Currently a sitting member of Council, I live in Waipapa with my husband Warren who is a builder and our two children Bryce (13), Alenka (10).
A radio operator by trade, I worked in coastal marine radio promoting communications and safety of life at sea including a stint in the Chatham Islands, during this time I completed my WEA in Psychology.
I have been on numerous committees from Playcentre through to Chairperson of the Business Association, as well as a volunteer driver for the St John's ambulance service.
With the Eastern seaboard continuing to experience high levels of growth we need sustained infrastructural development programmes and investments in our communities to deliver on community aspirations. Alongside this lies the delivery of the Structure Plan to ensure our town planning has strong foundations to deliver the type of community we can all be proud of and feel a sense of belong.
Top 5 Issues
- What comes first 'Growth' or the infrastructure to support it. Here in the Far North we have a very real and immediate need for significant investement in sewerage, water, roading and stormwater. However we dont yet have the numbers in the rating base to be able to afford what are becoming increasingly expensive investments in infrastructural development.
- Relating to election issue 1 is the level of subsidy the Far North District Council receives from the Government to assist residents and ratepayers pay for and develop this infrastructure. We need to proactively inform and work with both the Ministers of the Crown and the policy makers in central Wellington to ensure we put forward a 'whole picture' debate for the economic wellbeing of Northland
- The Government Policy Statement on the allocation of subsidy funding for road improvements has signficantly disadvantage rural and provincial New Zealand. The current policy does not provide for investment in road improvements outside of the main urban centres such as Auckland, Wellington and Tauranga. We need to present an economic proposal to the Crown based on the needs to reform the GPS and allow for economic initiatives into the rural sector.
- Sports, recreation and access to the coast. I have found investment by Councils into the physical well being of the residents and ratepayers to be amongst the best band for our bucks we can invest in. To see over 1500 kids playing sport at our new complex on a Saturday morning is and incredible experience. We need to invest more on access to parks, reserves, sports grounds, coastal and marine environments, forests and wetlands for all recreational users, needs and abilities.
- The Kerikeri and Waipapa Structure Plan.. This document has been many years in the formulation and drafting - we are now very close to releasing this document for public submissions. Town planning is the most important role Councils can play in ensuring development is sustainable, environmentally sensitive and creates a health, happy and user friendly environment. We need this tool to encourage appropriate development in an aesthecially pleasing manor to enhance Northland as both a visitor destination and lifestyle choice for residents and migrants. We want our towns to be beautiful and not Te-raparized. We have to align this document to our District Plan.
Married to Warren my soul mate and partner in crime we live in rural Waipapa on a lifestyle block with two children, 9 sheep and the neighbours flock of doves! My eldest boy Keegan who is 20 flats in Kerikeri . My first born turns 21 before the election and has told me he wants to jump out of a plane for his birthday - given that he came out running and answering back he is well placed to jump out of a perfectly good airplane and scream for the entire decent. So I will be there on the day yahooing and taking photos flat out with both of my feet planted firmly on the ground. The loss of my first born to flatting fraternity was great on so many levels, the grocery bill plummeted overnight but is still equivalent to the National Debt. The youngest two got reshuffled into new bedrooms and I am now safely ensconced upstairs with a magnificent view over the forest so when I'm supposed to be working I am secretly plotting the demise of the 25 Doves now roosting in my Cherry tree pooping all over my spa pool and furniture.
Our youngest boy Bryce is 13 turning 14 on election day. So it will be a celebration of one sort or the other! He is at that joyful stage of his development whereby he has lost the art of the English language we spent the last decade installing. It has degenerated into a series of grunts and snorts which are usually directed at his sister. He is not safe near valuable china or precious objects and his bedroom is some sort of testament to neanderthal mans hunting ability. It is no longer safe to enter and nor should one take ones life in ones hands by trying.
Followed up no less by his sister Alenka aged 10. The only girl child and being our last will unfortunately for her always be labelled Daddy's baby. She has taken up netball this season which requires hours of driving to netball tournaments where I stand freezing on the side lines with all the other mums yahooing and cheering every goal whilst our hands are securely wrapped around a lukewarm take out latte. There is a noticeable absence of dad's from soccer and netball practice and a taxi licence along with practical 4WD's become a prerequisite when you are a mum. I wouldn't have it any other way and the best friends I have ever made have come from the activities I have been introduced to along the journey of mother hood. Alenka tells me she is never leaving home and wants to work at McDonalds when she grows up. I can live with the first one - I might have to work on the second one.
The Hubby. Hes a keeper - the kind you don't often find. I was married once before to Keegans dad. He wasn't a keeper. But Warren is a real gentle soul. He works every hour there is and truth be told as builders go is pretty darned good however don't look to our house as an example. If it every gets finished its only because we are going to sell it and then it will be on to the next unlined drafty old shed. He makes the best breakfast in bed you could ever hope to find even if he has never actually made a bed in his life and apart from a beer with his buddies on a Friday he is a toiler. He is also my confidant, my best friend and soul mate. We have worked together for 16 years now and as a builders labourer and being the smaller of the two I get all the really plum jobs - you know the kind - getting in the crawl space with the rats and spiders, cleaning up the tools and floating off the concrete. Its been hard work and my body reminds every single morning.. I really do need to find more work to do in the office - the one with the heater and slippers..
This is my second attempt at this personal page. I spent hours on the first one perfecting every line and then when I went to use the spell checker all hell broke loose. Kerikeri doesn't exist as a word and when I asked the spell checker to ignore all it had a complete haemorrhage and ignored all of my work. Hence here I sit drafting it all again complete with typos - I am a fast learner - not with computers but with spell checkers - best ignore them.
About me - Why am I putting my name forward. I have had a few goes at this serving two terms on the Community Board and two on Council. I love what I do and that is what makes the difference. I used to be a radio operator working on ship to shore communication promoting safety of life at sea. I worked at that 24hours a day 7 days a week for 9 years. Technology being what it is the old days of individual radio stations are no longer required. All search and rescue work is now handled in Wellington and communications have improved a million fold on the old days of Morse code. Yes I can still do it (25 words a minute). I enjoyed that job but after restructuring in the industry I was offered redundancy and relocated here to Northland. I threw my hat into the local body scene starting off with 12 years as a foundation Trustee of our locally owned power company 'Top Energy', moving on with chair of our local business association and involvement in one level or another with every activity the children have been involved with over the years.
I have achieved so much to be proud of but not on my own! I have always enjoyed and been lucky to be supported by a great team. My proudest achievements have been our town centre revitalization which took about 6 years and cost millions. The new Bay of Islands sports complex is another awesome community achievement. Paihia is still a work in progress as is Kawakawa - both of these projects have been delayed by the impacts of the recession and reduction in Council revenue. I am still working on the new school at Waipapa unfortunately the recession has again impacted on our permant resident numbers albeit this is hopefully a snapshot in time and not a permanent trend and until the roundabout at Waipapa is complete I know that road is still dangerous and needs follow through.
Working on the RMA and amendments is next on the agenda along with implementation of sewerage and water schemes, and getting that GPS to align to the needs of rural and provincial New Zealand. We are working on both of these - the first step on this journey has been a revised Regional Policy Statement with NRC and the second requires a great deal of politicing with central government to make them step up and acknowledge that Auckland wouldnt exist without the support of the rural sector and therefore investment in the rural sector compliments our major city, we need sustained infrastructural spending to enhance our roading network and allow us to up-grade our sewerage, water and stormwater. Kerikeri is now the largest town in New Zealand without a robust sewerage scheme.
Its raining buckets and my hubby needs me to trowel of some grout at the job so I best hi-tail it up the road. I think if Im lucky there could be a bagel in this for me tomorrow morning in bed...
More later in the campaign
Conflicts of Interest
I can think of any conflicts of interest other than the synergies between Council working at the top of the cliff to promote and enhance healthy and safer communities. I believe that tying a level of interest together will result in better outcomes for the Far North. Everything Council does from building and maintaining roads and public transport through to designing safe towns, parks and playgrounds impacts on our mental and physical well being. Our water supplies, sewerage discharge consents and stormwater all impact on the environment and ultimately our food chain, our play ground and our health. The linkages are significant and vital and need to be enhanced and respected.
Authorised by Ann Court of 71 Onekura road, Waipapa, Kerikeri, 0295
Questions answered by Ann Court
Ann Court's Reply
The District Health Board currently funds a variety of \'alternative medicines\' such as acupunture. The funding from the Crown is not specific as to what is funded soit is up to each individual health board to make some judgement calls. Some traditional medicines are and will continue to be funded but it is on a case by case basis.check out other candidate's answers
Unfortunately as a first time candidate I am not in a position to know what the collective bargaining position is or to what level the debate has engaged with both parties. I am also not in a postion to present any information on RMO\'s or Arrmos\'s as this will be priviledged debate. I did read the article in the NZ Herald whereby the CEO of Northland District Health Board took a very strong position on this which of course only presented one side of the debate.
I am aware through the media that we struggle to retain our skilled medical staff in New Zealand and it would appear that overseas appointments can offer both better pay and working conditions. This clearly needs to be balanced.
Until such time as I have had the opportunity to be involved in the debate I can offer you no fixed outcomes other that I am aware of the issue and consider it to be one of the highest priorties that needs to be addressed.
Sorry I cannot offer you any more informed comment at this time.
Anncheck out other candidate's answers
Results - Final
- Ann Court
- Di Maxwell
- Tom Baker
- Steve McNally
- Stephen Timings
- Dave Hookway
- Nora Tawhi Rameka
- Jill Smith
- Paul Gorringe
- Jerry Twigden
- Rick McCall
- Martin Leiding
- Gray Phillips
Results - Final
- Bill Sanderson
- Pauline Allan-Downs
- John Bain
- Colin Kitchen
- Sally Macauley
- Craig Brown
- Libby Jones
- Ann Court
- Daniel Bolton
- Richard Alspach
- Hiku Cherrington
- Peter Jensen
- Florence Annison
- Kodi Kara
- Joe Carr
- Dave Hookway
- Tom Baker
- Huria Iri
- Don Hedges
- Talia Mana
- Gray Phillips