REGION IN A LEAGUE OF ITS OWN
Tuesday 18 September
Outstanding developments during the 2017/2018 year helped to put the region in a league of its own, says Taranaki Regional Council Chairman David MacLeod.
“Taranaki has a good story to tell,” he says of the Council’s 2017/2018 Annual Report which the TRC formally adopted today. “Once again we saw solid progress across a wide variety of programmes and activities with a good financial result, and in the face of continued and complex challenges,” he says. “These regional achievements are due to much more than our own efforts, however. They are also the result of smart thinking and hard work by many others across all sectors.”
Particular highlights were:
- Continued improvements in freshwater quality. “The Council’s own monitoring and trend analyses paint a consistent picture: Continued improvements in the ecological health of the waterways we monitor, with very few sites deteriorating,” says Mr MacLeod. “There was also independent confirmation from NIWA that the Council’s long-running Riparian Management Programme is strongly associated with this improvement.” By the end of the 2017/2018 year, more than 5.1 million plants had been provided at cost to landowners for riparian protection.
- The launch of ‘Towards Predator-Free Taranaki’ a long-term predator control / biodiversity restoration project, following the announcement of $11 million-plus in Government support funded through Predator Free 2050 Ltd. “It is a true trail-blazer – the largest project of its kind in the world, and certainly nationally,” says Mr MacLeod. “It is already attracting the sort of solid community support – both urban and rural – that is vital to ensure its long-term success.”
- A staggering 285% increase in visitor numbers at Pukeiti following the opening of its new Rainforest Centre and associated developments giving people an opportunity to visit and enjoy the heritage property regardless of the weather and time of year. “This success gives us confidence as we work further to develop Pukeiti,” says Mr MacLeod.
He says the Council shares the regional public’s disappointment over the closure of earthquake-prone grandstands at Yarrow Stadium, which is owned by a TRC-controlled trust. “We are working closely with partners and stakeholders to find the best solution. The future will become clearer in the next few months as engineers complete a complex analysis of issues and options.”
The Council finished the 2017/2018 year with a surplus of $962,000 (total comprehensive income). Total expenditure was $26.6 million and the Council’s balance sheet remains very strong, with no public debt.
The 2017/2018 Annual Report will be available on the Council’s website, www.trc.govt.nz, and a summary will be published in community newspapers.