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Highlights from council meeting

27 Jan 2012

Highlights from council meeting

A summary of 3 reports for decision at the Council meeting.  Here's the full agenda and staff reports(external link)

Cenotaph repairs

The Cenotaph was damaged in the December 2007 earthquake and has yet to be repaired. While Council’s insurers have been deciding on an approach to repairing and strengthening the Cenotaph, some interested parties want a complete rebuild.

Decision

Council decided today that its insurers should urgently start repairing and strengthening the Cenotaph. In the meantime staff will work with those interested in a complete rebuild of the Cenotaph to come up with a proposal to extend its life.

Management of petroleum exploration

TAG Oil owns the rights to explore for petroleum on the East Coast. They have teamed up with Apache Corporation and have resource consents for some basic oil exploration work - drilling shallow shot holes and seismic testing.

Depending on results they may apply for resource consent for more complex mining techniques including the controversial practice of hydrological fracturing.

These techniques are new for Gisborne District Council. Right now we don’t have a lot of knowledge or expertise in this area. A trip to Canada for one staff member has been proposed so they can learn more. The cost will be covered by an increased consent fee to Apache.

Decision

Council decided today that environmental services manager Trevor Freeman should visit Canada to collect information on oil and gas exploration that will assist the Gisborne district. Trevor leaves for 10 days on Friday 3 February.

War Memorial Theatre

Council is planning to upgrade the War Memorial Theatre in Bright Street.  A feasibility study, plans and cost – estimated at $7m - have been done. However questions have been raised about the cost of the upgrade and whether a new facility could be developed cheaper somewhere else.

An additional feasibility study was carried out by Gisborne’s Architects 44 to look at putting a new theatre at Lawson Field. Concept drawings and cost – estimated at $11.7m – were presented to Council.

Decision

Council decided to stick with the original proposal to upgrade the War Memorial Theatre in Bright Street.  It will be included in the draft 2012-22 Ten Year Plan. Everyone can have their say about this when submissions open in March.