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Spotlight falls on candidates

By Emily Norman

[email protected]

Further candidates vying for a seat on Masterton District Council put their best foot forward on Wednesday at a well-attended second night Meet the Candidates meeting at the Masterton Cosmopolitan Club.

At the end of the meeting, the 10 candidates responded to questions were asked questions from the audience on topics ranging from economic development, iwi representation, amalgamation, and teamwork.

The following are summaries of the candidates’ presentations to the audience.

Also in yesterday’s paper it was reported Graham McClymont was standing in the urban ward but he is in fact standing in the rural ward which he now represents and where he is facing a challenge from Ross Cottle.


Jonathan Hooker (At Large)

As a father and grandfather, Hooker chooses to make decisions not purely based on the here and now, but the future as well.

He is particularly interested in international relations, CBD redevelopment, and has lots of experience with community projects.

If visual enhancement hadn’t taken place, we would still have a car park for the town square, and Kuripuni would still have a toilet block at its heart and wouldn’t be the vibrant, growing precinct it is today.



Tina Nixon (At Large)

With experience in governance and economic development Nixon has a Wairarapa-wide vision and supports amalgamation.

As the driving force behind My Masterton, she has a creative brain and the courage to go forward.

She only intends to stand for two terms if elected this year and believes “the land is our future”.

“I actually want something bigger than just for Masterton, what I want is for the whole of Wairarapa.

“We cannot afford to think in isolation anymore.”



Deborah Davidson (At Large)

Davidson believes the council needs new fresh voices, and she is that voice.

Her goals if elected include, capping rates, and improving council transparency, accountability, community collaboration, and integrity.

She said she will work tirelessly to achieve these outcomes.

“I want to ensure balance for the whole community with all its diversities.

“It is no longer acceptable to look after one sector of our community and largely ignore the issues of another.



John Dalziell (At Large)

Dalziell believes the future of the region lies in the decision-making of today and tomorrow.

If elected as councillor he aims to ensure effective and transparent decision making on council, accountability to ratepayers, continued upgrading and maintenance of council infrastructure, and no hidden agendas.

“We need to be ensuring we have a council of strong governance, one which supports its community and promotes Masterton and Wairarapa as a region with growth and a reputation of being the place to live.”



Jennifer Taylor (At Large)

With 33 years’ experience in central government and corporate services, Taylor is supportive of amalgamation.

She is fully engaged in the economic future for Wairarapa and her skills include the power of negotiation, building relationships and making hard decisions.

“I’m very concerned that we have sectors of the community who are being left behind when it comes to understanding and having access to digital technology… We can’t afford to have people left behind.”



Keith Hunt (At Large)

Coming from a long line of Wairarapa people, Hunt believes he has the passion, drive, and goodwill to see the region through to success.

He has experience working with youth, especially at-risk youth in the Masterton community, and understands good governance.

“I have the fire in my belly and the passion in my heart to do the things that will make this place grow and become something I remember this town was in the early 60s.”



Frazer Mailman (At Large)

Having moved to Wairarapa in 1978 with the intention of only being here for four years, Mailman is a strong believer in the opportunities Wairarapa provides.

He settled with his family in the 70s and since then and has been the principal of and has taught at many Wairarapa schools.

He believes youth are important for the economic and social development of Masterton.

“I believe I have the skills and the enthusiasm to meet the responsibilities as a councillor in a positive way.”



Chris Peterson (At Large)

As a long-serving councillor Peterson has seen through many challenging times, and believes he will be an asset in the times to come.

He has a focus on improving the economic, social, cultural, and environmental dimensions of the community, and values youth education and initiatives.

“The future will be different, and possibly extremely different. We face uncertain and changing times and need to rediscover a community where we listen to each other with respect.”



Ian Steer (At Large)

As a 4th generation Mastertonian, Steer has worked in local government in engineering for more than 30 years.

He understands asset management, engineering, building infrastructural assets, and wants to deliver the greatest benefits for the greatest number of people.

He believes in fairness for all, consultation and community participation and wants to make fair equitable decisions on council if elected.

“I want to be involved in informed decision-making, and I want to be involved in responsible governance.”



Simon O’Donoghue (Urban)

As owner/operator of Ziggy’s Glass in Masterton, sitting councillor O’Donoghue believes he is approachable and available for the community.

He wants to see council services like gardening and rubbish collection to be moved in-house to save money, and admits that it’s impossible to move the world in a hurry.

“At the end of the day I’m your voice from the public to the council table and feel free to call in and see me.

“I’m always available.”

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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