Business experience main qualification

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. To help voters make informed decisions in the 2019 elections, we ask candidates who they are, what they stand for and how they would handle the big issues facing their district. Hamish MacLean puts the questions to the Waitaki District mayoral candidates.

Paul Mutch
Paul Mutch

Paul Mutch

Age: 68.
Occupation: Retired farmer and businessman.
Council experience: I have worked for 25 years on the committee of council spring festival project, in particular rhododendron festival for DCC. Sydney
Marrickville Horticultural Festival in the ’90s. Experience with promotions and cultures.
Describe yourself in three words: Facilitator, enabling progress.

What makes you the best person to lead the Waitaki District Council for the next three years?

I have a depth of business experience, which has brought me to work with councils, resource consents, building consents, all those processes. I have been in business and a director of marketing for accommodation, a venture that I also owned, and you need to be working at that to know how to get results. I have worked as a volunteer for gardening groups, for rural groups, A&P society, developing field days, which is where we want to encourage community to support industry and industry to support community. So, we create that interdependent, mutually supportive climate.

What is the greatest asset of the Waitaki district?

People and place.

What is the greatest challenge facing the district and how do you propose we overcome it?

Communication between council and community. We need to overcome that to facilitate progress. Joining together our rural and outlying communities with the township people.

What would be your top priorities for the next term of the council?

Facilitating communication between council and its citizens and businesspeople - that's the top one - and I think that will enable us to look at social policy, housing. So, low-energy, warm housing for across the board to help with health, a sense of identity. That is a driver for industry. There is a lot of downstream business generated from building. And I think that's a very good start. We've also got to look at our rubbish and recycling - and we've got a clean slate. We can start with - do the research to get the best selections.

What promise are you able to make Waitaki residents today that you will keep if you are elected as mayor?

I will promise that I will work on the facilitation of communication. I will also work on the process of infrastructure, cutting our costs there and supplying a better result. And I have sufficient experience to know where the conundrums and dilemmas lie that confound that part of the process.

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