Candidate Profile Statement
I am seeking re-election after three years as a councillor, so that I can further improve our financial governance.
I continue to see the key issue for the city as getting value-for-money from Council expenditure, while working to achieve a growing, vibrant city.
I have lived with my wife at Aokautere for over 9 years, and in Palmerston North since 1969. My adult children live elsewhere in the city.
I am a Fellow of the NZ Institute of Chartered Accountants, and have a Diploma in Sheepfarming and Masterate in Economics. I keep fit with long-distance running – 2 marathons in 2010 – and have the time and energy to devote myself to my community.
Some areas where better decisions are required are financial responsibility, city planning, and ‘both-ways’ communication with residents.
I ask voters to re-elect me to continue my work for the whole city, with special attention to the Ashhurst-Fitzherbert ward.
Top 5 Issues
- The City is presently developing an urban growth strategy, including the planning for future residential growth areas. Council resolved to have protection of floodplains and highly productive soils as one of its top priorities. My aim is to keep this goal in place through the 2010 to 2013 term.
- Palmerston North City, Manawatu District, and Horizons Regional Council have recently received a report on a Strategic Transport Study covering the next 30 years. Included in this are the next bridge over the Manawatu River, a rural ring road around the City, and the re-definition of SH3 between Sanson and the Manawatu Gorge. I want to help to get the most sensible outcomes possible from this Study.
- The City has been “buying the groceries on its credit card” for several of the last ten years, and debt had increased by $150m in those years without plans for repaying any of it. The Council was persuaded in this past term to change that behaviour – and a start has been made to manage the whole borrowing/repayment process. This process needs to become routine without cramping spending on the real needs of the City.
- With organisations such as the NZ Transport Agency and the Regional Land Transport Committee planning for the “peak oil” scenario, Palmerston North should also include this possibility in its planning. One factor in this matter is the further extension of the urban bus service so that private car traffic becomes less necessary. This might be a more frequent service, or no fare payable by passengers, or additional routes, or a combination of these and other ideas. Another priority is to increase cyclist and pedestrian safety.
- Palmerston North and Manawatu District have endured many complications along the common boundary on the north-west side of the city. A joint study has recommended amalgamation of the two authorities or a major boundary change. The two incoming Councils must further develop and maintain the necessary momentum to get this matter concluded so that it need not be re-visited in the next 30 years.
I have lived at Aokautere for over 9 years and in Palmerston North since 1969.
I run marathons, and my two times this year (Rotorua and Wellington) continue to have me world class in my age group.
I am a Chartered Accountant and have the financial skills to deal readily with the City’s money issues. I helped redesign, and have taught, a Local Government NZ Financial Governance course to Councillors in four NZ cities during 2009-10.
I have worked in the commerce, farming and education sectors for over 45 years, and now have three year’s experience as a City Councillor.
I have been Treasurer or Auditor for many local clubs and charities.
I have been involved with the disability sector in the city for over 30 years.
I have honoured a 2007 election campaign promise by conducting “clinic” sessions on a no-appointment basis in Ashhurst and Linton during this term of Council, and will continue to do this if I am re-elected.
Authorised by Bruce Wilson of 276 Aokautere Drive, Palmerston North