At a meeting of the Waitaki District Council earlier this week, the council approved a recommendation to discuss a new organization to support economic growth in the district.
It hoped to achieve the ambitions and results identified in the Uplifting Waitaki: Hāpaitia te Waitaki Economic Development strategy adopted by the council last September. The council was seeking community feedback on the proposal.
The council discussed the creation of a new council-controlled organization as an Economic Development Agency (EDA).
The EDA would be responsible for implementing the strategy and working with others to support economic development that benefits the community. The new agency would include tourism management and promotion, meaning Tourism Waitaki Ltd would be dissolved.
Alex Parmley, CEO of Waitaki District Council, said the council has made significant investments in economic development and tourism for several years.
“While this has brought benefits, we believe the activity can deliver greater value to taxpayers and more measurable benefits to our community. We believe that an Economic Development Agency, with oversight of all major work programs, is the best means of achieving stronger engagement with stakeholders and partners and to increase the benefits of these activities for our communities and districts,” he said.
cr. Jim Hopkins said he didn’t want to bring it up, but he felt the report should be written in direct, clear language to engage people. As it was written at this point, only those with a tertiary education would understand it. The language had to be clearer and simpler.
Mayor Gary Kircher agreed, saying it would be good to use more direct language for the public documents.