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New face . . . Waitaki District Council staff member Casey Wylie. PHOTO: DANIEL BIRCHFIELD

New Waitaki District Council staff member Casey Wylie loves everything about the place where she lives and works. Reporter Daniel Birchfield caught up with her for a chat this week.

Q Where are you from originally?
I come from a long line of Oamaruvians. I am 100% local.

Q How long have you lived in the Waitaki district?
Thirty years, on and off, with some brief stints in Cairns and Western Australia. There was also a terrible attempt at some study in Otago. I had my priorities very wrong.

Q What do you enjoy most about living here?
I love the bounty of things this district has on offer. An hour to the lakes and mountains, an hour to the city and minutes to the ocean. I love the sense of belonging you get from small-town living. We have amazing friends and family support, which is important to me. Oamaru has a lot of spunk if you can appreciate it.

Q What does your job at the council involve?
I am an administration assistant for the roading department. I work part-time processing applications and data, dealing with abandoned vehicles and helping out with loose ends. There has been a huge amount of growth in our district of late and I can appreciate the amount of work that goes into keeping everything ticking along and ratepayers happy. Especially with weather events we have just seen two weeks out from summer.

Q What are your hobbies and interests?
Family time is precious. We are lucky enough to have a family crib in Otematata which we frequent in summer. I love food, friendships and live music. Oamaru has some amazing artists stop through, usually at the Grainstore and a few other venues.

Q What do you think the future holds for the Waitaki district?
I am enjoying the young creatives filtering back from the big cities to more affordable living. Their input and ideas are exciting. If we all work together respectfully and embrace change, this town has so much potential.

Q If you were prime minister for a day, what is one thing you would do and why?
Well, thankfully I am not, but big ups to women in politics who show empathy and courage. She is exceptionally admirable with her work/life balance. Having not long had a baby of my own, I can appreciate her situation. Back to the question: it would be doing something about the price of petrol. Is that not on everybody’s mind?

Q What is your favourite movie?
I think it’s definitely going to be Bohemian Rhapsody when I see it.