Hard Work Begins for New Council
The election for the Tararua District Council may have been the closest in the country, but now it’s time for the hard yards as the mayor and councillors settle in for the next three years.
This week, on Thursday, October 31 at 9.30am, our new Council will hold their inaugural meeting.
“It’s an exciting time and a very special one which councillors and family who have supported their journey, should be proud to enjoy,” Tararua District mayor Tracey Collis says. “An open invitation will be offered to councillors’ family and friends to share the moment when they are sworn in to serve.”
This first meeting is usually largely ceremonial and procedural, but not this year.
“This year we are straight into it with the adoption of the annual report and our proposed freshwater submission,” Collis says. “This sets the tone for the busy time ahead with the Tararua District experiencing unprecedented growth opportunities, resulting from the new Manawatu Tararua Highway, Te Ahu A Turanga, along with economic and population growth.
“Councillors will also get a taste of the policy and environmental issues we need to be involved in for both council and our communities.”
But as Collis has discovered, the day of the Mayor can change in a heartbeat.
“While I was phoning our new councillors, the email came through announcing four lanes for the new highway,” she said. “You couldn’t take the smile off my face and what a great start to a new term.”
Collis says she prefers to meet each councillor individually to hear their aspirations, areas they are passionate about and what they would like to achieve.
“I believe a person operates best both from their areas of strength and this helps in allocating portfolios. Other parts of the conversation are communication styles, professional development, representation and workload. The role of deputy mayor is discussed at this meeting.
“All councillors have expressed their honour at being elected and their desire to serve our district. Along with Council issues we start this term at an incredibly busy time with the 75th anniversary of the arrival of the Polish Children at Pahiatua on Friday, November 1. We will host the Polish Ambassador, members of the Polish community and several of the original children at the Pahiatua Town Hall, followed by a trip to the Pahiatua Museum and finally a stop at the Polish Memorial as they head back to Wellington for further celebrations over the weekend.
“This is a very special relationship with schools and businesses involved in providing the best welcome we possibly can. This is a special story in New Zealand’s history and one we should be extremely proud of and says much about the welcoming district we have always had. It is an emotional day for the children who many of whom are in their 80s and 90s. But they have such fond memories of our place and still have lasting and special friendships in the community today. This relationship will continue to grow with the twin town agreement signed last Council term with Kazimierz Dolny.
Their Mayor was unable to join us on this occasion but we will write and share the day with them. It is envisaged we will build the relationship through our young people and engagement has commenced with contact with secondary schools through the hard work of Gilda McKnight, president of the Pahiatua and Districts Museum.”