Questions for Southland District Council candidates

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

1   What is the main task facing the council in the next three years?

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

BRIAN DILLON

No response received by publication deadline.

JOHN DOUGLAS

No response received by publication deadline.

 

Ebel Kremer
Ebel Kremer

EBEL KREMER

Ward: Mararoa Waimea.

Age: 62.

Occupation: Self-employed.

Question 1:

One of the main challenges facing council is working alongside our communities while managing the speed of change.

How council best manages central government policies and legislation changes affecting our diverse communities recognising various business sectors, all ages, diverse cultures and residents who have

been here for generations.

Managing our ageing infrastructure is vital to Southland's economic future, our residents and Southland's increased tourist and visitor numbers.

Question 2:

The new community board structure is implemented effectively to allow for greater local community governance.

Enhance our communities, by ensuring council's policies reflect a cultural of enabling business and economic growth, while supporting communities' wellbeing.

Continually focus on achieving the best social and financial results for our ratepayers. Ensuring council applies strategic planning and best business practice in delivering council's long-term plan.

Working with our communities in how we manage our ageing infrastructure and new water regulations. In addition, planning for environmental and climate changes.

 

ROB SCOTT

No response received by publication deadline.

 

Darren Frazer
Darren Frazer

DARREN FRAZER

Ward: Oreti.

Age: 46.

Occupation: Volunteer co-ordinator (Red Cross).

Question 1:

We must continue to improve our asset management, ensuring our assets are fit for purpose and in good condition. We need to build stronger communities that work together, support each other and make Southland a better place to live, work and play. We need to listen to and support our communities. And we need to improve our environmental footprint so we leave a better Southland for further generations without crippling our farmers.

Question 2:

My goal is simple: I want Southland to be better for my children and their children. I want to ensure that like so many who have gone before I leave a legacy that will benefit others in the future.

 

MARGOT HISHON

No response received by publication deadline.

NATASHA MANGELS

No response received by publication deadline.

 

Christine Menzies
Christine Menzies

CHRISTINE MENZIES

Ward: Oreti.

Age: 63.

Occupation: Facilitator.

Question 1:

With a small ratepayer base, council will need to plan for and prioritise the replacement of the large amount of aged infrastructure and set sufficient monies aside to manage the infrastructure that is coming to the end of its useful life quicker than expected, because of growth in tourism and other factors, including new standards. These and other challenges will need to be discussed with our community, seeking feedback on the right direction and priorities.

Question 2:

My goals are being solution-focused, fair and honest in my approach, seeking relevant information so I can make informed decisions on behalf of ratepayers. Other priorities for council are potential changes that will result from government regulations on water, environmental changes that may also be led by legislation, the impact of tourism in the region, encouraging economic growth, which is heavily reliant on the success of our farming industry and supported by local business.

 

Neil Paterson
Neil Paterson

NEIL PATERSON

Ward: Oreti.

Age: 71.

Occupation: Semi-retired.

Question 1:

The Southland District Council must continue to maintain the infrastructure in our numerous small towns. This must be done in a calculated way to ensure that our ratepayer money is put in the right places. Infrastructure is our core business and we should never lose the fact that there are no easy solutions to complex problems. Healthy debate will continue to ensure that this is carried out.

Question 2:

To be part of a team to deal with the current issues both locally and those handed down from Central Government. A council must have a good rapport between staff and councillors, as governance can only make decisions on the information provided. Decisions made today must also be mindful of the people of tomorrow. One of my goals is to strive for better internet reception in rural areas.

 

Margie Ruddenklau
Margie Ruddenklau

MARGIE RUDDENKLAU

Ward: Oreti.

Age: 52.

Occupation: Farmer.

Question 1:

We need to be planning long-term for Southland's key assets, including bringing our roading and bridging network to high standards. This will ensure that Southland communities have vital links now and for future generations.

Question 2:

My goal is to ensure that Southland thrives, and the only way this is possible is if residents have the opportunity to speak up. I want to hear about concerns the people have so I can address them. I am an advocate for core infrastructure to be maintained to high standards, while also keeping the social, economic, health, and environmental wellbeing of Southland communities to the forefront.

BRUCE FORD

No response received by publication deadline.

RAKIURA HERZHOFF

No response received by publication deadline.

JON SPRAGGON

No response received by publication deadline.

 

George Harpur
George Harpur

GEORGE HARPUR

Ward: Waiau Aparima.

Age: 77.

Occupation: Retired (part-time councillor).

Question 1:

The issues facing our council are roading (bridges being a priority). The conservative approach and a lack of constant upgrades united with a increased loading factor for our network has left us with much work to do to provide an essential service to our rural communities. Housing for our elderly, the supplying of facilities for our tourists are among other priorities.

Question 2:

My goals are to increase maintenance regards to our essential infrastructure, provide housing for our elderly thus freeing up their three bedroomed house for working families and generally supporting tourist services, assist with business funding and facilities in order to supply and create future opportunities for our generations to come. Making Wellington realise that there is life below Christchurch may be another issue.

RON HIBBS

No response received by publication deadline.

 

Michael Marron
Michael Marron

MICHAEL MARRON

Ward: Waiau Aparima.

Age: 52.

Occupation: Self-employed.

Question 1:

Southland's priority is ageing assets. Our roads, bridges and other infrastructure is approaching the end of its life. Roads cost $25 million annually. This will increase over the next 10 years to include bridge repairs. Towns' sewerage and water systems will need to be upgraded or replaced in the next 10 years. Currently, our rates increases exceed inflation and alternative funding methods will need to be explored. Council needs equity of services across the district.

Question 2:

My objective for my first term is to communicate the issues council face to the community and ensure their views are heard. I will strengthen my relationships with members of council I know and forge new relationships with new members. The earthquake-prone building regulations is another nail in the coffin of our established rural communities. Council will also have upgrade reticulated water supplies to meet the requirements of the 3 Waters review.

 

Karyn Owen
Karyn Owen

KARYN OWEN

Ward: Waiau Aparima.

Age: 39.

Occupation: Museum operations manager.

Question 1:

Empowering our communities to have a voice in council decisions is the main task facing council. Many people feel disempowered by local politics. More diversity among councillors is the first hurdle to address this. Next is improved communication with the public, who are often time poor, so they know what is happening. Then we need to find new ways that enable the public to influence council planning beyond traditional methods of time consuming submission processes.

Question 2:

My goals are to push council to provide more open, transparent information on how our rates are spent. I intend to provide communication with the public about councillors' decisions, so they don't have to come to meetings or interpret screeds of council motions in minutes to find out what's happened. I want council to find innovative ways to encourage busy and under represented community members to have a voice around the council table.

NICK PERHAM

No response received by publication deadline.

PAUL DUFFY

No response received by publication deadline.

 

Julie Keast
Julie Keast

JULIE KEAST

Ward: Waihopai Toetoe.

Age: 59.

Occupation: Self-employed.

Question 1:

Meeting the National Standards for Water as outlined in recent announcements as well as maintaining the current infrastructure and services. The ageing bridge network across Southland is a major issue and a way forward must be agreed. The production of the Long-term Plan 2021-31 will provide ratepayers and residents the detail of the extent of the work required and the associated costs.

Question 2:

My goals are to ensure the district-wide community boards are effective in supporting local decisions and plans in our communities and providing an excellent two-way communication channel with council. I will be championing for an arts, culture and heritage strategy to be developed and adopted by council to support these key elements of a great community.

 

Amanda Nally
Amanda Nally

AMANDA NALLY

Ward: Waihopai-Toetoe.

Age: 53.

Occupation: Writer.

Question 1:

As our communities age it is more important than ever to keep people together. By making Southland a great place to live, work, play, raise families and retire, we enhance everyone's quality of life. Rural councils need to do things that provide equal opportunities and access to services so people can stay in the places they love through all ages and stages of their lives.

Question 2:

I'm a long-time Southland District Council elector - zero-time voter. By standing in the Waihopai-Toetoe ward we all get a vote this year. Of course, I'll be voting for me and if successful I'll do my best to represent our district. But really what I want is for our votes to be counted so we get the best representation for our district.

 

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