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Chamber Still Hoping To Be Consulted Over DIA Review

Sep 25, 2020
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The Southland Chamber of Commerce is hopeful of continuing its strong relationship with the Invercargill City Council, despite behind left out of initial consultations regarding the current review.
Two letters have been written to Mayor Tim Shadbolt in recent weeks expressing disappointment about the business community not being part of its evaluation process with the Department of Internal Affairs.

Finally this week, Sir Tim sent a letter stating that council anticipated a number of actions would be recommended by the DIA, and that ‘external engagement’ may well be part of that.

But Chamber chief executive Sheree Carey said, when contacted, they would’ve liked to have been part of the process from the start, “but they have decided to do it internally.”

“It’s a huge ratepayer base that they should’ve listened to.”

The Chamber represented 450 business members and Sheree said the reason they wanted to be part of the consultation was because they had a good relationship with them in the past.

“We have passed on our views and it has made a real difference – there were difficulties with regulatory processes and so they put new processes in place.

“That’s our job – to go to them with any concerns, but also to respond to the good things that they do.”

The Chamber shared the DIA’s view that several high profile capital projects appeared to be testing the capacity of the council to provide strong, united governance and leadership.

The ongoing and very public conflicts, noted in the DIA letter, were a source of concern to the business community,

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“We would like to be able to support the best possible outcomes in this process to enable our city council to drive Invercargill forward constructively and positively with our backing,” a statement released from the chamber said.

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