Questions for Waitaki District mayoral candidates

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

1   Waitaki’s population is predicted to increase by 8% over the next 25 years. What does the council need to do to keep up with the demands of a growing population?

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

Katrina Hazelhurst
Katrina Hazelhurst

KATRINA HAZELHURST

Council: Waitaki District Council.

Age: 54.

Occupation: Home renovator.

Question 1:

Maintaining and upgrading infrastructure is a priority. As a region dependent on tourism and agriculture for income, we need resilient roads and transportation networks to cope with increased future use, while also promoting economic development. Residential development in rural areas must be well planned, of high quality, and with local support. We need to support our hospital and health services to serve our ageing population and the broader community.

Question 2:

My primary goals and priorities for Waitaki District Council are first, greater focus on social responsibility and support for those who are struggling; transparency, integrity, and meaningful engagement so that residents can contribute to council discussions with confidence that their input is valued; renewed focus on essential services; a better experience for the public when they access Council services.

 

Gary Kircher
Gary Kircher

GARY KIRCHER

Council: Waitaki District Council.

Age: 55.

Occupation: Mayor.

Question 1:

Since 2001 when I became a councillor, population predictions have been consistently low. We can grow more, and I'll continue doing what I can as mayor to help that growth, particularly into areas that need it. We have the infrastructure and are building more. Population isn't everything, but it helps us afford the things we need and to keep services. Waitaki is going well, and I want to play my part to keep it that way.

Question 2:

I want to keep moving Waitaki forward. That was my promise six years ago, and I believe in that more than ever. We must deal with issues such as waste, roading, and health services, and grab opportunities that present themselves. That's my record, and that's my goal. Priorities include progressing projects such as Oamaru Harbour, Coastal cycle trail, indoor sports centre, Omarama and Otematata developments, and the Geopark - an opportunity for the whole Waitaki.

 

PAUL MUTCH

No response received by publication deadline.

 

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