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Eastern Bay of Plenty Joint Committee sets agenda

Friday, 12 July 2013 2:46 p.m.

The Eastern Bay of Plenty Joint Committee held its first meeting on Monday 8 July 2013 and signed a Memorandum of Understanding outlining the purpose and principles of the group. 

At the inaugural meeting on Monday, the Eastern Bay of Plenty was well represented around the table with Mayors and Councillors from Ōpōtiki, Kawerau and Whakatāne District Councils and the Chairman and a local Councillor from the Bay of Plenty Regional Council.

The Joint Committee unanimously elected its first Chair, Whakatāne Mayor Tony Bonne and Deputy Chair, Kawerau Mayor Malcolm Campbell and then got down to the business of seeking opportunities for collaboration across the Eastern Bay.

Initial discussions focused on the scope of the collaboration, with agreement around the table that the Councils would work together to achieve a number of goals. Primarily, the group aimed to save costs for ratepayers through efficient and effective use of resources and improving the level of service for all councils. By doing so, the councils wanted to show central government a success story featuring local authorities working together with positive results. “We are looking forward to getting some runs on the board in the next few months and it’s important that we work as closely together as possible to improve efficiency and reduce costs,” Whakatāne Mayor, Tony Bonne said.

The group was also clear that its role was wider and should work towards the overall improvement of the Eastern Bay of Plenty’s social and economic well-being.

“Between us, we have many exciting initiatives ready to get underway. Let’s put our weight behind activities and local businesses to move them forward,” said Kawerau Mayor, Malcolm Campbell.

Other committee members also agreed with the value of a combined approach at a high level.

“We can have a positive impact across the Eastern Bay. This group should consider how we can assist each other and lift our game across the sub-region. Our collective weight is more than the sum of our individual weights,” Ōpōtiki Mayor, Mr John Forbes said.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council Chair John Cronin also reminded the group that a number of initiatives were already underway across the region, with Bay of Connections, BOPLASS and Toi EDA also active in many areas. He reiterated that it was important not to ‘reinvent the wheel’ and to stocktake a list of possible areas for collaboration and bring current work priorities to the table so that other members knew what was happening around the region.

The next meeting will be held in August. Chair and Deputy Chair positions will remain in place until after the local government elections in October 2013.

ENDS

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Eastern Bay of Plenty Joint Committee (low res)