PROVEN - EXPERIENCED - COMMITTED
Neil Kirton has made a real difference on the Hawke's Bay Regional Council. His experience ensures vital issues are put on the table. As the portfolio holder for open spaces Neil has advocated for greater public amenities:
"I am delighted to have been a part of the successful bid for funds to construct 75 km of new cycleways. This $4.3million investment in the region will greatly boast local tourism. The other major development is the councils purchase of 370 hectares, expanding the Tutira Country Park assets. These are sound investments for the future and give future generations easy access to the beautiful Hawke's Bay country side," Neil says.
There is so much more to be done on council. It is really important for Hawkes Bay that our precious rivers and waterways are looked after. My pledge is to advocate for a doubling of riparian plantings along our waterways. Our water is our future, Neil Kirton says. Over the past 3 years I have pushed hard for measures to reduce pollution spoiling our rivers and waterways. The council must react quickly to stop the decline in water quality.
I have continued to pursue rationalising of our councils. We can and must do more to reduce the cost of local government, reducing duplication and reducing rates, Neil Kirton says. Hawke's Bay does not need five councils. We only need one. Solving the leasehold land problem is important. Too many people are suffering the effects of an archaic leasehold system.
Top 5 Issues
- Water - We need to restoring our rivers and waterways with much tougher controls on land use and especially fertiliser run off. We need to double our riparian plantings over the next 10 years. Water storage projects can assist the environmental effort as well as boasting the economy.
- More Public Open Spaces - this is an ideal time for the council to invest in more nature reserves, walkways,cycleways and public parks for people to enjoy. Access to the beach and coastal areas should be a right of everyone in Hawke's Bay for generations to come.
- Less Local Government - I have consistently advocated for amalgamating out councils. We do not need five councils. I estimate that we could save $5 to $10million in rates with one large council for the region. Too many politicians and bureaucrats are getting in the way of regional decision making.
- Leasehold Land - some leaseholders are in real strife with impossible rent rises. We must find solutions to the old Glasgow leases. they have no place in the 21st century. This is a social issue reducing hundreds of people below the poverty line.
- Events - the regional council needs to get in behind a comprehensive events strategy for Hawke's Bay to attract visitors from all over New Zealand and the world.
Neil Kirton has years of experience at central and local government level. He has been the Minister of Customs and Associate Minister of Health. He was responsible for the introduction of free healthcare for children under six. Neil works in the community and has been committed to helping the victims of crime and trauma with Victim Support. I helped set up a special service to support people bereaved by suicide working with over 400 affected people affected by loss and grief, Neil Kirton says.
Neil Kirton is married to Diana and they are both graduates of Otago University, obtaining science and arts degrees. We have four boys. They all went to Napier schools and are excelling in their fields. Hawke's Bay is a great place to successfully bring up kids. They are now graduates of Otago (medicine), Auckland (medicine) and Victoria (law). Having them home in Hawke's Bay from time to time is a great thrill, Neil says.
We are active in our community and know we live in the most beautiful region in New Zealand. Hawke's Bay has the most amazing open spaces to visit. By the years end we will have walked every track in the region coming to know our countryside very well. Its a privilege to be here, Neil Kirton says. Being able to influence the open spaces policy has given me the greatest pleasure on the regional council. This means future generations will be able to enjoy what we enjoy. We need more parks, more tracks and cycleways as well as more wilderness and open spaces. My pledge is to build on the marevellous outdoor assets for our children and grand children Neil Kirton says.
Authorised by Neil Kirton of Fryer Rd, RD2, Napier 4182