A Word from the Mayor
It is really easy to focus all our attention on the 3 waters reform to the detriment of other pending changes. The government is proposing the Natural and Built Environment Act together with the Climate Adaptation Act and the Strategic Planning Act to be a direct replacement of the Resource Management Act. Currently local authorities have oversight of the scope and content of individual district plans, they are able to question and probe on planning frameworks and gain an appreciation of how the legislation will work, who it will affect and whether the outcomes sought are achievable and fit for purpose.
As with the proposed 3 waters reforms the RMA reform is also seeking to introduce new systems that will remove local voice. In my opinion it is critical this decision making at least stays in the hands of elected members to retain a structure based on representative democracy. To deny elected members the opportunity and deny their obligations to contribute does appear like a backward step.
“The case for reform of the health system is clear” a headline title in the 2018 government commissioned paper. The reform is aiming to strengthening our health system. The reform is to refocus the role of the Ministry of Health and to create a new organisation call HealthNZ, create a new Maori Health authority and establish a new public health agency, in practice it is desirable that everyone will be able to access a wider range of support to stay well in the community with services designed to wrap around people’s needs, it is important that we keep a close eye on this reform to ensure that the voice of rural is not lost.
In closing I would like to thank all who have participated in the vaccines roll out, this strategy will enable us to revert to the freedoms we value and hopefully the opportunity to travel to loved ones at Christmas. It has been a privilege to work closely with the Practice Managers across the district to see how we can strengthen our collective position. Thank you to all the staff across the district who have worked tirelessly to support the role out. It is truly appreciated.