Coming Soon

2 Oct

Over on Cracker’s blog you can read some more about the most recent attempt by ICC to get rid of the independent Vibrant Invercargill.  Vibrant have circulated this to candidates and we will all have the opportunity to give ICC the collective finger come April 2014 when the Annual Plan is being consulted on.

Dear Candidates,

At its meeting last evening, Vibrant expressed its disappointment in Councils decision in discontinuing the ‘special rate’ on Inner City property owners for the funding of Vibrant, however not surprised after we heard Councillor Neil Boniface’s comment at Vibrant Board Meeting in April of this year.  Such comments leads us to believe council may not fully understand what consultation means and goes a long way to showing why the CBD upgrade is failing to get buy-in from the public.

The Board fails to understand the reasoning behind this current move against Vibrant. Surely a strong independent organisation that has the support of our CBD Members is healthy for driving and co-ordinating the stakeholders for the betterment of the CBD.
Even harder to understand is why the Council ignored the results of a survey organised at the last minute, which showed the CBD Stakeholders to be firmly behind Vibrant by 96% when asked if they wanted the funding to stay with their organisation.

Dropping the funding for Vibrant Invercargill signals the end of this independent organisation and a voice for the CBD. Council knows very well that no similar organisation such as Vibrant will or has survived without this type of funding, and is clearly stated on the first page of Vibrant’s ‘a business improvement district explained’ document, which has been distributed to all Councillors recently.

An independent voice representing the businesses in the CBD is also required for the up and coming upgrade as stated in Council’s CBD “Action Plan’ about Business Improvement Districts (BID’s) organisations.  Support for changes to the Master Plan has already happened through Vibrant’s efforts, which were not supported by members at the Working Group meeting.

Well-known political commentator Gareth Morgan recently made the following comments:-
“What is needed then is a joining of the dots across local government and community groups to make the efforts of both more effective. Community groups and local councils could collaborate on a much greater scale than they do at present both within each community and across communities. The onus for taking this step towards greater collaboration and connection sits with councils who have both the resources to engage with other councils and communities and a legislated responsibility to protect the environment.”

Council seems unable to grasp the fact that they need to show leadership and over the years have seemed more contented with encouraging disengagement, than working towards a positive and constructive relationship. This is the fourth time in 11 years that Council has placed Vibrant in this position and has never been able to show any good reason why.
As a Board we are in wonderment and the offer of thanks for our contribution over the years is respectfully declined as it is obvious that council fails to understand the value of the contribution of the many board members, who have generously given their time freely over the years. Also just as importantly the support shown from the businesses in the CBD. For council to dismiss all of that without going through a proper consultation process and having some clear goals and performance indicators is to say the least shocking. If Vibrant should cease to exist it should be for the right reasons, not what appears, on the whim of a few.
Any existing or prospective councillor who wants further information about the achievements and work done by Vibrant over the last 16 years so they can make their own informed decision should contact Joan on 2141692, 36 Don Street or  Everything is well documented and we are proud of what we have achieved to date.
We would also encourage people to ask for the same for any group that the funding is going to.
The Board will consider its responsibilities to the stakeholders of Vibrant and decide where to from here nearer the time of Council’s next Annual Plan, however in the meantime it is business as usual for Vibrant.


And let’s not forget what Boniface’s words were ‘I’m the chairman of Finance and Policy and can do whatever I want’…way to win friends…


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