By Nicky Aldridge-Masters | Posted: Monday May 31, 2021
The Otago Chamber of Commerce covers four local council boroughs and the Otago Regional Council - we have recently made submissions on the 10 year plans drafted by each of our regions' Councils
Our Advocacy Advisor, Shona Brown, worked through the plans and pulled out the key issues for business and sought feedback through member surveys. Based on the feedback received we have made submissions to the Dunedin City, Central Otago District, Clutha District and Waitaki District Councils, as well as the Otago Regional Council.
Thank you to all our members who completed the surveys we circulated - your feedback was invaluable. If you would like to view the submissions please check the attached PDF documents at the bottom of this article.
There were concerns across the board in relation to the level of rates increases and queries as to whether there were other ways to fund the proposed costs of essential infrastructure investment across the region. We noted that the rates increases came on top of a number of increased business costs this year. We also recommended that Council's prioritise "local" providers when undertaking work, so that the money invested goes back into the local economy.
Amongst others issues, the Chamber noted the importance of the availability and affordability of housing as a local issue. This was connected to the need to be able to grow the local workforce to meet demand. And as always, we stated that it is important that "red tape" is minimalised and innovative development supported.
We presented our submission to the Dunedin City Council on Friday, 14 May, the Otago Regional Council on Friday, 21 May, the Waitaki District Council on Tuesday, 25 May and the Central Otago District Council on Tuesday, 1 June.
Next up we are working on a number of advocacy issues including the Reform of Vocational Education (RoVE) and the water flow levels for the Manuherekia River (which has an impact on our Central Otago businesses).
We are also actively engaged in consultation on a wide range of issues including the redevelopment of George Street and the Destination Dunedin plan.