Too many agencies, councillor suggests

DANIEL ADAMS
Last updated 14:01 26/07/2012

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Hamilton City Council has been accused of having had a scattergun approach to funding economic development as it reviews the way it spreads its limited budget and resources.

Councillor Ewan Wilson yesterday grilled events and economic development general manager Sean Murray over the effectiveness of the council's annual spend across the "eight or so" economic development agencies he said it appeared to have links to or supported.

"We have eight economic development silos in this city, and most of us don't really know what the others are doing," he said. "We have more silos than a wheat farmer in middle America. This is madness, this is duplication, this is unnecessary expenditure," Mr Wilson said.

Mayor Julie Hardaker said the strategy review was a chance to "do it in a way that is appropriate and different. We're actually right in the middle of this right now, and all the issues and comments that people are making, I'm assuming are going to be ironed out during that process."

"We need to look at the way we're spending our money in this sphere in a way that's effective and appropriate. I think it's a common pitfall of local government that they think to do economic development, you have to set up an entity, or do a project.

"Actually, every day our business is economic development, because every day, we make decisions that create a city people want to live in, and every day, we make decisions about a city that people want to do business in."

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- Waikato Times

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