Strengthening the connection between Council and the community has been a priority for me in my first term as a City Councillor. I’ve developed supportive, ongoing relationships with a wide network of organisations, businesses and individuals throughout the Nelson Park Ward, promoting understanding and co-operation across our diverse communities.
Currently secretary of Napier Grey Power, treasurer of the Maraenui Community Council, secretary of the Napier Rotary Club, a school teacher, and editor of Maraenui’s community newspaper, I actively support those I was elected to represent.
It has been an honour to serve the people of Napier, as part of a team of dedicated Councillors and staff who have worked well together, and kept rate increases low.
I seek your support for a second term.
He aha te mea nui? He tangata, he tangata, he tangata.
What is the most important thing? It is people, it is people, it is people.
Top 5 Issues
- Communication & community
We need to keep our community fully informed about what we are doing to allow transparent decision-making and meaningful consultation.
There are many ways we already do this, using media such as our excellent website and "Proudly Napier." However, many people don't know much about what we do. To better inform the public, we could improve this by:
* utilising the media more frequently, be it HB TV, newspapers and our website. A communications officer could make sure media releases go out regularly rather than depend on the whim of media present (or not) at meetings. This is not "spin"; it is keeping the public fully informed on what Council is doing.
* Inviting the public (including the media) to some of our "seminars" to inform interested ratepayers and make our processes more transparent.
* Connecting with both the business sector and the not-for-profit sector to have regular consultation and discussions on crucial issues like: what we can do to attract tourists here to support and grow local businesses? And how to best keep our city safe?
* ward-based meetings could be used for sharing information, building relationships and having meaningful consultation with the community. Many people do not know what ward they are in as this is new and has not been widely publicised. (Note: There's a link for the ward maps at the top of this page)
We have nothing to hide, much to be proud of, and can only become stronger with increased community awareness and input.
- Community organisations
The Pirimai Residents Association is a fine example of a pro-active group representing a unique part of Napier. They have raised a lot of money for a playground and are currently negotiating for extended green space on the former Pirimai School site. I'd like Council to recognise the special role such groups play in social cohesion and community development, and actively involve them in planning for the future of their suburb.
We need to encourage other such groups: Maraenui and Napier South are other areas in the ward which would benefit from having community-driven organisations who work in partnership with Council to plan their future development.
The ward system is a natural vehicle for such planning, enabling communities to organise themselves and work in partnership with Council. It gives ward councillors a specific area to connect with, be accountable to, and report back to Council on.
- Financial hardship
Many of our citizens are experiencing financial hardship, be they beneficiaries, unemployed and underemployed people, business owners, low-paid workers and pensioners. Napier has a higher rate of unemployment than the national average, and a lower average income. Behind those glittering attractions, cafes and wineries, is an underbelly of hardship and poverty.
The economic downturn has hit tourism, the major driver of our economy, and with it jobs and businesses. Young people are finding it hard to get a job. Older people are beiing made redundant, and businesses closing down.
Council needs to be aware of this in all our deliberations. We must continue to control rates while maintaining our infrastructure, and remain aware that all our funds come from rates and any increases in spending means an increase in rates.
Our job is to serve the people of Napier, and this means caring about them, and in all our deliberations, being aware of how our decisions will affect our fellow citizens.
- Transport related issues
Bus depot. We need to find a solution to the current lack of a proper bus depot. If people think Council should spend ratepayers' money on leasing the former Travel Centre, then let's put it in next year's Annual Plan and test the waters with the ratepayers. There may be potential business partners who could share a bus terminal and provide refreshments and other retail goods.
Cycling. As a commuter cyclist, I'd like to see safe cycle lanes linked around the city. At present lanes are added when there are roading upgrades, but these vanish at most roundabouts and make it dangerous to cycle right into the city. Let's make it easier for people to walk and bike around Napier.
Trucks on the parade - still an unresolved issue which needs to be settled once and for all.
We have much to be thankful for in this beautiful city, and I would like to see Council giving more public recognition for the many citizens who work behind the scenes in supporting the people of Napier.
We increasingly celebrate our rich and diverse cultures - Diwali Festival of Lights has become a wonderful annual event in Napier, and the Chinese Dragon Dancers amazed us with their parade through town. Pacific people are vital to our economy and add value to the rich cultural mix. Our Pukemokimoki urban marae brings us all together. Let's continue to showcase and celebrate cultural diversity.
We need more opportunities for family-friendly fun activities - we've no longer got a Winter Solstice Festival or a Christmas Parade. I support an annual youth festival, and our concerts in the parks. I'm in favour of redeveloping Marineland (within budget constraints), extending the Pirimai reserve, and encouraging safe youth entertainment. Let's find more fun things for local and tourist families to do in Napier.
WHY VOTE FOR ME? Others speak...*
"I have been most impressed with Maxine's efforts on behalf of the residents of the Nelson Park ward, and indeed the whole city, over this last term of the Napier City Council. She has been a most conscientious and hard working councillor, thoroughly involved in the community in numerous ways. I have no hesitation in recommending her for re-election for another term." David Marshall, Past deputy mayor.
“I support Maxine in her re-election to the City Council because she has always supported the Maraenui community… and believes in the good of our community.” Chris Woods, principal, Richmond Primary School
“As principal of William Colenso College I fully endorse Maxine for re-election…she has demonstrated an empathy for the diversity of people that make up our community and a passion for supporting community projects” Daniel Murfitt
“I support Maxine in her re-election…there are few people that genuinely care and actively work hard for their communities and I believe you are one of them. Thank you for all your support and commitment to making our communities a better place” Robert NgShiu
“I support Maxine Boag because she has the best ideas for the future of Napier and its people. Keep up the good work!” Tong Too
"I am impressed by the enthusiasm she shows for anything she puts her hand to, and her diligence in carrying out the tasks which have been allocated her. It is a real pleasure to work with someone who has a totally positive view of life." Laurie Jenkin, President Napier & Districts Grey Power
“The Pirimai Residents’ Association endorses Maxine for re-election as ward councillor. Maxine is always supportive and encourages our efforts and is always ready to lend a hand.” Maree Leatherby, secretary, Pirimai Residents’ Association.
"Maxine is passionate about the community we live in. Her local and international careers have given her the knowledge to make a difference and she would always help people no matter what their circumstances.” Lynne Gibson, Business Director
"I fully support Maxine's re-election to the Napier City Council... for her support and sensitivity to the high needs families of Napier, as well as health and social service providers such as ourselves, who deliver a diverse range of services to families with such complex needs." Audrey Robin, CEO Te Kupenga Hauora Ahuriri.
* Maxine's candidacy is also endorsed by the Ahuriri Maori Wardens' Association
WHAT HAVE I ACHIEVED?
I came on to Council committed to representing my ward, while honouring my overarching responsibility in governance of the wider city. I've spent the last three years doing the groundwork of building relationships not only in my ward, but across a range of sectors as well as with my fellow councillors, to facilitate teamwork, and share the workload.
As well as attending Council committee meetings, I've gone to many workshops, to the Local Government annual conference, trained in Resource Management Act decision-making, attended many Maori Consultative Committee meetings, been deputy chair of the Community Development Committee and represented council on the Hawkes Bay Trust for the Elderly. I've reduced my "other" work to a few hours a week, in order to attend as many council and community and city meetings and events as I could squeeze in.
I've thoroughly enjoyed this experience, with all the learning I have done about how the city works, as well as enjoying meeting so many great people. I believe that if you are going to serve the people, you need to get to know them.
While I'm only one out of 13 voters, I've tried to vote independently on issues as they arose, and to ask questions and enter debate whenever appropriate. I cannot take sole credit for many of this Council's successes, but I did take a stand on reducing the number of pokies machines in Napier, I've voted against a salary increase for Councillors, and against steep signage costs for retailers.
In the term ahead, I want to see Councillors work more closely in partnership with each other and other local bodies, and utilise the part-ward system as it was intended in enhancing democratic representation.
As your Councillor I will continue to represent your views and promote meaningful consultation and transparent decision-making.
I spent the first 18 years of my life in Hastings, and the last 22 years living in Napier, with the years in between spent in various parts of New Zealand, 12 years in Canada, and three years in Zimbabwe. My (late) father, Vic Boag, had a well-drilling business in Hastings, and Mum (Ida) gained a QSM for all her work in the voluntary sector.
I've got a Bachelor of Arts Degree, (English and Psychology), a Diploma in Teaching, and post-graduate qualifications in Special Education. My teaching experience has spanned three continents over three decades, and includes teaching primary, intermediate, and secondary students as well as adults in a private training establishment.
Other employment in Napier in the last 20 years has included Health Promotion; working as a journalist for Hawkes Bay newspapers; co-ordinating night school classes at Colenso, and my current job of editing He Ngakau Hou, Maraenui's quarterly community newspaper.
I have a parallel history in the non-for-profit sector, with many years on the EIT Council, the Napier Pacific People's Resource Centre Trust, The Post Primary Teachers' Association, and the Spacifically Pacific Trust. I'm now with the Maraenui Community Council trust, the Napier & Districts Grey Power, and secretary of the Napier Rotary Club. I also sit on the COGs committee, the Maraenui Rugby & Sports club board, am a member of the Alcohol Action group, and I co-chair the Community Sector Taskforce.
In case you're wondering how I could fit all this in, I am single and have no dependents, so have more time than many to devote to my Council and community work. My other interests include having coffee with friends, reading, going to the gym, cycling, current events, geneaology, spending time with extended family members, and meeting people. Life is great and I love everything I do!
Do contact me if you have any questions, concerns or just for a chat. My phone number is 835 6495 or 021 024 70484 and I'm at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Authorised by Maxine Boag of 2B Terrace Lane