Re-applying for your job every three years is a daunting prospect, but it’s a great opportunity to look at things with fresh eyes. I have enjoyed getting out and about, meeting candidates and voters alike with incredible visions for Waitaki.
Our community has not only spent this time raising their concerns, but has also fed in some great ideas and initiatives. Thank you Waitaki!
These elections have thrown up a pretty fantastic bunch. There is a sense of purpose, an enthusiasm for our district and a willingness to listen, learn and to find solutions.
So, what’s ahead of us?
The first few weeks have been jam packed with induction meetings. Teaching the “newbies” (and refreshing the rest of us) the varied roles of council, from our libraries and parks through to our water treatment plants and Council Controlled Organisations (CCOs).
Councillors need to understand the planning cycles, the importance of the district plan, our building and other regulatory requirements and how the funding works for each council activity. There is plenty to get your head around, and, after six years, I’m still learning!
We will soon look at what each of us wants to achieve over the next three years, and try to prioritise (always a challenge!). There are always plenty of things we want to do, but these need to work in with the legislative requirements.
Here are just a couple of the things that I hope remain priorities, or join the list (in no particular order):
Finalising the Oamaru Harbour Masterplan.
To do this we will openly and respectfully discuss the challenges and opportunities in front of us, and give people a chance to have their voices heard. This discussion needs to happen with more facts and details attached, giving people the ability to give us much more informed feedback. No matter the outcome, we need certainty in order to move forward.
Let’s get the doors of the Forrester Gallery and North Otago Museum open! These cultural facilities are an important part of our children’s education. This project is vital for our community, and I will be pleased to see it completed.
The idea of a sports and events centre has been discussed for some time, what exactly do what we want and how we raise the funds to make it a reality?
Rubbish and housing are two areas of concern, and were raised with me consistently throughout the election period. It is time to turn the spotlight on these areas, and sort out a plan as a community (something that has already started in the housing area).
I cant wait to see what our new team achieves this term.
Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org with any concerns or suggestions – or if you just want to catch up for a coffee and chat.
★ Melanie Tavendale is the Waitaki deputy mayor.