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Nishio Visit Waste Of Ratepayers’ Money

Published: Thu 6 Nov 2003 08:55 AM
Nishio Visit Waste Of Ratepayers’ Money
The education package being sponsored by the Porirua City Council and involving students from Nishio has been slammed as a waste of ratepayers money by a Porirua City Councillor.
Councillor Robert Shaw said it is not sensible for the ratepayers to fund work on another venture in competition with existing schemes. Schools and education businesses in Porirua and throughout New Zealand, are marketing into Japan and China all the time.
Councillor Shaw is a member of the board of Aotea College Board. He says Aotea College has made a success of its international business and does not need help from the ratepayers. What limits the expansion of international education in Porirua City at the moment is the availability of student home-stays.
The City Council members cannot justify their holiday in Japan by speculating on education schemes. They are not a “delegation” they are a holiday party. Delegations to win business need to present a mix of marketing, education, business and language skills.
There are many schemes overseas students can access, including several in Porirua City. They are summarized on web sites set up to assist student choice. It is difficult to see why the City Council should seek to develop a 6-month scheme in competition with the existing schemes.
Talk of the sums of money students bring into the city is just marketing hype. Fact is the ratepayers have now paid over $1 million for the Sister City links and they will never recover that money. They justify every trip the same way, but the rates keep on going up – over 5% last year. If there are benefits the ratepayers do not see them.
Why should ratepayers pay for the marketing of some businesses and not for others that operate in Porirua City? The Council must take care to not favour some at a cost to others. All businesses pay rates.
Dr Blakeley seems unaware of the history of green tea in Porirua City. Every time councillors holiday in Japan there is talk of either growing or selling green tea in Porirua. The only green thing here is the chief executive. As for trotting out again the Marina Motor Lodge and its purchase by the Japanese – Dr Blakely should learn a little more of the history – they sold it!

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