Questions for DCC mayoralty candidates

What do the candidates in the 2019 local body election stand for? The Otago Daily Times gave nominees for the Dunedin City mayoralty (who are all also running for a seat on council) the opportunity to answer the following questions:

1   What are your goals and what should the priorities be for your council?

2   How can the council best manage the pressures from growth now facing the city?

Scout Barbour-Evans
Scout Barbour-Evans
SCOUT BARBOUR-EVANS

Council: Dunedin City Council.

Age: 24.

Occupation: Student (Otago Polytechnic, bachelor of leadership for change).

Question 1: My three priority areas are community resilience, youth issues, and housing. These are all overlapping areas; i.e. better housing quality in Dunedin would mean people could stay in their homes for longer and build more resilient communities, and benefit everyone's health and wellbeing. I would like to examine how we can increase the council's role as a social housing provider, particularly for disabled populations for whom fully accessible housing is very difficult to find.

Question 2: The three most pressing issues as we move to manage this unprecedented growth are neglected infrastructure, a lack of jobs, and poor-quality housing. Dunedin has house quality as if we live in an Auckland climate, so that needs improvement. We have a lot of students who quite begrudgingly leave the city on graduation to find work, who might choose to stay if there were better skilled job prospects.

 

Bob Barlin
Bob Barlin
ROBERT (BOB) BARLIN

Council: Dunedin City Council.

Constituency: Otago.

Age: 67.

Occupation: Driver.

Question 1: Prime goal is to establish teamwork, co-operation and co-ordination amongst council, staff and the population to work together and meet the priorities of paying down existing debt with no new debt to be entertained. Instead, maintain current rates levels until a full determination of infrastructure repair, upgrades and phased implementation plans are decided. Concurrently, a Mayoral Task Force needs establishment to investigate the issue of climate change effects and provide solutions.

Question 2: According to indications Dunedin growth will occur at the rate of about 200-300 people per year. This appears sustainable. However, the role of the Mayoral Task Force whilst investigating the effects and solutions to climate change must also include any growth effects as these need to be fully planned for in any remedial plans to tackle adverse climate change effects. In all this the public must be fully engaged and their views welcomed.

 

Finn Campbell
Finn Campbell
FINDLAY (FINN) CAMPBELL

Council: Dunedin City Council.

Age: 27.

Occupation: Unemployed and volunteer.

Question 1: My goals are to ensure the DCC builds on its carbon neutral by 2030 goal by creating a fair set of short-term actions to realise a carbon neutral future for my generation. We should be prioritising sustainable transportation through well-designed urban infrastructure, with denser, energy-efficient housing that is protected from the weather, and we need to cut down on the waste we are sending to the landfill by creating a "circular economy".

Question 2: By not pandering to car parks for votes. Building more car parks and restricting urban planning to car-only streets will only do one thing in a small city - more gridlock! It's a well understood issue that parking and car-only streets will induce demand until we are back at the same problem, there isn't enough of it. Build up the alternatives so us righteous youth can get out of your way and out of your parks.

 

Rachel Elder
Rachel Elder
RACHEL ELDER

Council: Dunedin City Council.

Age: 63.

Occupation: Current city councillor.

Question 1: Firstly, it will be important to take time out to get to know one another and commit to creating a good team culture together. Advocating for Dunedin at central government level. Supporting the current growth in opportunities in the city to grow jobs and income. Working with other stakeholders to address our housing and transport needs. Developing our tracks and trails to become an active outdoors city.

Question 2: We are now a medium-growth city so the 2GP needs to be amended to enable growth both in greenfields and infill sites. We need to look at our rules to see if some are impeding growth. Looking also at different housing solutions like the urban co-housing. Continuing the Housing Action Group so that there is ongoing discussions with stakeholders to come up with a wide range of solutions and alternatives. We are better together.

 

Christine Garey
Christine Garey
CHRISTINE GAREY

Council: Dunedin City Council.

Age: 63.

Occupation: City councillor.

Question 1:

•Strengthen communities - increase community connectedness and resilience.

•Climate action - lead globally, in addressing climate change innovatively.

•Housing - ensure everyone has access to warm, dry homes.

•Transport - collaborate for an integrated transport system: affordable, efficient bus transport, promotion of e-bikes.

•Infrastructure renewal - continue investment.

•Managing growth - address Dunedin's "growing pains": land for housing, traffic congestion, parking issues.

•Harbour edge development - realise potential of Dunedin's jewel in the crown, Otago Harbour.

Question 2:

•Traffic congestion, parking issues - an integrated transport system with affordable, efficient bus transport to get those out of cars that can, and increased mobility parking for those who absolutely can't. Promotion of e-bikes to commuters by large employers.

•Shortage of land to build - release land by encouraging "Mom & Pop" developers to subdivide by making their pathway through council smooth.

•Workforce - manage the timing of big projects to provide continuous work opportunities.

 

Aaron Hawkins
Aaron Hawkins
AARON HAWKINS

Council: Dunedin City Council.

Age: 35.

Occupation: City councillor.

Question 1: My vision is more public housing, cheaper bus fares, and greater investment in our zero carbon and biodiversity goals.

Dunedin's heading in the right direction, but we need to build on our momentum. I have a plan for tackling our biggest challenges - transport, housing, and our natural environment - and a strong track record on council of building the support needed to make things happen.

For effective and progressive leadership, Vote 1 Aaron Hawkins for Mayor.

Question 2: Housing affordability is a growing concern. We should prioritise our greatest need, by increasing the supply of public housing, and our greatest opportunity, through greater urban density.

We have a growing population, a growing vehicle fleet, and a growing expectation that people can bike and walk around without fear of death or injury.

We need to make alternatives to driving more attractive, and focus on making the most efficient use of the resources we have.

 

Carmen Houlahan
Carmen Houlahan
CARMEN HOULAHAN

Council: Dunedin City Council.

Age: 49.

Occupation: Entrepreneur.

Question 1: Our priorities need to be housing/infrastructure and transport. We need to fix our infrastructure. We have a looming housing shortage and some waste and stormwater pipes are old or at capacity and there is a limited supply of suitable land. These problems are holding back development. Our increased population has also put pressure on traffic and parking and it needs to be addressed and public transport needs to improve.

Question 2: By fixing infrastructure. I think council was too hasty taking away car parks before having an adequate public transport system to back it up. We also need to plan our projects better so that they are not all being done at once causing gridlock in our city. Give incentives to contractors to get the work done asap. Reward people for carpooling, make buses more frequent and cheaper and apply to Government to fund a rail service.

 

Mandy Mayhem-Bullock
Mandy Mayhem-Bullock
MANDY MAYHEM-BULLOCK

Council: Dunedin City Council.

Age: 47.

Occupation: Funeral and wedding celebrant, care worker in mental health, parent.

Question 1: My goal for Dunedin City Council this triennium is to change the current relationships we have with the public, with the regional council to improve bus services and central government so that we receive the funding required to enact practical, well-planned solutions for our future.

My priorities will include strengthening core infrastructure, tackling the housing crisis, continuing work on healthier homes, addressing coastal erosion issues, providing cheaper public transport and more parking.

Question 2: The most daunting growth challenge Dunedin faces is meeting the demand for housing for its increasing population.

The power of the public purse needs to shift from central government back to local government, to best meet the needs of our residents. Localism is the key.

The council needs to link residential growth to the infrastructure capacity of the community, an example being that roads or other public facilities be deemed adequate to meet demands.

 

Malcolm Moncrief-Spittle
Malcolm Moncrief-Spittle
MALCOLM MONCRIEF-SPITTLE

Council: Dunedin City Council.

Age: 44.

Occupation: Bookseller, student (Greek and Latin).

Question 1: As a councillor I shall try to keep increases in rates and fees low. The ideal would be to keep them close to the rate of inflation, which is currently under 2%. When rates keep going up faster than inflation, this is ultimately unsustainable. It is a sign of an expansionary council, seeking to expand its influence beyond basic governance and infrastructure. Total council debt is now approaching $1 billion. This is too much.

Question 2: Dunedin is experiencing moderate growth. Apart from a few curmudgeons and some anti-capitalism dingbats, I think most people consider that moderate growth is a good thing. There are challenges that growth brings - more congestion on roads, parking harder to find, housing and rental affordability. The basic formula of supply and demand is unavoidable. When growth causes demand to go up, the only way to balance that is by finding ways to increase the supply.

 

Jim O'Malley
Jim O'Malley
JIM O'MALLEY

Council: Dunedin City Council.

Age: 55.

Occupation: Scientist.

Question 1: My principal aim is to keep the forward momentum of the city going to meet the needs of the city of 250,000 that we will be within 30 years. We need to 1) Continue to address the backlog of infrastructure renewals; 2) Improve our transport systems; 3) Address the increased need for housing; 4) Build the new city waste management system; and 5) While doing this, meet the environmental targets recently adopted by council.

Question 2: There are many issues that we will face. With limited space I'll answer one, housing demand. We will need to revisit the city spatial plan and consider amendments to the new district plan. I would like see apartments built in the centre of town as well as identifying appropriate greenfield development areas. Note that we don't have any infrastructure built for new suburbs so greenfield developments will come at a cost to the ratepayer.

 

Jules Radich
Jules Radich
JULES RADICH

Council: Dunedin City Council.

Age: 64.

Occupation: Business coach.

Question 1: 1. Pride of Place Culture - Use our natural and cultural values to strengthen the beating heart of Dunedin. 2. Climate Change Resistance - Establish defences and push back to become an exemplar for all New Zealand. 3. Use it or Lose it Cycle Lanes - Promote fair and appropriate use of resources.

 

Richard Seager
Richard Seager
RICHARD SEAGER

Council: Dunedin City Council.

Age: 57.

Occupation: Small business mostly. Recently retrained in info science and geography.

Question 1: Public transport, more urban cycling infrastructure including a car-free cycle precinct at the university, moving the hospital build to higher ground (due to the risk of sea-level rise over its lifetime) and planning for the future of South Dunedin and other coastal communities which includes retreat and investigating potential issues that can be fixed but does not include large building projects to barrier South Dunedin against the ocean (which I feel will fail).

Question 2: Make it easier to live in Dunedin for those coming here and those already here. This includes housing where local government may be able to take over some responsibility from central government especially considering the recent KiwiBuild failure. It also includes public transport initiatives including trams, electric buses and overhead cable cars. And community support that caters to the backgrounds of newcomers as much as is possible such as providing advice in their own languages.

 

Lee Vandervis
Lee Vandervis
LEE VANDERVIS

Council: Dunedin City Council.

Age: 64.

Occupation: DCC councillor.

Question 1: My goal is to lead a council that works hard to provide the necessities and the enjoyment opportunities for ALL of us in Dunedin.

More commuter parking, better drainage, control of debt and council-owned companies will improve the economic base that will allow a sustainable, enhanced environment and better opportunities for jobs and quality lives. I will prioritise vibrant leadership, practical solutions, and engaged councillors/staff to make Dunedin better for all of us.

Question 2: We can better manage growth by anticipating new ways of moving people and goods around easily, increasing parking and traffic flow facilities for a range of vehicles including electric, standardising consents for modern modular-housing expansion, relaxing house site restrictions, and facilitating development of underused land and our waterfront. We must expand new facilities for tech and arts industries as well as service industries for increased tourism, film production, stevedoring, and wider education - flight/training, gaming, and programming.

 

Andrew Whiley
Andrew Whiley
ANDREW WHILEY

Council: Dunedin City Council.

Age: 53.

Occupation: Current city councillor, small-business owner and golf professional.

Question 1: Strong, common-sense leadership that "gets Dunedin moving". My priorities are to engage council, acknowledging the spectrum of opinions, focusing decision-making on what's best for Dunedin. We need to create more housing, increase parking and improve traffic flows (see below). Ensure Dunedin has a clear vision for 2040 and beyond. 160,000+ residents maintaining our great quality of life. We need strong fiscal management while investing in our city's infrastructure for the next 100 years.

Question 2: Housing - make available and re-zone more land for residential and commercial development and be more proactive around infill housing to meet the growth of the city. Working with a third party, build more social housing better suited to the needs of the community. Business also needs space to build to grow more jobs. Work with a developer to invest in a new multilevel car-parking building. With upcoming construction projects, ensure the city maintains traffic flow.

 

Comments

Safe hands needed!
Appointing a mayor with historical aggressive attitude will only inflame issues.
Public smear campaign against him, fake news, I just want what's best.... the leopard won't change it's spots.

Is it an aggressive attitude or the snow flake crying because they have been called out and repeatedly asked to do their job. Maybe such a mayor just needs a right hand person to ask him why why why also so things are focused.

The facts are that Vandervis is aggressive, he has double didgit complaints against him and all of the other councilors have zero between them.
Snow flake, lol. You mean the person that has propelled Dunedin into the future after repairing corruption at the same time.
I would love to see Vandrvis as mayor and the following shambles of him battling one person after the other, it would be a hell of a show of self destruction.