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What do you know about the 14 candidates contesting the 2019 Dunedin mayoral elections? City council reporter Chris Morris puts the questions to Andrew Whiley.
Brought up: Wellington, moved to Dunedin in 2003.
Occupation: City councillor, business owner, ex-golf professional.
Council/governance experience: Two-term councillor, deputy chairman economic development committee, bylaw hearings chairman, NZPGA board member, Volunteering Otago chairman, Institute of Directors member.
Political orientation: Centre/centre-right.
Describe yourself in three words: Dependable, hard-working, focused.
Two-term Dunedin city councillor Andrew Whiley says Dunedin needs to get moving.
As mayor, he would focus on city development and parking pressures, while also using the skills he acquired while running small businesses to help heal divisions across the council table.
He also wants to accelerate the pace of investment in infrastructure to defend South Dunedin from sea level rise, while remaining supportive of the potential for offshore gas drilling off the Otago coastline.
Why should people vote for you to be mayor?
I think this city needs leadership. The opportunities that are going to come about in the next three years are going to be a game-changer - probably the greatest change in the city in development since the 1880s, and we need long-term vision not short-term vision. I believe I'm the right person to lead that city through those decisions, and I can also bring the table together.
Your priorities if elected mayor?
I've got a theme of get Dunedin moving. That is based on parking and traffic around the city, it's about growing the economic stability of the city, it's around improving the housing and the ability to build more houses, so housing affordability returns to Dunedin.
What makes you qualified for the job?
I come from a background of running small business. I've managed to run businesses most of my life. I've employed people, I've watched the finances, I understand what it takes to bring it all together. When I look at the skill set of what a mayor requires, he requires all that plus the leadership to bring the table together, and I feel I've got that.
What is the city doing well, and what could it do better?
I think we really are doing well in relation to stabilising the economic platform of the city.
I don't believe we've taken the opportunities that have been open, and that's what I'm really excited to do.
I'm really fearful about where we're at with the hospital rebuild and the delays, and the impact that's having on other businesses around the city and delays on construction.
What would you do to protect South Dunedin from the effects of climate change and sea level rise?
We have to continue investing in infrastructure, and to me I would like to see us accelerate investment in infrastructure. That's not just the network under South Dunedin, that's the network in Kaikorai Valley, that's also the beaches and the sand sausages or retaining the dunes of the beaches.
What about managed retreat?
No. Technology allows us to be able to really focus on a strong, sustainable future for South Dunedin.
Is car parking a problem in Dunedin, and what should be done?
Yes it is ... in the last three years we've probably seen anywhere from 3000 to 5000 more cars on our roads, and it is a huge issue around the city.
What's the solution?
We need to provide an opportunity for someone to invest in parking facilities. That could be a new parking building, as part of a development; that could be a car-stacker, for example. There's lots of different options around parking.
What would you do to boost economic growth?
We've got the fastest internet in the southern hemisphere. We haven't actually promoted it; we haven't boosted it. I think the future of the engineering cluster in Dunedin has still got a lot more in it to be told. There's a lot of business happening around Dunedin which is actually exported around the country. It's not retained here.
I would like to see the New Zealand navy set up their southern base in Dunedin. I think that will be an opportunity for the future. I am also really positive about the development of offshore gas exploration.