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Beijen wants another term



Incumbent South Wairarapa Mayor Alex Beijen is seeking re-election, vowing to fix the district’s problems, not hide them.

Beijen, who has served the district as mayor since 2019, said he originally stood for election to “change the approach to council responsibilities that seemed to be problematic”.

“Things weren’t being done, and the reputation of council seemed at an all-time low.

“Certainly, taking over, there was required a radical approach to looking at what tools the council had to address the issues raised during the election and openly attacking the problems with long-term solutions, not band-aids.

“This past triennium, this has been implemented.”

Beijen, who has previous experience running companies and business units in geotechnical work, said upskilling on governance and organisational oversight over the past three years had been “fascinating and successful”.

If re-elected, he said he would continue to deliver competent, inclusive leadership in governance.

He would also continue reviewing with councillors the actions and effectiveness
of the chief executive.

“My premise, as with most councillors, I think, is to do the job correctly, make sure you have all the information before making a decision, and not to hide a problem facing the district.

“Unfortunately, there is so much to do, it cant be completed in one term.

“An ancillary premise is to ensure the South Wairarapa is well represented, and opinions on government legislation, such as Three Waters, is challenged, and public opinions conveyed.”

Beijen said his ability to understand complex, political decision-making at a regional level would benefit the district, as well as
his team-building skills.

He said he also valued the allowance of free and frank discussion of issues, making sure the information provided is “honest, competent, and complete enough for councillors to make a good decision, and not hiding anything”.

“Bear in mind actual decisions are made by councillors – all the mayor can do is ensure they are correctly advised, and the discussion is mature and collegial.

“So pick your councillors carefully!”

Beijen said the mayoralty was not a position to be taken lightly, “and the complex issues requiring managing reinforces my determination to stand and win the upcoming election for the good of the district”.

He said rates had “gone up” in the past triennium to account for previous underinvestment.

“We are now at a place where we can do what is needed and can avoid large catchups in the future.

“I have looked back at the past triennium and am happy with the decisions councillors have made difficult as they were.

“Despite social media and negative reporting to the contrary, the South Wairarapa is in great shape, both from a finance and legislative position.”

Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air

Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland is Wairarapa’s Local Democracy Reporter, a Public Interest Journalism role funded through NZ On Air. Emily has worked at the Wairarapa Times-Age for seven years and has a keen interest in council decision-making and transparency.

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