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News …… in brief

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Good warning

Don Good, CEO of Waikato Chamber of Commerce

A recent warning to local authorities by the Auditor General about the double digit rate increases proposed – in Hamilton 25.5 per cent and Waipā 14.8 per cent – could be an issue of governance, says Waikato Chamber of Commerce chief executive Don Good in his recent mail out to members.

Pet projects will need to be dumped or put on the bonfire in favour of core functions, he says.

New dealership

Hamilton-founded Ebbett Group has this month opened a new Great Wall Motors pop-up dealership in Pukekohe. Ebbett Group – now based in Te Rapa – was founded in Hamilton’s Hood St in 1928 by Alf Ebbett, later joined by his brother Ron. The group represents 25 car brands at dealerships nationwide.

Fixing up

Titan Construction’s Potiki Tupaea, left, and managing director Logan Den Hertog.

Earthquake strengthening is underway at the former Duke St Cambridge home of Inspired by 2 Florist to make way for a new tenant.

Among those completing the work earlier this week were Titan Construction’s Potiki Tupaea, left, and managing director Logan Den Hertog.

Papal Knight

Prominent Waikato businessman Paul Barnett will be conferred with the Papal Order of Saint Sylvester – one of five Papal knighthoods – at the Catholic Cathedral of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Hamilton on January 16. It is typically awarded to recognise and reward members of the laity for active service in the church.

Housing project underway

An artist’s impression of what Zion Church and Habit for Humanity’s completed joint housing project could look like. Image supplied

Work to remove Zion Church’s former building from nearly a hectare of Racecourse Rd land in Te Awamutu to make way for an ambitious $10 million social housing project could begin next month. The project – first discussed around 2017 – is a joint venture between the church and Habitat for Humanity and will be made up of 40 affordable homes. Some will be made available for first home buyers, others set up in rent to buy arrangements.

Climate research

Waikato University researchers are participating in a study on climate change, identified as the single greatest threat facing the Pacific, along with Waipapa Taumata Rau and Auckland University colleagues. The first of several comprehensive reports was published earlier this month. The report suggests looking at five different Pacific population clusters (Western Pacific, Central Pacific, Eastern Pacific, Northern Pacific and French Territories), rather than the traditional three (Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia), as a better way to understand the diversity and complexity of the Pacific.

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