I generally support the direction of the Trust. It has recently made a commitment to being more transparent in terms of priorities and various business interests, this should increase the level of confidence the community can have in the governance group and activities.
I support EIL’s investment in local infrastructure as this protects essential services from being controlled by overseas interests and ensures any profits at the end of the day are retained locally. The local ownership of essential infrastructure, the ongoing dividends reinvested in the community by the Trust and the capital asset finally paid to GDC are all critical to the future of the region and should not be divested to Council .
I would like to see greater investment in wind, tridal, micro-hydro and solar energy generation as well as commitments to bio-fuels and waste elimination opportunities.
Here is a summary of my position on ECT at present:
- I am in favour of local ownership of essential infrastructure (electricity generation and distribution, drinking water, roads, sewage systems, airport, port, etc.). I don’t like the idea of it being privatised, particularly if that meant interests outside of the region controlled it.
- I am also in favour of user pays above a basic level for residents (and possibly not-for-profits).
- I support the Trust’s moves to make their processes much more transparent and to communicate more openly and regularly with the community.
- I understand the purpose of the Trust is to retain and grow the asset base of the Trust to make money that is subsequently invested in the region (in both commercial and non-commercial projects).
- I have reservations about the Trust investing in businesses that compete with other local businesses
- I think the Trust should help GDC pay off public debt but do not think it should contribute any more than 25% of existing cash reserves – the Trust should continue to build reserves through investments both within and outside of the region.
- They need at least one Trustee who is a demonstrated advocate for community development, whether or not they have as much financial management experience as the rest of the Trustees, they should take responsibility for ensuring the Trustees make decisions based on good information about priority local needs.