Questions for Central Otago District Council candidates

What do the candidates in the 2019 local body election stand for? The Otago Daily Times gave nominees for the Central Otago District Council the opportunity to answer the following questions:

1   How do you think council should balance progress through development and the protection of the environment?

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

Tamah Alley
Tamah Alley
TAMAH ALLEY

Council: Central Otago District Council.

Ward: Vincent Ward.

Age: 34.

Occupation: Police officer.

Question 1: Partnering with key agencies who are already making meaningful change in the sustainability sector is a priority - such as a glass recycling plant for Alexandra. Council needs to establish climate change as a major factor to be considered in all future decisions, not only relating to opening up land for development, but also by taking a strong position in relation to environmental issues not directly in our control, such as the Manuherikia River minimum flow.

Question 2: Our main priorities are affordable and sustainable housing for all, including our ageing population. Water - bringing the new systems for Alexandra and Clyde water/wastewater online, and getting ahead with a plan for incoming national drinking water standards. Growing our region in a sustainable and economically viable way that will benefit all. I would love to see a new community facility for Omakau, and a rebuild of Molyneux Stadium on the agenda in coming years.

 

Lynley Claridge
Lynley Claridge
LYNLEY CLARIDGE

Council: Central Otago District Council.

Ward: Vincent.

Age: Declined to provide age.

Occupation: Company director.

Question 1: Achieving a sustainable future is dependant on having thriving human communities and abundant natural ecosystems living together in collaboration, rather than in isolation from each other.

We need to equally balance the needs of economic growth and resource conservation, by using smart energy, water, air, health and ecosystem initiatives.

Question 2: My goal, and council priority, is to secure a master plan for Alexandra, Clyde and districts in the wake of the Cromwell master plan, ensuring the region is treated equally in opportunity. By rezoning sensibly, we provide land for affordable housing and employment for our young people. Look after our older residents by enabling retirement villages, hospital and rest-home care. Balance with protecting our amazing environment.

 

Tony Hammington
Tony Hammington
TONY HAMMINGTON

Council: Central Otago District Council.

Ward: Vincent ward.

Age: 61.

Occupation: Business facilitator.

Question 1: Council should ensure tourism and commercial growth contributes fiscally and structurally to enhance the region's natural resources. Work with the expertise and capability our community already contains to apply smart technology and science-based solutions to lessen our footprint in achieving the council's 10-year plans. Often operating under national policy directives, we can also be enabled by national funding channels. Collaborating with other regions facing similar challenges should enhance knowledge and make for robust outcomes.

Question 2: Council supports the CEO to operate efficiently with a strong service culture, hungry to exceed the committed targets in our 10-year plan, leaving no-one behind. Council's engagement with the wider community delivers initiatives that support a hand-up culture (rather than a hand-out) to enable social outcomes targeting employment for youth and housing options that build on current affordable homes innovations. A sustainably growing economy that supports our proud history.

 

Martin R. McPherson
Martin R. McPherson
MARTIN R. MCPHERSON

Council: Central Otago District Council.

Ward: Vincent.

Age: 62.

Occupation: Event manager/publicist.

Question 1: Good planning and the protection of our environment will insure our district has a sustainable future. The council will complete the new water scheme for Alexandra later next year and a reticulated sewerage system for Clyde will bring opportunities for growth in the district. These are two examples where this council has taken a proactive stance to future proof our communities. I support these and other initiatives that allow us to enjoy our district.

Question 2: The next three years I want to see council achieve two important actions. The first is the development of new subdivisions around Alexandra and Clyde to attract more people to the district and help spread the costs of supporting and improving our infrastructure. The second action I support is the ongoing investment by this council in affordable housing. Young and the not so young are being marginalised by high house prices council can and should help.

 

TRACY PATERSON

No response received by publication deadline.

 

BRUCE POTTER

No response received by publication deadline.

 

SHARLEEN STIRLING-LINDSAY

No response received by publication deadline.

 

Malcolm Topliss
Malcolm Topliss
MALCOLM TOPLISS

Council: Central Otago District Council.

Ward: Vincent.

Age: 74.

Occupation: Retired/incumbent councillor.

Question 1: Council needs to ensure future developments prioritise sustainability, where natural resources are protected and development on arable land is restricted, mitigation of climate change is on the agenda at every stage of planning and this is balanced e.g. with a range of building lot sizes within residential development i.e. smaller plots and affordable homes.

Council needs to address issues around recycling of plastics and glass, encouraging and supporting innovation in business related to recycling these materials.

Question 2: Completion on time and within budget the major 3 Waters projects in progress. Development of a Central Otago age-friendly community plan, as promulgated by WHO and supported by NZ Ministry of Social Development. Ensure the review of the district plan makes provision for affordable housing. Resources are provided for the conservation of our district's unique heritage. Through collaboration with ORC ensure a balanced and common-sense approach to minimum flows for the Manuherikia River.

 

Ian Cooney
Ian Cooney
IAN COONEY

Council: Central Otago District Council.

Ward: Vincent.

Age: 35.

Occupation: Restaurant manager.

Question 1: In Central Otago affordability and an ageing population create a need for smaller houses on smaller sections. Living smaller reduces and minimises waste and so will lessen environmental impacts.

This requires working with developers looking at the life cycle of a house from construction to demolition and how waste and emissions are processed along the way.

Businesses and individuals need to be further encouraged and rewarded for efforts to reduce harmful waste outputs.

Question 2: With the roll out of ultra-fast broadband we can attract more science and technology based businesses as barriers to communication decrease. This creates more opportunities for school leavers through traineeships and brings young professionals to the area.

These businesses are generally low carbon producers and can be of benefit to the local environment.

To enhance this environment council needs to consult with local landowners, individuals and groups to ensure appropriate land use.

 

Shirley Calvert
Shirley Calvert
SHIRLEY CALVERT

Council: Central Otago District Council.

Ward: Cromwell.

Age: Declined to provide age.

Occupation: Ambulance driver.

Question 1: By driving future thinking into our planning, and encompassing the needs of our communities. Well-considered, thorough planning and thoughtful policies that heed community voices through consultation, will enable better reflection of community needs and practices. Planning and policies must encourage greater biodiversity, restoring and caring for ecosystems as a foundation for improving land and water quality. Protection of our productive land and soils is essential while future growth and development is planned for and implemented.

Question 2: Be available for all people and community groups to talk about things that are important to them.

Make it easier for people to communicate these things to council for debate. Action the projects of master plan, spatial plan and residential development.

Advocate for best practice in all our utilities and services - not just meeting minimum requirements.

For council committees to be restructured in a manner that better reflects our roles and community needs.

 

Neil Gillespie
Neil Gillespie
NEIL GILLESPIE

Council: Central Otago District Council.

Ward: Cromwell.

Age: 58.

Occupation: Community relations and project manager.

Question 1: Development is the result of growth and must be balanced to meet the aspirations and needs of the community around the core functions of roading, water, wastewater and community facilities, as well as areas outside council's direct responsibility, like the management of Lake Dunstan and housing.

An effective district plan is required so growth isn't detrimental to the environment. It needs to be reviewed to ensure it provides for the outcomes that deliver for our community.

Question 2: We must strive to maintain present levels of service, provide for growth of the district into the future while ensuring the costs are balanced against the benefits for ratepayers.

That means we need to be well connected and engaged with our community - something that great progress has been achieved in recent times but must be built on into the future.

In simple terms we must deliver on the aspirations and needs of the community.

 

Jocelyn Johnstone
Jocelyn Johnstone
JOCELYN JOHNSTONE

Council: Central Otago District Council.

Ward: Cromwell.

Age: 59.

Occupation: Registered nurse/counsellor.

Question 1: Firstly, this needs to firstly be established through carefully considered long-term plans that clarify the communities expectations for sustainable development.

Secondly, all staff reports to council need to be measured, prepared and presented in accordance with these community expectations.

Thirdly, all development proposals must be evaluated and contain clear cost benefit analysis for all stakeholders, measured in economic, social and environmental terms to ensure that councillors make informed decisions for communities best interests.

Question 2: My key goals are.- Getting on with implementing a "family friendly" master plan that sustainably provides for all necessary infrastructure, recreational facilities, responsible camping, commercial opportunities, and affordable housing for the future. Ensuring the financial responsibility of council with prudent financial management.

Facilitating a Cromwell cultural centre, redeveloped town centre, indoor sports facility, and the ongoing provision of appropriate green spaces, walkways, cycleways, parks lake access and water quality.

 

Cheryl Laws
Cheryl Laws
CHERYL LAWS

Council: Central Otago District Council.

Ward: Cromwell.

Age: 57.

Occupation: Family budget counsellor.

Question 1: Unfortunately, the council's district plan is outdated and not fit for purpose. This has contributed to the district's growth being most influenced by private developers with a strong profit motive. Economic growth and environmental protection need not be in conflict if our district plan sets clear policy guidelines. This a personal priority. The council must also submit strongly on the government's draft water quality standards, highlighting Central's unique environment and circumstances, and ensuring that balance.

Question 2: We require a more proactive council taking stronger stands on issues that affect our community. Water - both quality and quantity - are two such issues but also the need for enhanced health services in Central. They are currently inadequate for our needs.

My priorities - rates restraint, a fairer funding of infrastructural projects, an emphasis upon family-friendly policies, ensuring better communication between council and community, improving our recreational amenities and enhancing our environment.

 

Nigel McKinlay
Nigel McKinlay
NIGEL MCKINLAY

Council: Central Otago District Council.

Ward: Cromwell.

Age: 72.

Occupation: Vintner.

Question 1: Progress is good. It means growth, jobs and economic security. But it has to be controlled.

We need to make sure the district plan, now under review, has strong rules to protect our natural and man-made environment.

By upholding our district's "World of Difference" values and using council's strong sustainability strategy as a benchmark, we can progress while protecting our world for future generations.

Question 2: My goals are: To not let Cromwell's master plan sit on the shelf. We need robust costings, priorities, and action. Getting these through council is critical. Implementing council's sustainability strategy.

Measuring and reducing our carbon footprint, dealing better with recycling waste. Low rate rises.

Council's priorities are to finish the big infrastructure projects on time and on budget.

To take Cromwell's master plan and extend it so that the whole district has an integrated master plan.

 

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