Kapi-Mana News : January 31st 2012
14 KAPI-MANA NEWS, JANUARY 31, 2012 REGION • Garden Equipment • Generators & Pumps • Diggers • Scaffolding • Tracked Barrows • Trucks • Car Trailer • Concrete Equipment • Augers and more... HIRE www.am-hire.co.nz PH 04 237 0308 6 Makaro St, Porirua (OFF RAIHA STREET) To Prosser St HIRE 4021037AB Water Supply Use a bit less, make a big difference Upper Hutt, Lower Hutt, Porirua and Wellington Water levels are currently average in our rivers and aquifer. However, this summer we're running on half our usual water storage while we upgrade our lakes. This will affect everyone if levels drop, so follow your local watering restrictions and use water with care. More info at gw.govt.nz/water Good Getting Low Very Low Extreme GRW 1067_5 Manufacturers of Quality French Doors, Windows & Stairs Buyers and Sellers of quality 2nd hand used house parts e Building Recyclers 3 Raiha Street, Porirua Ph: 237 4000 • Fax: 0237 7662 A BRAND NEW KITCHEN for Unbelievable Value! Visit us at our new location next to Porirua Indoor Raceway Kitchen, Storage, Wardrobe, Laundry Solutions 3639239AA Ü Fully assembled kitchen units Ü Factory Prices Ü Installation available Ü We guarantee the Quality of our product Ü New Zealand made / New Zealand owned and operated OPEN 6 DAYS A WEEK Hard-arse drafted to try and lift underperforming agency Newly appointed Grow Wellington chairman Paul Mersi. By JIM CHIPP COUNCIL CONTRIBUTIONS TO GROW WELLINGTON Council Contribution Wellington $2,051,000 Lower Hutt $866,000 Upper Hutt $327,000 Porirua $348,000 Kapiti Coast $464,000 Masterton $234,000 Carterton $84,000 South Wairarapa $126,000 Total $4,500,000 THE COST Five years after Grow Wellington was set up to galvanise Welling- ton s economy regional council chairwoman Fran Wilde has acknowledged that its perform- ance has been unsatisfactory. The capital s economic develop- ment agency costs ratepayers $4.5 million each year and many city and district councillors have said ratepayers have not received value for money. Wellington City councillor John Morrison said he had serious doubts as to Grow Wellington s worth. The major problem is that you have is a whole bunch of councils trying to run a business- promotion business. They ve all got different agendas and it ends up approaching Monty-Python levels of chaos, he said. Money has to be accounted for and these outfits are anything but transparent. How anyone can con- clude that they achieve what they say they achieve, I don t know. Hutt City councillor Roger Styles agreed. I think the return [from the investment in Grow Wellington] is probably marginal or negative. Probably the money would be bet- ter left in ratepayers pockets. Economic development activity is notoriously difficult to measure and it is always difficult to discern whether a particular business activity would have happened anyway without the agency s intervention, he said. The best things councils can do to encourage economic develop- ment are establishing permissive zoning practices, having very efficient and smooth consent processes, holding rates below inflation, establishing well-run infrastructure and carrying out their core tasks well. The whole regional council foray into economic development was meant to be a five year pro- gramme. I think it has been spec- tacularly unsuccessful and it s time to knock it on the head, in my view. Porirua mayor Nick Leggett said Grow Wellington was overly- focussed on business growth rather than trying to enhance par- ticular sectors of the Wellington economy. I think we haven t had optimal output over the last few years, which is why there is a review of the regional strategy, he said. Having said that they have done that within the context of a recession. Upper Hutt mayor Wayne Guppy said the agency was set up to grow the Welling- ton region economy and economic base. That clearly hasn t happened. There is no ques- tion that the strategy lost its way. Grow Wellington should be talking to the private sec- tor to find out what things would make the difference when it come to choosing where they would establish business. The should also be talking to businesses that have left the area, such as Griffins from Lower Hutt, and South Pacific Tyres and Foodstuffs distribution centre from Upper Hutt, to find out what would have made the difference and enticed them to stay, he said. The key to being successful is setting [the agenda] and then for politicians to keep their beaks out of it. Masterton mayor Garry Daniell said his council had questioned the value Grow Wellington s services offer very vigorously. We have had an assurance that their focus will include a more Wairarapa focus. We don t think we have been getting a fair share. Ms Wilde said the development agency struggled to find useful ways to measure its effectiveness but the criticisms are partly valid. It is correct that there has not been total satisfaction with the performance of Grow Wellington and last year a new chair was appointed, together with several new directors, she said. The new chairman is former PriceWaterhouseCoopers partner Paul Mersi. We wanted a hard-arse guy to chair it and Paul Mersi is that, Ms Wilde said. The Wellington regional strat- egy committee also adopted new strategy focus areas in December and Grow Wellington s board is working to adapt their strategy to match. The councils are all looking for more specific reporting and expect the new statement of intent that Grow Wellington was developing to provide it, Ms Wilde said.
January 24th 2012
February 7th 2012