Home' The Mirror Queenstown Lakes : December 19th 2012 Contents 19.12.12
lakes district news
Falling funds means
optional fees start
By BROOKE GARDINER CO kindys
Alexandra, Terrace, Cromwell,
Hawea, Frankton, Wakatipu,
Central Otago Kindergartens
have broken with tradition and
will start charging optional fees in
the new year.
Eleven months into its financial
year, the Central Otago Kinder-
garten Association reported a
deficit of $127,000.
Association manager Angela
Jacobson confirmed an optional
fee would be introduced in
January at all seven kindergar-
tens in the region to help combat
''The board of COKA have decided
that we need to look to build our
income. We've had a challenging
year in terms of income and
finances,'' she said.
From January 23, parents and
caregivers will be asked to pay $1
per day or 50 cents for each half
day their child or children
''We are introducing an optional
charge to cover basically the cost
of our 100 per cent trained
The Education Ministry funds to a
maximum of 80 per cent qualified
and registered early childhood
teachers. Kindergarten had made
a nationwide commitment to
employ only qualified and regis-
tered early childhood teachers.
Parents and caregivers would be
asked to sign an agreement to pay
the fee during the enrolment
process and would be billed
monthly, she said.
In March, the association floated
the idea of introducing a donation
which would have been difficult to
enforce so they had introduced an
optional fee which fell within
Ministry funding rules, she said.
She did not think parents would
feel pressured to pay the fee.
''If they don't want to pay it they
don't have to.''
Association president Gigi Hol-
lyer confirmed the deficit for the
2012 financial year was significant
and said they were looking at
other ways to decrease expendi-
''We are introducing the fees for a
reason . . . we do need to increase
Following cuts to government
funding two years ago, the
association had introduced sev-
eral cost cutting measures to
improve sustainability but that
was not enough, she said.
Research had been done to ensure
fees were set at an appropriate
level and at the lower end of that
scale, she said.
''We want to make it achievable
for people . . . if people opt in and
buy it that is going to be a really
good situation for us.''
More support for festival
New sponsors: Arrowtown Autumn Festival co-ordinator Sara Swale (centre) welcomes the team from Edge Construction
on board as gold sponsors for the annual event. With her from left are Pete and Tiff Campbell, Paula Ryan and Karl Poole.
The Arrowtown business joins the Southland Times and the Mirror, More FM, Downer, and the Wallace and Gibbs group
as major sponsors for the festival which celebrates 29 years in 2013. Edge Construction will have naming rights for the
evening entertainment on Saturday, April 13: 'Edge Construction ''Blast from the Past'' with the Beat Girls. The 2013
Arrowtown Autumn Festival is being held from April 12 to 21.
Photo: TRISH MCKENZIE 627435245
Standing: Fiona McArthur who will be running for a place on the Queenstown
Lakes District Council next year.
Photo: GRANT BRYANT 627422232
By GRANT BRYANT
Local council elections will not
commence until October next
Queenstowner Fiona McArthur
has already announced her inten-
tion to run for a place at the
Queenstown Lakes District Coun-
Two terms as a board member on
the Southern District Health
Board, a strong background in
policy and a passion for Queens-
town sparked the decision to run
for a position as a district
''I've been in Queenstown for 18
years now, which is longer than
I've lived anywhere, so this place
is now firmly home for me, and
putting myself forward for the
opportunity to use my diverse
skills to serve the community
through council service is some-
thing I am very excited about,''
Those diverse skills include years
of sales and marketing for
Shotover Jet and Real Journeys,
serving as a Victim Support
volunteer, being a Queenstown
Disabilities Resource Centre
board member, a member of the
Institute of (company) Directors,
and a past manager of the
Queenstown Convention Bureau.
However, it was the two term, six
year tenure on the health board
from 2004 to 2010 which propelled
Ms McArthur into the decision to
run for council.
''Serving on the health board
involved a huge amount of
political decision making within
the context of a very particular
policy framework - and I really
enjoyed it. Queenstown is con-
stantly evolving, and although I
would still have a lot to learn if I
was elected to the council, I feel
my broad skill set, coupled with
the policy and political experience
gained on the health board, would
allow me to hit the ground
running in a position as a district
The current council contained a
great mix of people with vast
knowledge and experiencebut to
match the momentum of a
constantly evolving district
needed ''new blood'', she said.
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