At 39, I have a younger perspective, but having been born and bred in Blenheim, I'm very much a local. My ancestry in the top of the south dates to 1842 when my great-great-great grandfather arrived in Nelson. Public service runs in the family, with my great grandfather, Sir Ernest Andrews, serving as mayor of Christchurch during WWII.
I respect tradition, but support positive change. Interest in languages and cultures led to meeting my Brazilian wife Rosimeire in Europe. We are part of the founding team behind the Marlborough Migrant Centre which helps newcomers integrate into the community.
I showcase Marlborough at my own expense with www.marlboroughonline.co.nz
I will promote our heritage, but support opportunities to enhance Marlborough's lifestyle.
I run an IT consultancy business which gives me insight into the diversity of local business. I believe sustainable local business and affordable services are the key to a vibrant community.
Top 5 Issues
- Participation in the democratic process. Participation in local body issues traditionally seems to involve only a fairly low proportion of voters. Having been an early adopter of internet technologies both socially and professionally, I'd like to reach out to the younger, connected generation and keep them informed and encourage them to participate in democracy.
- Economic diversification. Marlborough already has several key industries, however the wine industry has a very large impact on local employment. Marlborough produces great wine, but having such a heavy dependency on this industry leaves the region vulnerable. Marlborough's climate, central location, and lifestyle need to be better exploited to develop a robust and diverse local economy.
- Efficiency of council services. Most people are unlikely to want to see a cut in services, but then no one wants increases in rates either. Consents can be slow and expensive too, and although due process must occur, it's important to look and see if there are ways things could be done better. Both the public and council staff need to be engaged and feel they are stakeholders in any process of review. Council needs a participatory culture where if the 'cleaning lady' has a good idea that can make things run more efficiently, that idea gets heard and acted upon.
- Water. Council spends a large proportion of rates on water supply, treatment and disposal. Water resources are already fully allocated limiting growth of various activities.
A combined approach of encouraging water conservation and promoting regional activities that require lower water usage is urgently needed to ensure sustainable development, and also keep rates at affordable levels.
- Effects of ETS. The Emissions Trading Scheme has the potential to impose significant costs on the Marlborough region, however with some careful planning and leadership, it may be possible to exploit this to the region's advantage. With good prospects for forestry, solar, wind and tidal power, Marlborough should investigate whether it can aim towards becoming a 'carbon neutral' region. While opinions may be divided on the science, there is no doubt there will be political and economic benefits to being able to show the lead in what seems to have become a global political issue - as long as being in the game can be done at an affordable cost.
I grew up in Blenheim hating the place, and looking forward to the day I'd be grown up enough to leave and head for the bright city lights. I did leave for three years to attend university, but as fate would have it, health issues forced me to return to Marlborough, and since that time I've seen a great transformation take place in Marlborough. Some changes I haven't been so enthusiastic about, but generally I've seen what was a sleepy little rural region come alive.
After initially spending some time unemployed, I got fed up with not being able to find work and decided to create it myself. I've had some ups and downs, made some mistakes, and had some successes over the years, but I'm still around, while I've seen a lot of businesses come and go nationally and even internationally in the IT industry. I've been from the low of literally surviving on little more than a bowl of rice a day, and getting up at 3.30am to clean a supermarket then carry on and do my day job when the business I was involved with ran into a cashflow crisis. At the other end of the scale there have been good times when I've earned in a day more than what many people would earn in a week. My key philosophies are stickability and economy. I believe if you have an idea and truly believe in it, no matter how crazy it sounds, you need to stick at it no matter how much other people, and sometimes you doubt yourself. On the other hand, you've got to learn to work with what you have on hand. If you need to dig a hole and you can't afford a spade, then use a trowel if that's all you've got, but make sure you really need to dig the hole in the first place, and that there's not some alternative.
My role as an IT professional means that I get to meet a wide cross sections of society, and get to learn about what local businesses are doing.
I've participated in various things locally over the years. I've been involved in a couple of what were then Operatic productions, playing in the orchestra. Although I don't often have time to attend events, or contribute art works, I'm paid up as a member of the Marlborough Arts Society, and really appreciate the outstanding work so many locals are achieving. I've also enjoyed participating at various times in the local salsa dance classes organised by Annies.
I've been a volunteer ESOL Home Tutor, and served on the committee of the Marlborough Branch of ESOL Home Tutors. Currently I'm a member of the committee for the Marlborough Multicultural Group, and serve on the management committee for the Marlborough Migrant Centre. Apart from seeing the Marlborough Migrant Centre established, a highlight has been participating in the organising the inaugural Marlborough Multicultural Festival.
I'm a bit of a religious mongrel, having grown up with experience of a number of local churches, but church in some shape or form has always been part of my life. I've experienced some really positive influences on my life from people of many different Christian denominations, so for me what is important is the practical expression of someone's faith.
I've always had a strong interest in language and culture, and as a result of this, a few years ago I took advantage of an opportunity to learn Portuguese, which ultimately led me to meet my Brazilian wife Rosimeire on the other side of the world in Portugal. In addition to Portuguese I speak a little Spanish, and can read it fairly fluently. As a result of my language skills, contacts and travel overseas, I've taken the opportunity to observe how other places do things. I'm pleased to say in many respects Marlborough should be really proud of itself, but there are other areas where there's definitely some room for improvement.
The state of the local Marlborough economy isn't great at the moment, and having read how my wife's state capital Curitiba has won the Globe Sustainable City Award for the second time in 2010, it would have been easy to jump on a plane and head off to enjoy the South American sunshine until the global recession clouds pass by, except that I don't give up that easily.
Being in the limelight isn't really my style, but I know I can sit around a table and have ideas as good as anyone. I'm standing for council because I know I can work with a diverse range of people, and know how to solve sometimes complicated problems. I do this for a living anyway, but as a councillor I can use my skills for the benefit of the wider community.
Authorised by Christopher Cookson of 4 Safe Street, Blenheim
Results - Final
- Jamie Arbuckle
- David Dew
- Jenny Andrews
- Terry Sloan
- Jessica Bagge
- John Leggett
- Graeme Taylor
- John Brooks
- Tom Harrison
- Gerald Hope
- Liz Davidson
- Sue Duckworth
- Warwick Brice
- Graham Lindsay
- Andy Wrighton
- Ted Laws
- Chris Cookson
- Owen Perry