Keen to serve again as mayor 'to all parts and all people of the district'

The Otago Daily Times continues its series of profiles of mayoral candidates. Fifteen people say they should be the next mayor of the various district and city councils in the wider Otago-Southland region.

Starting with the candidates for the Central Otago district, our regional reporters ask candidates who they are, what they stand for and how they would handle the big issues facing their district. Grouped by council, the Q&As with mayoral candidates will run over the next five days.

Today, Pam Jones puts the questions to Central Otago mayoral candidate Tim Cadogan.

Tim Cadogan

Age: 54.
Occupation: Mayor.
Marital Status: Married to Linda for 16 and a-half wonderful years.
Council experience: Three years as mayor, three years Vincent Community Board member.
Describe yourself in three words: Passionate, friendly, inquisitive.

Raised in Balclutha and a Central Otago resident for 25 years, incumbent Central Otago Mayor Tim Cadogan says it has been a "privilege'' to be in the role for three years.

He is seeking a second term, promising to again be mayor "to all parts and all people of the district'', focusing particularly on sustainability and housing affordability, while maintaining a "robust economy''.

Why do you want to be mayor?

I have kept the promises I made to work hard and be available to the whole district, not just some places and some people. I make those promises again. There are challenges ahead that require level-headed, experienced leadership. Being mayor to me is about the opportunity to engage with the community to have a positive impact for Central Otago, now and into the future.

How would you describe your Central Otago District Council track record over the past three years?

Really good. We have finally got the Alexandra water supply project under way and are getting Clyde off septic tanks. The award-winning Cromwell wastewater treatment plant has massively reduced our impact on the environment. We backed the Cromwell master plan, which has been a highly successful engagement with that community, while supporting the Maniototo Community Board's successful efforts to find the best way to fund $2 million for the new hospital build. Council's response to the Roxburgh floods was first rate. Communication has been a high priority for me and I am pleased that 80% of respondents said they were satisfied with council communications in the last resident survey, although I still seek improvement in that regard.

What other interests and achievements do you have, and what drives you personally?

I am driven by a desire to help people and see the role of mayor as a great opportunity to do that. In terms of achievements, I have been appointed to a Ministerial Working Group, which is unusual for someone in their first term as mayor, and was also elected chairman of the Otago Mayoral Forum by the region's other mayors. Other interests are music (playing guitar and singing) and golf, when time allows.

What do you believe is the single biggest issue facing Central Otago, and what would you do to solve it?

Affordability and availability of housing. People are really struggling in parts of our district and the market has not and will not find solutions on its own. I formed the Central Otago Affordable Housing Trust with close links to the successful Queenstown trust. The trustees have practical solutions to the problem that the new council and boards will need to make courageous decisions on in the new term.

What else does Central Otago need from its mayor and council over the next three years?

This council has done a really good job at the core of its functions, with three major infrastructure projects either being started or coming online, while maintaining rates within our cap. This might not be sexy stuff, but steady, consistent progress is the key to a successful council and needs to be continued.

The community quite rightly demands a stronger focus on the environment and this needs to be reflected in improved solid waste management processes and a stronger recognition of our unique biodiversity in the district plan.

Managing the growth we are experiencing and are predicted to continue experiencing is crucial, so we do not lose what is so special about this place.

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