April 2018 - Chairman's Report
Long Term Plan
The Long Term Plan (LTP) 'Have Your Say' events were successful in providing an opportunity for the community to have meaningful discussions with our councillors and staff about our proposals. Unfortunately, attendance was quite varied with some very good attendances and some very poor attendances.
The concept provided such a good forum that we need to go back to the drawing board and ascertain how we can get more people involved.
Written submissions still provide a valuable source of public feedback for our decision-making with over 700 written submissions at the time of writing this report. Submissions will have closed on 17 April so the final number will be available at the council meeting.
The Government's GPS (Government Policy Statement) concerning its transport plans has now been released. Unfortunately the new GPS takes the building of new off-line highways out of the mix of transport solutions. The impact on Northland was confirmed at a meeting with the Minister of Transport in Wellington on 11 April 2018 by a delegation led by the Northland Mayoral Forum. However, over the next few weeks we will continue to work with the Government to reaffirm the importance of using its new priorities to enhance this vital link which connects Northland to the rest of New Zealand and to the world.
Other modes of transport are clearly important to Northland as well, however, no other mode of transport can effectively take the place of the 98% of our heavy transport that goes by road and the 100% of our tourist and light transport that also goes by road. For example, it would take a massive investment in rail (several billion dollars) to multiply the goods transported by rail by five times and still rail would be providing less than 10% of our transport solutions.