Invercargill City Councillor Lindsay Thomas and Chief Executive Richard King have been asked by Local Government New Zealand to assist in Kiribati as part of a New Zealand Foreign Affairs and Trade Aid Programme.
Cr Thomas and Mr King leave on Saturday, 4 June 2016, funded by Local Government New Zealand, to spend four days in the remote, Central Pacific country, where they will help to initiate an agreement to establish shared waste services between Betio Town Council and the Teinainano Urban Council.
The Southland region’s experience with WasteNet is seen as a model for shared waste management services. Cr Thomas was invited as Chairman of Council’s Infrastructure and Services Committee, plus he is Invercargill’s long-serving representative on WasteNet. Mr King has been Chief Executive from the inception of shared services and WasteNet in Southland.
They will be part of a scoping study to work with the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Betio Town Council and Teinainano Urban Council, to develop their knowledge of the process, costs and benefits of shared waste management services.
This initial visit will be followed by a reciprocal visit by representatives from Kiribati to Invercargill.
Cr Thomas said that he was looking forward to helping the people in Kiribati. “Kiribati is one of the world’s poorest countries, with few natural resources and coming from Southland, which is so abundant in natural resources, I would like to think that we may have something practical and useful to offer them with waste management.