During the recent Mayoral debate events, candidates have been asked what their stance on some of the key issues and policies are. For those of you who haven’t been able to tune into the debates, I thought I would give you a brief outline on where I stand on some of the questions that have been asked.  This is not a list of everything and there may be more questions you have, please do get in touch with them.

I confirm what I have always said – I won’t be undoing any of the good work that has gone before me.  As a third term councillor I have been involved in all decisions and my aim is to build upon and maintain the successes.

●      Why try to fix things that aren’t broken?

There are many wonderful aspects of life in Upper Hutt. I believe we need to keep supporting developments such as Brewtown, Lane Street Studios, the Blue Mountains Campus and NZ Campus of Innovation and Sport, as well as supporting our people and our environment. The Council needs to actively build and maintain the economic, social, cultural, and environmental wellbeing of Upper Hutt. We can build on the good base we have, to become great, and be the place where everyone can live, work and play safely.

●      Ferguson Drive?

I commit to working with Council staff and contractors on a Pothole Patrol and do my best to ensure all potholes are filled by Christmas, and that the road resurfacing project occurs in a timely manner.

●      Amalgamation?

I am against amalgamation, and I believe the Upper Hutt community is too. Upper Hutt has built its success on being an independent City and there are ways we can collaborate with other councils in the region, without losing our autonomy or sovereignty.

●      Three Waters Reforms?

I do not support the current reform package. In my view, Wellington Water has been a total failure for Upper Hutt and I don’t see how a bigger entity will perform better.  I am disappointed that other business models haven’t been considered as my preference is for central government funding to go back local and for Upper Hutt to regain control over the infrastructure we’ve spent generations investing in.

      Rates increase?

I commit to keeping rates increases at or below 6%, as stated in the Long-Term Plan. I would like to review what projects are essential for Upper Hutt (eg a community centre) and which can be scaled back (eg the H2O redevelopment).

●      Kerbside recycling?

Yes. Upper Hutt has an appallingly low rate of recycling. I supported the introduction of ratepayer-funded kerbside recycling when it was considered as part of the new Long-Term Plan. My view is that recycling needs to be easy, convenient and affordable – a Council provided service is the best option.

●      Excluding the public from meetings?

No. I am an advocate of open, transparent and collaborative decision making. I believe in a democratic process and approach to decisions that impact the people of Upper Hutt.  Invitation and inclusion to public meetings is one way of upholding this and allowing other perspectives to be brought to the table.

●      Death by a thousand consultations?

No. I want to see the Mayor and Councilors go out to communities and listen to our residents. That type of everyday engagement means that when we are developing ideas to consult on, the community is involved. Engagement and consultation are really important for ensuring the needs and interests of our community are heard and inform our decisions. If a consultation process is conducted well, it can be robust without being extensive, depending on the size of the decision being made. Bigger decisions do need wider consultation at times.

I empower and take people with me and will work with the team you, the Upper Hutt community, choose, to establish a strong culture of collaboration and cohesion where everyone can contribute knowledge, talents and skills to advance the best interests of Upper Hutt.

If you have questions that are not answered here or would like to bring your perspective to any of them, I am available to be contacted, as always, or you can pop in to one of my ‘conversation hubs’; see my Facebook page for where I am popping up next and drop by for a chat. Your voice matters, your vote counts.

Transparency. Engagement. Accountability.

#SuccessForAll  #ItsTime #ItsTimeForChange