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Nixon stands for mayor

Tina Nixon is officially contending the mayoralty of Masterton, with a quirky campaign to boot.

Nixon, who is a first-term Masterton councillor, said the local government review currently underway would result in major changes to the functions and form of local government.

“We need someone who can advocate, negotiate, and lead the charge to get a better funding deal from central government.

“As I have said in the past, that’s the only real way we have a chance of reducing rates.

“We also need to preserve our ability to make the decisions that affect our community.

“I am the only mayoral candidate who really understands these issues and knows how to ensure we are heard in Wellington.”

She said local government reform was “not a sexy issue, but it is the biggest issue if we are to preserve and advantage our way of life”.

Nixon, who describes herself as “decisive, no-nonsense, and focused”, was standing on the slogan: “our district, our taxes, our decisions”.

“The current model for local government is not sustainable, and the biggest issue is funding,” she said.

“Currently, local councils deliver 52 per cent of public services on 12 per cent of the budget.”

She said with 2023 being the general election year, it was a chance to get all political parties to agree to change the funding model for local government – “it’s the only way to reduce rates”.

“We also need a strong, powerful voice to call time on the erosion of our democratic rights and institutions, like Three Waters.”

Her campaign photo, in which she is staunch and holding a sword, is a nod to this.

“We will not let up until we have all parties signed up to a new local government funding agreement.

“l will work with other councils, as I have shown with promoting our membership of the Councils 4 Local Democracy, to set out a good plan for increased government funding for councils.

If elected mayor, Nixon said her goal would be to keep the team of councillors “focused and working hard on big important issues” to get the best outcomes for all residents, “not just pandering to one group”.

“We will need all councillors to be prepared to work a lot harder than they have in the past if we are to give our district its best future.

“It’s going to be one hell of a busy term.

“We will also see an agreed plan around a new civic facility, once the review is analysed by the new council.”

Nixon has governance and leadership experience across a wide range of sectors.

She is on the board of a tourism company in Southland, has her own company, and is appointed to two organisations on behalf of Ngai Tahu.

She is also the president of the Masterton A and P Association and is a founding member and now a board member of the Water Users Group, which is spearheading the legal action against the Three Waters reforms.

Also a first-term councillor, she is one of the elected members working on the Wairarapa Combined District Plan.

Regarding the choice of photo accompanying her campaign, Nixon said politics did not need to be boring.

“In fact, if we inject a bit of fun into it we are likely to get more engagement from our younger ratepayers and residents.

“It’s also a great way to showcase the stunning work of my son’s partner, Amber Griffin, who lives here and whose photography is extraordinary.”

Nixon gave a “thumbs up” to fellow mayoral candidate “Bill Izard the Wizard”, who was also bringing quirk to the contest.

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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