I have attached the Capital Expenditure graph of GW Long Term Plan. At the time I questioned the decreasing amount going into our environment. This was not because I had any special knowledge of needs but rather, I know that environmental investment has long term benefits whereas with our Transport where significant investment occurs, we have rising costs and decreasing passenger numbers (costs up 37.7% over 4 years and passenger trips down 32.5%) a trend that is clearly unsustainable for both passengers and ratepayers. I had been on GW Council for 6 months when this LTP was approved and did not understand the significance of how this would affect 3 years of work. I had expected a degree of flexibility and agility in our operations that would allow GW to refine and adjust as we moved forward. Even experienced Councillors did not comment on this issue. If I am returned, I will bring a far more robust approach to our next 10-year LTP that will be set early in the new Triennium. I hold a strong view that the biggest gains will come from modest organisational changes which will move our focus from planning to implementing the plans we have approved.
Thank you for asking my views and I am happy to meet and add further depth to these issues if required. It was after the submissions by your three organisations that the modest funding for the Whaitua was agreed to so there is certainly the opportunity to build GW focus to those environmental challenges we face, many of them related back to our changing climate.