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Heritage > Mervyn Kemp Oral History, Part 11

Recorded 24th September 1995

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Part 11, (23.4MB)


Time marker: Summary:
00' 20" Warren Cooper joined Municipal Association, quite promising. Cooper got on well with Elwood. Kemp knew him better in 1970's as Mayor of Queenstown.
03' 00" Regional councils developing to take on work that lay beyond scope of other municipalities.
09' 00" Elwood attended meeting with Borough Council. Was retired because of tiredness and added responsibilities of the Regional Council. From 1980 both jobs held simultaneously for three years.
04' 20" Believes Government weak in not introducing regional government to full extent. Rex Kirton, Mayor of Upper Hutt was on first Wellington Regional Council. Kirton knew that Kemp disagreed with sitting Mayors on the regional council.
07' 20" Wanted to see larger projects undertaken, especially in early years. Queen Elizabeth Swimming Pool in Kilbirnie a rare opportunity.
08' 40" Mayor Michael Fowler agreed to pool of international standard. City and Regional Council combined, Kirton voted against. Eventually carried, narrowly.
12' 40" Fowler raised a lot of money for project. $4 million needed, raised without fundraising and with minimal debt. Regional Government was a 'pioneering exercise'.
17'00" Michael Fowler had a flair for getting things done.
18'20" Alan Highet got on well, of similar age. Effective at seeing projects though and overcoming adversity.
19'20" Francis Kitts also impressive. Capable of both flexibility and taking a strong line. Visions on large scale.
21'00" Did not always know where he stood with National politicians. Essential to keep building relationships with them, especially in relation to maintaining revenue for local government. Got Muldoon's authority to covertly explore options for removing local rates.
26'00" Fear that rates increases would lead to chaos. As term in Regional Council ended others retired, rates review lapsed.
28'00" Muldoon good to deal with, accessible, direct. Two hand-picked successors from Treasury suggested for review team but did not happen.

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