24 August 2012
The cost to Waipa District Council for sending four representatives and two of their partners to the recent Local Government Conference in Queenstown was $12,810.10.
The conference was attended by Mayor Alan Livingston, Deputy Mayor Grahame Webber, Councillor Dennis Finn and Chief Executive Garry Dyet.
Two partners also travelled to Queenstown and took part in a programme specifically organised for partners.
Mr Livingston said it was council practice for partners to be invited to attend Local Government conferences at council’s cost.
“The partners of those elected to represent the Waipa District also make a valuable contribution,” said Mr Livingston.
“They are the ones that often take the phone messages and help ensure that their partners have the time to commit to representing the community and this is just one small way that they can be recognised for the contribution they make.”
It was also council practice for the Mayor, Deputy Mayor and up to two councillors to attend. The councillors to attend any given year were chosen on a rotational basis however any new councillors who had not attended a conference were given preference.
Mr Livingston said there was great value in having representation at the conference.
“As we are in the midst of Local Government reforms, this was probably the most critical conference to attend for a number of years and as a result the most beneficial too, simply because of the scrutiny the sector is under” he said.
“Networking and workshops are always topical with the likes of affordable housing, management of community assets such as swimming pools, and economic development being examples.”
“We also owe it to our ratepayers to ensure our elected members are well informed of what is happening in the sector as they are the ones that make decisions on behalf of our community.”
It was important that local authorities supported their advocacy organisation and the annual conference was an important part of that, Mr Livingston said.
“This year it was in Queenstown but next year it is to be held in Hamilton where the cost to Waipa will be considerably less.”
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Senior Communications Advisor
Ph: 07 872 0062 or 027 532 1760