QLDC: Mayoral candidates

What do the candidates in the 2010 Queenstown Lakes District Council election stand for? The Otago Daily Times has given all nominees the opportunity to answer two questions.

1: Voters are concerned about the level of council spending. How will you keep rates down while retaining essential services?
2: What are your goals and what should the priorities be for your council?

Simon Hayes (58)
Real estate agent

1. Voters have every right to be concerned about the level of council spending and debt. We must concentrate on better delivery of core services and look at a couple of projects at a time.

Council must focus on reduction of waste and duplication within all departments. Too much has been squandered in the past and councillors and managers must be much more clearly focused on good service delivery at agreed costs.

2. My goals are to have more robust mechanisms to govern council's trading entities; widen the revenue base by encouraging new enterprises; be visionary and inspirational in leading a team of committed councillors in an inclusive manner; represent this great district in all forums locally, nationally and internationally; lobby Central Government for more equitable funding.

Michael Scott (48)
Inspector programmer of roading

1. Council has already deferred non-essential capital works knowing that the level of debt is unsustainable. We need to follow the guidelines set in our 10-year community plan and work with our community to decide what needs to take priority, and find alterative funding.

It's time to tighten belts and justify every dollar spent. Central Government agencies have to do this on a daily basis. Our council needs to do the same.

2. Debt reduction is essential. Our community must decide how to prioritise our spending and get realistic with their expectations of service.

Vanessa van Uden (43)
Business consultant, councillor

1. First we stop overspending, over-use of consultants and over-indulgence. Then we improve core services, management and streamline the processes that hinder and add cost to those trying to get things done.

We provide support and investment for our economic drivers. This means we tighten up while improving essential services and we seek out and support new industries that feed into our mainstays of tourism and property development.

Continually increasing rates is not an option.

2. Getting rates and debt under control while ensuring service levels and infrastructure are improved are the priorities.

Cut costs by improving efficiency and establishing a local think tank to harness local expertise. Generate a more stable income base by encouraging industries such as film, education and events that can deliver income within existing infrastructure. Make it easier for them to work here and help drive our core businesses.


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