Russell Lund - Housing, Heritage, Less Debt

Vote Russell Lund #1 for Council

1. Please tell us about yourself?

Married to Suzanne, and with 4 children, aged 10 to 17. I like to run, read and windsurf. My company, Lund, has built over 400 commercial projects in and around Dunedin over the last 25 years. I’m now working on my own projects with a small and loyal crew which allows me the time to run for Council.

2. Why are you standing?

Because Council confirmed this year it was not making any money or land available for social housing (or building any) for the next 10 years, despite government funding being available. This is not a credible response to the Dunedin’s housing crisis. Many people on fixed or lower incomes will be unable to afford basic necessities and will struggle to find housing in Dunedin with rapidly rising rents and the planned power and rates increases. Social cohesion is the greatest asset a city can have, and to have that Dunedin must be an affordable and enjoyable place to live, regardless of your income.

3. Are there local issues of particular importance to you?

The immediate priorities are: Stop the $65M pedestrianization of George St. It’s a massive mistake and will force the immediate closure of many of our unique local retailers, that give our traditional main Street its unique Dunedin flavour. We must build an elegant but modest $2-3M harbourside bridge, not an insanely expensive $20M version, and stop the planned $20M cosmetic upgrade of the tertiary precinct. Supporting redevelopment of our heritage buildings is important. With our low seismic risk rating, we are very fortunate that this is still viable. The looming, massive increases in everyone’s electricity lines charges must be addressed and Council owned electricity distributor Aurora Energy must be put on a sustainable basis that does not require an increase in electrical lines charges of 40 % in 2021, and 200-300 % over the next decade. The current council have been bystanders and exercised no control or oversight. We need to get Councils debt position under control, and improve Councils spending or procurement in relation its major infrastructure projects. Tens of millions, if not more, could be saved, and these savings could go towards community projects like the Mosgiel pool or the South Dunedin library, without the need for the excessive rates rises planned.      

4. What relevant experience would you bring?

I am the candidate with the most extensive experience in the planning, delivery and funding of major projects and social housing and am respected nationally for my contractual expertise around the delivery of construction and infrastructure.

5. What about Dunedin do you love, and what would you change?

Dunedin’s amazing network of outdoor hiking and biking trails. I’d like to improve some of them with better all-weather access and to create a looped trail network all around Dunedin.   

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