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New committees formed in governance structure revamp

The addition of a couple of new committees is a key feature of Waikato District Council’s Mayor Jacqui Church’s governance structure for the next three years.

Mayor Church has appointed Raglan Ward Councillor Lisa Thomson as chair of the Sustainability and Wellbeing Committee.

The committee was formed to develop strategies and plans to achieve the goals of Council’s Long-Term Plan as they relate to sustainability and the four wellbeings.

The four wellbeings are social, economic, environmental and cultural. Local authorities’ responsibility to play a broad role in promoting these well-beings were reintroduced into the Local Government Act three years ago.

The committee’s role is also to develop, monitor and review plans and strategies related to climate resilience and adaptation.

As well as developing, monitoring and review plans and strategies related to community aspirational outcomes and Blueprints throughout the district.

Another new committee is the Development Agreements Committee.

A Developer Agreement is a contractual agreement voluntarily entered into between one or more developers and the Council.

These agreements cover things like: providing, supplying, or exchanging infrastructure and/or land; and paying money to provide network infrastructure, works, or reserve land.

It has been formed to assist key staff to make timely decisions on any matters relating to development agreements. It will have an independent chair.

Meanwhile Council’s previous Strategy and Finance Committee has had a name-change to Performance and Strategy Committee.

One of its key roles will be to monitor Council’s strategy and performance (both financial and non-financial) against the Long Term and Annual Plans.

It will continue to be chaired by Newcastle-Ngaruawahia Councillor Janet Gibb.

The Infrastructure Committee will continue to be chaired by Newcastle-Ngaruawahia Ward Councillor Eugene Patterson.

And Deputy Mayor Carolyn Eyre will chair the Policy and Regulatory Committee.

Other committees for this triennium include: Audit and Risk, Emergency, District Licensing, Chief Executive’s Performance Review, Creative Communities Scheme, Regulatory Subcommittee, Proposed District Plan Subcommittee, and the Waters Governance Board.

“I am really looking forward to working with councillors and staff under this governance structure,” says Mayor Church.

“The addition of the Sustainability and Wellbeing Committee is particularly important given the changing nature of local government that is focusing more on the four wellbeings of social, economic, environmental and cultural priorities.

“We will be creating various working groups to progress Council’s direction as needs arise.  This gives us flexibility to initiate innovative ideas and briefs into our committee thinking and direction. 

“One of the first to be created is the Rural Advisory Forum working group headed by Deputy Mayor Eyre to identify our very important and key rural sector stakeholders to enhance their voice in our district and to build strong relationship bonds with our rural communities which benefits us all.”