WDC plan taskforce structure for recovery

Gary Kircher
Gary Kircher
A draft task force structure has been floated by the Waitaki District Council to help guide the district’s recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.

A first look at the proposed draft, which has yet to be given the seal of approval by councillors, was included in Waitaki Mayor Gary Kircher’s report to councillors at last week’s meeting of the full council.

Under the plan, two task forces — economic and social — would be established and supported across the board by both the council and other organisations.

‘‘The purpose of [the task forces] is to provide a responsive and co-ordinated mechanism to work with community and business groups and individuals across Waitaki to help us build a stronger, more resilient economy and community," Mr Kircher told the Otago Daily Times earlier this month.

An ‘‘advisory waka’’ would give direction, mobilise local action groups and give them advice, co-ordinate and integrate potential projects and make sure there was no duplication or gaps in the framework, among other functions.

Action groups, or ‘‘the paddlers’’ would be responsible for coming up with ideas, proposals, and project delivery, and also offer targeted support.

The primary, engineering, manufacturing, construction, hospitality, tourism and retails sectors are listed under action groups, in addition to Safer Waitaki, the Otago Chamber of Commerce and Federated Farmers.

Unnamed community groups and individuals will also come under the action group umbrella.

The draft said those groups would present ‘‘policy changes and funding and investment requests’’ to the economic and social task forces, before they recommended ‘‘policy and investment initiatives’’ to council and Government for approval.

That also included ‘‘communications to community’’.

The council would then best decide how to incorporate any initiatives into its policy and planning documents, including its annual, long term and district plans.

Earlier this month the Queenstown Lakes District Council announced a steering group would work together to establish two similar task force groups.

The Waitaki structure is expected to be considered by councillors at an additional council meeting on May 26.



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