As owner of Poppies bookstore I am privileged to be part of a caring community where respect, fairness and inclusiveness are valued. I want to enable Feilding’s business heart to beat vibrantly and grow as a centre for the Manawatu.
Living at Awahuri on our olive groves for the past 14 years, I love the taste of rural life. We produce our own olive oil which I sold originally at the Farmer’s Market.
As part of Feilding Promotions Executive I am more convinced than ever that putting one’s heart and soul into promoting Feilding is worth it. I want to be part of celebrating all that Feilding has achieved and building all that it could become.
Our community’s greatest asset is our children and I’m keen to promote the best leadership we can provide for them to become responsible citizens. Most of my life has been spent in leadership roles at regional, national and international levels in bringing about education reforms.
My husband Brian is an environmental engineer and we are committed to creating a sustainable environment for future generations.
I believe I am a woman of vision with the drive to make it happen.
Top 5 Issues
- Business Development and growth in Feilding
I want to be an effective voice promoting the development of the central business district as an attractive place to visit and do business. We need to encourage growth in our business sector so that it can create employment opportunties and attract more innovative people to our district. Projects like Manfield Park, Project Aorangi, Leisureville Sanson Facility Development are key to our growth. Being on Feilding Promotions Executive has convinced me that we have the initiative and drive to ignite and fuel these and other ideas. I’ve got a pet project - I’d like to see some impressive signage on our four entrances that creates a sense of anticipation and welcome as people drive into Feilding.
- Building relationships within our community and across our district
The secrets of Feilding being a thriving and friendly community are not all about financial success. Engaging people in community projects where we are conscious of really making this a better place for our neighbours is what has created many of our unique features, landmarks and activities of which we can be so proud. The clock tower, the Edwardian precinct, the sculptures, the Makino Aquatic Centre, the Library, the Coach house Museum, the Art Gallery, Manchester House, Manfeild, the Farmer’s Market – and more! I want to encourage greater active engagement by our citizens right across our district. More than ever we need to pull together to overcome tough economic times; we can demonstrate resilience and resourcefulness when we engage in dialogue across sectors and disciplines.
- Youth Leadership & Education
I want to encourage young adults to have a greater say and influence on the community's social and economic development. I want to promote quality leadership for our children and young people so that they can play their part as responsible citizens. I want to encourage their knowledge of community affairs and how we can promote their voice in terms of social and economic development. Participation is the way and I am delighted to see the Youth Forum and Young Achiever’s initiatives gaining more support. Education is the key to any pathway that will restore mana to people who are unemployed and enable them to transition into worthwhile employment. We need to engage people from different walks of life to collaborate on innovative ways in which we can reduce unemployment,violence, binge drinking and hardship in our communities. Caring communities are safer communities.
- Development of the wider Manawatu District
I hope to support initiatives and engage in debates on issues affecting our region such as:
•Ensuring fairer and equitable rates across the rural, commercial and residential sectors
•Investing in and maintaining infrastructure within an affordable rating regime
•Supporting joint ventures with Palmerston North city that drive the economic growth of the region such as Manfeild Park, Sanson Facility Development and the proposed boundary changes
•Promoting ways that sustain our environment in our wetlands, parks and reserves and coastal communities.
- Towards a sustainable environment
We have some significant resource management issues facing the district such as urban growth, rural subdivision, flood hazard areas, infrastructure, historic heritage, iwi and resource management etc. We need to educate ourselves on the impacts of climate change. We need to see that standards and levels of service are reviewed in the light of climate change impacts. We cannot ignore this and I am very keen to see that our natural heritage areas and our biodiversity is protected and maintained. We simply cannot stand still and argue as to whether the impacts are man-made or not – the facts are too conclusive that sea level is rising and whether we like it or not the impacts are serious and wide reaching. We owe it to our future generations that our environment is sustainable throughout their lifetimes.
For the past four years I have been involved in retailing as owner of Poppies Bookstore in Feilding. This has given me an insight into developing relationships in a thriving community where it is a privilege to serve and do business. Last month we won 'Bookseller of the Year" for the north island which was a great honour for me and my staff especially given our short time in the business scene. I opened a second Poppies bookstore in Wanganui a year after starting in Feilding also in an historic building which adds to the character and ambience of this boutique experience.
My life has been in education and running a bookstore is a delightful way to continue one's passion for learning and engaging with people of all ages. Previously I was an education consultant in the Middle East in Qatar in education reform. My teaching career was over 35 years and in particular I headed the Music Department at Freyberg High School in the 90's. Professionalism in teaching became my concern and I became an advisor to secondary schools and later as secondary advisor in the teacher registration board which became the New Zealand Teachers Council and I became their first Director.
I am married to Brian who is an environmental engineer with MWH and we have a number of olive groves on our property at Awahuri where we have lived for the past 14 years and where we produce our own varieties of olive oil which we sell in Poppies. Between us we have my son, Mark Ranby, daughter Philippa Ranby and Paul Doughty in Christchurch, and Brian's three sons Andrew in Auckland, Mark and Judith in Melbourne and Simon in London plus we have three delightful grandchildren, Sam & Meg Doughty in Christchurch and Zach in Melbourne.
Authorised by Margaret Kouvelis of 5 Goodbehere Street, Feilding
Questions answered by Margaret Kouvelis
Margaret Kouvelis's Reply
I would like us to get recycling bins in Feilding as soon as possible. Manawatu District Council says it is investigating a 240 litre mobile recycling bin service to replace the current kerbside recycling collection. I would want to add my voice to pursuing that investigation. Cost will be a factor but if we want to reduce the amount of waste going to landfills and become more active in recycling then this is a good place to demonstrate that now. I think Christchuch with the two bins at accessible heights and weights for elderly people to manoervre are ideal and probably the rolls royce model. But we could start with the open bins that Kapiti District Council uses which are very effective and quite user friendly. Anything would be better than the weekly motley collection of bags and piles of paper that line our streets.check out other candidate's answers
Results - Final
- Matt Bell
- Steve Gibson
- Barbara Cameron
- Margaret Kouvelis
- Tony Jensen
- Shelley Thomas
- Bryan Cresswell
- Kester Olivecrona
- Joyce Bailey
- Klayne Leitch
- Russell Parker
- Mark Waterson