Council votes to retain Alpine within TDHL

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Published: 18 Dec 2018

Timaru District council has unanimously voted to instruct TDHL to retain its 47.5% stake in Alpine Energy.

The vote, which followed a full day public hearing in Timaru today, commits the holding company to keeping their shareholding in the local electricity distributor.

Timaru District Mayor, Damon Odey said that the public consultation had shown that a majority of people wanted to keep the stake in the company, and the council respected that view.

“There was much robust discussion throughout this consultation period, and I want to take the opportunity to thank everyone that took the time to take part in the process.

“The view from the written submissions, and those who presented today, was that the community did not think we had to sell down our stake in Alpine to reduce debt and reinvest in other assets.

“This was a good example of participatory democracy in action and I think it shows that, as has been the case in the past, Timaru District Councillors actively seek and listen to the views of the people they represent.

“Most people responding to the consultation seemed to be of the opinion that the council was being run in a fiscally prudent manner, and that there was no need for debt reduction of the proposed size at the moment.

“The aim of our holding company will remain to provide an alternative income streams for the council, so that we can reduce reliance on rates and our directors will continue to grow the company for the benefit of Timaru ratepayers.

“Submitters to the process raised a number of matters of concern, and as a council we will be looking into them.

“As a district with an ageing population we need to continue to ask ourselves hard questions such as this, and I don’t think that councillors should have any hesitation to discuss them with our community.

“Councils can no longer rely solely on rate increases and debt to ensure the provision of services, so we will continue to look at ways of increasing our income via other means.

“I’d like to thank all the people that took time to make a submission to the consultation and those who attended all the meetings. I’d also like to thank my fellow councillors for taking the opportunity to go through this process.”

The consultation attracted 574 submissions, with 42 people electing to present their submissions at the hearing today.

More information about the proposal, as well as the written submissions can be viewed at Timaru.govt.nz/aelproposal

Publish Date: 18 Dec 2018