Mayor Chadwick stands by speed of change
9 January 2015
Rotorua Mayor Steve Chadwick has defended the speed of change since taking office. She says councillors backed the vision and now she has her foot on the pedal to make it work.
The Mud's Kevin O'Connor in an exclusive interview with the mayor put it to her that she was perceived to have rammed through change.
The greatest level of controversy existed around a partnership proposal between the Rotorua District Council and Te Arawa. Other concerns have been raised regarding a planned cycleway through the city and the change to the council's name for branding purposes (to Rotorua Lakes Council).
Regarding the name change, Steve Chadwick said "at a workshop we all agreed - except some who weren't there. This was a workshop looking at our portfolios: how are they running? where could we put some more focus?
"We got the visioning done by Events and Marketing Rotorua, and that's where the idea came to us about brands."
When the reorganisation led by chief executive officer Geoff Williams had been completed, which resulted in about 60 jobs being axed, it was decided it was time to look at branding.
"We put a paper on the plethora of brands to our council colleagues, the councillors, and they 'get on with it'.
"So I'm accused of ramming through something they got enthusiastic about and then, I think, thought later perhaps we should've taken this out to the wider community."
The mayor said maybe the name change idea should have been taken out for feedback.
"But if we had taken it out, we would've got a plethora of answers, like the New Zealand flag debate, and still at the end of the day we would've had to make a decision.
"I'm prepared to make a decision and live and lead with the consequences," the mayor said.