I would love to be given the opportunity to be YOUR VOICE on Council. This is the second time I have stood for Council, the first being in 2004. I am passionately interested in local body politics, attending Council meetings frequently over the past three years. If elected, my focus will be on: keeping rates affordable, preserving the unique character of the town, encouraging locally owned businesses, ensuring transparency in Council decision making and avoiding overspending on major projects. I was born and educated in Timaru. I am a registered general nurse and a qualified financial planner with fifteen years experience in banking and risk management fields. Currently employed as a workplace health and safety consultant. I believe that we can make Timaru the very best place in NZ to reside in and to visit and with YOUR VOTE I'll strive to make that happen.
Top 5 Issues
- There needs to be transparency in the decision making processes of Council - the sale of the Perth Street property adjacent to the Museum and purchase of the Thompson's Refrigeration building to replace the demolished Woman's Community Centre was carried out without public discussion or notification.
- Keeping rates affordable - Timaru has a high percentage of residents aged 65 and over and on fixed incomes. Over the past three years Council has spent excessive amounts on consultantcy fees. We need to avoid overspending on major projects. The budget for the Caroline Bay Aquatic Centre should have been kept within 15 million.
- Preserving the unique character of the town - as well as being a sea side town Timaru has some wonderful Edwardian and Victorian architecture. The Council should never have allowed the large, concrete, orange commercial development in a previously leafy green part of the Central Business District and close to heritage buildings.
- Councils need to stick to core business - 75% of voters were against a cafe and gymnasium being included in the new pool complex as these facilities are being provided by local businesses and landlords.
- Sky rocketing rates for businesses - one heavy industrial site at Redruth has has a rate rise of over 258% from 2006 to 2009 $3,300 to $8,500. A light industrial site at Washdyke has had a rate rise of over 470% for the same period $5,200 to $24,600. This is anti business and very stressful for business people in these hard financial times.
Qualifications: NZRN; Post Graduate Diploma of Nursing (SANS) Graduate Diploma of Business Studies ( Massey) with an endorsement in Financial Planning. I have always lived and worked in Timaru and have been involved in a number of community groups. In the past three years I have been more involved in local body politics and was a co-convenor and spokesperson for the Evans Street Action Group which consisted of residents of Evans Street and adjoining streets who were opposed to the widening and four laning of the street. Our concerns related to the destruction of the character of the area of town close to Caroline Bay and the new pool complex and where the majority of tourist accommodation is sited. Safety of children, cyclists and the elderly using mobility scooters were also concerns.
I would like Council to make it easier for local people to start up small enterprises that would make Timaru more attractive for visitors. I feel that restrictions in allowing food stalls etc on Caroline Bay should be lifted. Cycling is becoming very popular, but very dangerous on our roads. I would like to see this mode of transport encouraged by providing safe lanes and tracks.
I believe that Council should make it easier for businesses requiring resource management consents and would like to see a liason person appointed who has hands on experience in the business world, to assist them in cutting through Council red tape.
Air quality is an ongoing concern in Timaru we have just experienced our worst winter yet with 47 high pollution nights being recorded up to August 18 this year. While typography and climate are contributing factors Council needs to look at all aspects of this problem as it is hazardous to health.
A report by Bronwyn Beavon (High Country Herald August 25) promotes the idea of reintroducing fluoride into Timaru’s water supply. Our water was fluoridated for twelve years until it was removed in 1985. I really cannot believe that we are even discussing this possibility in 2010. Fluoride is a potentially toxic chemical and the difference between safe and toxic levels is small even for healthy adults.
Concern has recently been expressed about its safety for formula fed babies when the formula is made up with fluoridated water. I am personally against the idea of mass medication of any kind. People should not be forced to drink water treated with fluoride when dental benefits can be achieved through topical application and other means.
Authorised by Denise Fitzgerald of 52 Evans Street, Timaru 7910
Questions answered by Denise Fitzgerald
Denise Fitzgerald's Reply
Awaiting response Over the past three yeard I have attended the monthly Council Meetings on at least twelve occasions.
I presume the question on aquatic spending relates to the planned Caroline Bay Aquatic Centre. If elected I would support a review of the plan as I feel that it should have been kept within the budgeted 15 million and not the proposed 23.5 million. Extras such as a gymnasium, creche and cafe are not required.check out other candidate's answers
Results - Final
- Steve Earnshaw
- Damon Odey
- Terry Kennedy
- Jane Coughlan
- Jo Taylor
- Tracy Tierney
- Hamish Fraser
- Shane Bray
- John Bradley
- Peter Binns
- Ray Bennett
- Murray Cleverley
- Dave Jack
- Warren Barker
- Greg Reid
- Denise Fitzgerald
- Andrew McMillan
- Anthony Brien
- Roger Holding