As part of the Oamaru Mail’s election coverage, we are profiling council candidates throughout the district. All candidates were asked two questions —
Q.1 Why are you standing?
Q. 2 What issues are you most passionate about in Waihemo, and where would you like to see change?
Q.1 I’m very concerned and interested in what’s happening in the local area, so that’s why I’m sort of standing. I’m keen to get things moving again.
Q. 2 There’s all sorts of things from climate change, all sorts of inflationary pressures, the cost of living, there’s increased rates, shrinking and ageing population forming part of our rate base. The town centre of Palmerston needs tidying up. When I first arrived here people were burning down houses rather than paying the rates, and we’ve got people living in vans and paying $50 a week for the privilege of doing that. It’s quite bad. Changes, I think more transparency with the council, there appears to be a lot of behind-closed-doors meetings, I think we can engage more with the general members of the public, especially the younger people. There seems to me that people aren’t really wanting to go forward, and do things anymore. Our society’s become very sort of insular and it’s all about the individual rather than the collective well being and good basically.
Q.1 I am offering myself for re-election as I believe rural and provincial New Zealand has been treated as the poor cousins for too long. Much of New Zealand’s real wealth is created in the provinces and yet our way of life is under constant attack from central government policies and metropolitan ignorance. For years we have been sold the myth that bigger is better and amalgamations are the way to go. Wrong. We need local control and local knowledge to solve local issues.
Q. 2 Waihemo can sometimes be forgotten when issues in Oamaru or up the Waitaki Valley arise, but I intend to continue to vigorously advocate for our patch. We are real New Zealand and we have so much to offer, we need to free up more sections for housing in Palmerston, we need a viable wastewater system for Hampden, and council needs to appreciate that whilst we do have some regulatory functions, our first priority should be to serve and assist our ratepayers.