Logout

Tuesday, June 18, 2024
9.5 C
Masterton

ADVERTISE WITH US

My Account

- Advertisement -

Candidates answer key questions

Water infrastructure is high on the priority list of candidates. PHOTOS/FILE

South Wairarapa District Council

Local election voting papers are out, and South Wairarapa’s council candidates are eagerly seeking support from the community. Local Democracy Reporter EMILY IRELAND got candid with the candidates.

If there is one thing you want voters to know about you, what is it?
Greytown candidates want to promote the well-being of residents.

Greytown ward candidates

Martin Bosley

I don’t do politics. I listen, get to the truthful point then get busy and get things done.

Alistair Plimmer

My whole adult life has been about serving my community without fear or favour from my time as an NZ Army Officer, nine years on school BOTs [still continuing], seven years as a Scout leader [still continuing], a Justice of the Peace, and the last three years as a councillor.

Gareth Rapson

I see voting as an important civic right.

All of us standing in these elections are thankful and appreciative of those taking part in the process.

Aaron Woodcock

My family heritage within Greytown can be traced back over 80 years, with my two sons being the fifth generation on that tree.

It is because of this history, that I want to make sure that the beauty and heritage of Greytown is carried on for the next generations to enjoy.

Featherston ward candidates

Phil Blackwood

Integrity is my cornerstone value, being honest and showing a consistent and uncompromising adherence to strong moral and ethical principles and values, bringing accountability and transparency to the council.

Claire Bleakley

I love Featherston, its people, and the environment.

I will listen and represent Featherston businesses and community, ensuring that challenges the council are responsible for are acted on.

Garrick Emms

I have been a member of Featherston Gentlemen Singers for 18 years, which is more fun than being Deputy Mayor.

Rising rates have been a controversial subject. PHOTO/STOCK.ADOBE.COM

Jack Graham

While recognising the problems, as every candidate does, I add a solution and the expected result.

This is a fuller campaign message than other candidates.

Colin Olds

I am a hard working and honest councillor.

I will never promise what can’t be delivered.

I am passionate about South Wairarapa, having been a resident here for more than 30 years.

Martinborough ward candidates

Aidan Ellims

I have provided a strong voice for the Martinborough community for a number of years and will continue to do so as a councillor.

Pip Maynard

I am honest, hardworking and I am a born and bred local who understands local needs.

What is the biggest challenge or stumbling block facing your town and how will you work to address this as an elected representative?

Greytown ward candidate

Martin Bosley

There doesn’t seem to be a real vision for this town that residents and businesses can follow. We need a clear future vision of what our town looks like, with everyone’s input considered. We need to give power to our community boards to represent what ratepayers are asking for.

Alistair Plimmer
Infrastructure, infrastructure, infrastructure. After 30 years or more of a lack of maintenance or replacement, we are now faced with the biggest infrastructure deficit in our history.

This will be a long and slow grind to repair, but I am pleased to say that in the past three years we saw the problem and commenced addressing it.

Gareth Rapson

The challenge is keeping the well-being of our Greytown Ward citizens clearly in the foreground and the council’s activities operating quietly, efficiently and effectively in the background.

Aaron Woodcock

Keeping rates affordable so young families and the elderly can afford to live in Greytown.

To achieve value for money through always looking at cost and benefit analysis.

For example, I feel switching to smart meters is an unnecessary waste of money. Spending over a million dollars to replace existing meters.

Featherston ward candidate

Phil Blackwood

The biggest challenge is historic neglect with water being a high priority to remedy, unfortunately Three Waters is set to remove this from council purview and will potentially irreparably alter the landscape of local councils, bringing critical thinking to this transition will be key.

Claire Bleakley

The biggest stumbling block is the lack of vital stormwater infrastructure upgrades that has led to sewerage overflows on urban properties and breaches of wastewater consents, this has led to serious pollution that is impacting negatively on the Wairarapa Moana. Featherston has been forgotten when priorities are set for the region.

Garrick Emms

Infrastructure. The renewal and maintenance of the failing Featherston infrastructure is the single biggest challenge to further development. Wastewater, drinking water and stormwater are all in a critical state because of neglect and lack of resources.

Jack Grabham

The flooding and inaction to repair; I will canvass for plans to upgrade drainage plans and additional water catchment facilities that can return water for community use in drier times as well as making the town easier to traverse.

The Featherston train station is an ongoing topic. PHOTOS/FILE

Colin Olds

There are many challenges that face our Featherston township. Ageing infrastructure, disjointed CBD, derelict main street buildings to name but a few. If re-elected I will work hard, along with our Community Board, to set priorities that are achievable and affordable for our residents.

Martinborough ward candidates

Aidan Ellims

Firstly for urban residents, it is the water infrastructure, and for the rural ratepayers, the failing rural road network. I will work to prioritise both. Planning/funding the upgrades of our Three Waters network needs to be affordable for all ratepayers. I will work with council staff and rural residents to improve communication about repairs of the roading networks which service our isolated rural communities.

Pip Maynard

The safety and connectedness to our urban towns for our rural communities. I will continue to push for the improvement of the rural roading network.
What initiative would you like to facilitate as an elected member?

Greytown ward candidates

Martin Bosley

Truthful communications from council. Better footpaths and more street lighting.

Alistair Plimmer

Amalgamation with Carterton. Both councils are too small to address the major issues facing us. I would like to see a Wairarapa-wide council. However, that may be a step too far currently, but I am sure it will eventually happen.

Gareth Rapson

Putting the big South Wairarapa District Council issues aside, there are three smaller Greytown matters eg improved street lighting, new footpaths, and street drainage [puddles] need to be attended to. Fixing these small issues sends a message that the council is listening and paying attention.

Aaron Woodcock

Spending local money locally. I would like to see more work going out to local contractors with local knowledge. In 2015, a government audit on council services throughout the country, found the main thing lacking within council infrastructure was local knowledge, not the infrastructure itself.

Featherston ward candidates

Phil Blackwood

I think development of the train station complex is worth looking into, working towards something like an outlet mall similar to the one found in Tawa but with apartment accommodation above and based on the popularity of the Otaki model including a transport hub.

Claire Bleakley

As an elected member I would like to facilitate a cost-effective long-term solution to prevent flooding by upgrading the stormwater system and finding a long-term cost-effective purification wastewater plant to ensure it does not pollute the waterways and land.

Garrick Emms

Identify an affordable, consentable and environmentally acceptable WWTP for Featherston.

Since 2012 SWDC has spent in excess of $3m on failed wastewater consent applications for Featherston, excluding land costs.

We are advised that Greytown and Martinborough also have non-compliant Wastewater Treatment operations.

Jack Grabham

Robust WiFi in all three CBDs with attached data analytics to assist our businesses to plan campaigns to grow, plus entice new business into the region.

Colin Olds

Build on current community resources to provide a safe caring vibrant community. Featherston is full of very clever people who share a vision for Featherston’s future.

I would love to be able to assist our community on this journey.

Martinborough ward candidates

Aidan Ellims

Greater communication and liaison between residents, both urban/rural and council and fronting up/explaining decisions that are made.

Rural roads are a contentious issue.

Pip Maynard

I would like to see the council meetings go back to being rotated through the three towns of the South Wairarapa so we are more accessible to all our district.

If you could overturn one past governance decision, what would it be?

Greytown ward candidates

Martin Bosley

The rates increase of over 30 per cent. This broke the law and should never ever have happened. Communications around this was appalling.

Alistair Plimmer

The un-consulted sale of Old Stella Bull Park by the previous council. I have pledged not to sell public land without consultation and I have held true to that. I will continue that pledge into the next term when re-elected.

Gareth Rapson

I will take a pass on this one. This question requires conjecture and speculation on past issues of which I had no part.

Aaron Woodcock

Overturn the sale of the donated land at Stella Bull Park, Greytown.

Featherston ward candidates

Phil Blackwood

Having not been privy to the decision-making process it’s hard to give an informed answer however I’d like to change the trend of outsourcing of services to national-level entities like Wellington Water and Fulton Hogan in lieu of establishing Wairarapa councils collaborations.

Claire Bleakley

A past governance decision I would over turn is the absence of council direction and discussion regarding the mandates. These mandates divided, discriminated and isolated our community.

Garrick Emms

The miscommunication by SWDC to ratepayers regarding the 2021-22 rates increases.

Jack Grabham

For the Featherston Wastewater Treatment Plant I would look at alternative options for disposal of the effluent as it’s currently too close to the creek and the limited size risks saturation, which could leech nitrates and phosphates into our high water table. This risks carcinogens in the water, and algal bloom from overgrowth of water plants.

Colin Olds

Over my time as a councillor there have been many decisions made that are not supported by me. It is extremely difficult to reverse any decision of council. In my view, a new council will have the opportunity to move forward with new initiatives with a lens on the future, not the past.

Martinborough ward candidates

Aidan Ellims

The 29 per cent rates increases after the 2021 Long-Term Plan. Council has the ability under the Local Government Act [Ratings], Section 119 to reset the rates if a mistake or error had occurred, however they have refused.

To placate ratepayers, council identified only $328k in possible savings

Pip Maynard

Bring back the 1km sealing of rural roads.

What are your top three priorities in the role?

Greytown Ward candidate

Martin Bosley

Honesty. Plain Talk. More action, doing what is right for our town.

Alistair Plimmer

Infrastructure, greenspace and parks in Greytown, and Featherston wastewater treatment plant issues.

Gareth Rapson

Getting an in-depth understanding of the bigger issues facing the new council team. Aspiring to be open-minded, candid and positive.

Always finding time to answer questions from the Times-Age reporter Emily Ireland.

Aaron Woodcock

Sensible spending, sensible spending, sensible spending.

I believe amalgamation should not happen.

In 2019 after 30 years, the South Wairarapa District Council updated their brand identity. It would be wasteful spending to push for amalgamation after rebranding. I think working on joint ventures is sensible, ie dog pound.

Featherston ward candidates

Phil Blackwood

Focusing on the fundamentals, provision of facilities and services to allow residents to live well.

Bringing intelligent critical thinking to the decision-making process, seeing through the BS. Educated contribution to the changing landscape of local council.

Claire Bleakley

My top three priorities are – Community communication and action on Infrastructure upgrades, accountable rate setting, and ensure that the community is represented by a strong Community Board and Maori Standing Committee that are involved and notified on projects that affect the community from the beginning.

Garrick Emms

Replace Wellington Water Ltd as the lead agency for the Featherston Wastewater consent.

Encourage regional economic development in Tourism and Events [develop and support tourism opportunities, and build on existing world class events].

Support new ventures – building on the tourism and local economic success of film production in South Wairarapa.

Jack Grabham

Three Waters reforms: I support Three Waters and would like to ensure the region vigorously campaigns for representation on the new agency board; Climate Change: we need to protect our freshwater ecosystem from rising tides, Five Towns Cycleway to commute, electric train shuttles to replace buses, WiFi in the CBD.

Colin Olds

To provide a strong voice at council that reflects the wishes of our community.

To be open-minded when listening to those who take the time to submit their point of view.

To continue to be involved and work hard for the very best community outcomes.

Martinborough ward candidates

Aidan Ellims

Firstly, the affordability of rates for all in our communities; ie pensioners on fixed income, ie NZ Super, young working families on low wages and everyone in between.

Secondly, upgrading the water infrastructure across the district and thirdly, improving our rural roading networks.

Pip Maynard

To continue to be available to my community to hear their concerns. To continue to be a voice at the table for my community. To continue to be an advocate and ambassador for my community.

Responses were only edited for clarity or to reduce word count as specified in instructions to candidates.

South Wairarapa candidates Mike Gray, Rebecca Gray, Melissa Sadler-Futter, Ed Martin, Jenna Matchett, and Kaye McAuley did not respond.

This is the fifth in a six-part series. Up next: South Wairarapa community board candidates. – NZLDR

  • 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.

Related Articles

- Advertisement -
Trending
Masterton
broken clouds
9.5 ° C
12.2 °
9.5 °
86 %
1.9kmh
80 %
Tue
12 °
Wed
10 °
Thu
11 °
Fri
12 °
Sat
13 °