Eager to make good use of students' talents

What do you know about the 14 candidates contesting the 2019 Dunedin mayoral elections? City council reporter Chris Morris puts the questions to Mandy Mayhem-Bullock.

Mandy Mayhem-Bullock
Mandy Mayhem-Bullock
Mandy Mayhem-Bullock

Age: 47.
Brought up: Dunedin.
Occupation: Wedding and funeral celebrant, mental health care worker, home support worker, newspaper delivery person, former circus worker.
Council/governance experience: Waikouaiti Coast Community Board member, various community volunteer roles.
Political orientation: The middle road — it’s the Zen way.
Describe yourself in three words: Honest, enthusiastic, hard-working.

Mandy Mayhem-Bullock is taking her first tilt at Dunedin's mayoralty.

The Waitati resident and first-term member of the Waikouaiti Coast Community Board says her desire is to advocate for her community as a ``celebrant'' for the city, while also working to improve council culture.

She also wants to see a new approach to tackling the challenges of climate change in South Dunedin - by tapping into university students' talents - and a concerted effort to free up parking congestion in the city.

Why should people vote for you to be mayor?

Because I don't have any hidden agenda. I don't have a reason to run for council.

I don't have a business interest. I don't have anything that's particularly motivating me to run, except I'm a people person and I want to advocate for my community.

What would your priorities be as mayor?

I'd like to improve the culture surrounding city council. People seem to love to hate the city council and blame them for everything that goes wrong. I think it's a really difficult job and people don't actually realise the role of city councillors.

I fully see myself in that role as mayor as a celebrant, as an MC, as an events co-ordinator - I'm all the time in that ceremonious role.

What makes you qualified for the job?

I have a sound background in governance. I've been working hard with the council operations to feed back from my community already our needs and requirements with regards to the simple stuff - roading, three waters, that core infrastructure, the stuff that actually makes the city tick. I'd like to see Dunedin city working like a finely-oiled mechanism. At the moment I don't think that happens.

What is the city doing well, and what could it do better?

I think the city has been working hard recently to be more inclusive, especially of our cultural and ethnic groups... It's a beautiful, vibrant city. I think it's got a lot going for it. We've got a beautiful mixture of heritage and new. I love that we're a student town. They bring this vibrancy and freshness to the city. I think we're not blending all of that together... we need to bring people together.

What would you do to protect South Dunedin from climate change and erosion?

Rather than getting a whole bunch of experts in, charging exorbitant amounts of money for consultation, we need to tap into that university population. What if it was a project for geography, geology, anthropology students, and they save South Dunedin?

Instead of creating hard concrete seawalls and rocks... what if we created a series of artificial reefs going out into the water, so it actually softens the impact of the waves hitting the beach?

The groynes could work, too, but I think it has to be a combination of things.

It's not just South Dunedin - coastal erosion is an issue for all sea-lying settlements surrounding Dunedin.

Is parking a problem in Dunedin and how would you fix it?

Yes, parking is a problem. I know people disagree, but you try and park around the university or the student quarter. My kids go to Logan Park. I drive round and round and round, just trying to park near the turf so I can watch my kids' sports games.

Every one of those buildings we're knocking down for the hospital needs to become temporary parking. We need to replace those spaces that have been lost to the cycleways, and free up the parks that are close to the university for people with limited mobility and ask people to park further away - down by the stadium, down by the waterfront - and walk from there.



I will not be voting for her- she can keep driving round and round just trying to park near the turf so she can watch her kids' sports games! What sort of message is that for kids? She should follow her own advice & park further away - down by the stadium, down by the waterfront - and walk from there.