms but the mayor won't be wearing his business suit for the trek across the paddocks.

"I'm sure they will have a spare pair of size eight gumboots for me.

"I'm not from a farming background so it will be interesting."

Judd and Handley will be in Tasmania for three nights and will spend two of those nights at The Henry Jones Art Hotel in Hobart.

Rooms at the hotel range in price from $250 per night, to $536.

Judd said he did not know what room he was staying in, as the trip was arranged and paid for by Timl.

Their third night will be spent at Tall Timbers in Smithton, which costs between $119 to $270 a night.

The pair, who have three hours of scheduled free time during the trip, will also have breakfast with Tasmania's premier Will Hodgman and dinner with circular head mayor Darryl Quilliam.

"This will help to solidify our ties with Tasmania."

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- Taranaki Daily News

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