Renewed focus on economic growth underpinned by changes for Whangarei Tourism Trust, Northland Events Centre
The Whangarei Tourism Trust staff have transferred to WDC and now report to the Economic Development Manager. The Northland Events Centre staff have also transferred and work in the Venues and Events department along with Forum North staff. Under the proposed restructure, all of these areas would report to the Economic Growth Group.
Whangarei Tourism Trust Chair Shelley Deeming says this was a logical step.
“We need to run all of Council’s CCOs (Council Controlled Organisations) as efficiently as possible. The Trust was already dependent on WDC for advice and support in a number of areas, so it makes sense to bring the administration function in-house. Over the next year and we will move to wind up the Trust and dispose of any remaining assets in an appropriate manner in accordance with the Trust Deed.”
Cr Deeming noted that the Clapham’s Clocks collection has always been vested in WDC.
At an Extra-ordinary Council meeting today Whangarei Councillors adopted a Statement of Intent for the Whangarei Tourism Trust for 2011-2012. The Statement of Intent noted that administration functions and staff employment have been transferred to Whangarei District Council, and stated that as this process has not yet been completed and the Trust is investigating disestablishment options, financial implications could not be determined at this time.
The Northland Events Centre Trust will remain as an independent trust to reflect the public desire for independent governance of the multi-events centre, but has outsourced its administration to WDC by way of a management contract. NEC Trust Chairman Warwick Syers says that the Trust was initially established with its own staff, but after systems were set in place and running, the Board considered whether or not they had the best administration structure.
“At around the same time WDC, in common with most local bodies, felt it was appropriate to have a Venues and Events department to cover the Forum North activities and other Council events. A review showed there were synergies between the Events Centre and Forum North, so the NEC Trustees agreed to a Management Agreement with WDC to provide the management and events expertise for the Events Centre. The Events Centre staff have also transitioned across to WDC. Events Centre manager John Lynch is now the manager of WDC Venues and Events department.”
Acting Chief Executive Jude Thompson says “we believe this will position us better to enable economic development in a positive way for the District”.