Annual Report shows Council in strong financial position
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Council Chief Executive, Craig Stevenson, says the healthy surplus was the result of very strong returns from the Council’s Long Term Investment Fund, lower interest rates on loan repayments and further savings from internal efficiencies.
“Savings from an internal efficiency review conducted almost 2 years ago continue to flow through with personnel costs alone being $217k under budget,” says Mr Stevenson. “This further demonstrates our commitment towards running a lean and efficient organisation and being prudent with every dollar,” he says.
And that prudent approach was reinforced by South Taranaki Mayor, Ross Dunlop, who pointed out while last year was a great year for the Council’s Long Term Investment Fund the same will probably not be the case for the current financial year.
“The global financial situation is still very precarious and already we have seen the negative effects this has had on our fund. It will be vitally important we maintain tight control on our expenditure over the coming years,” he says.
The $4.1 million surplus was slightly less than what was budgeted ($4.8 million) due mainly to a number of one-off accounting adjustments as well as some unbudgeted expenditure on the Patea Freezing Works clean up ($244k) and grants to Cinema 2 ($126k) and Aotea Utanganui – Museum of South Taranaki ($200k).
Mayor Dunlop also highlighted what a busy year it had been for the Council.
“We launched a new district website in October which has had over 82,000 visits worldwide. After several years planning, Aotea Utanganui opened its doors in Patea. The PowerCo Aquatic Centre saw a 4.3% increase in visitor numbers thanks in large part to the new hydroslide, splash park and thermal pool which were added to the complex and our new sport, events and recreation facility, TSB Hub, exceeded our expectations with more than 147,000 people using the facility in its first year,” he says.
“South Taranaki also hosted some big events including; a first class pre-season rugby fixture between Taranaki and Waikato, a concert by internationally acclaimed reggae band Kolohe Kai, the Davis Cup Tennis Tie between the Philippines and New Zealand, Fonterra’s Annual General Meeting, the Predicament movie premiere and the New Zealand Small Towns Conference – to name but a few,” says Mr Dunlop.
The Council also won several regional and national awards during the year including; a Taranaki Regional Council Environmental Award for enhancing the Kapuni stream habitat as part of upgrades to the new Kapuni Water Treatment Plant intake, a Ministry for the Environment’s Green Ribbon Award (finalist) in the ‘Caring for our Water’ category and the ‘People’s Choice’ Award for best local government new/redeveloped website.
The Annual Report reflects the period from 1 July 2010 to 30 June 2011. A summary of the Annual Report will be published in the 10 November issue of the South Taranaki Star and full copies can be viewed online at www.southtaranaki.comor at any local LibraryPlus facility.