- The BIGGEST CHALLENGE..
"Balancing Horizons Regional Council rate levels while maintaining acceptable levels of service"
Finding a balance between keeping rate increases to a minimum while still providing acceptable levels of service across all of the Council spheres of work will always be one of the toughest calls individual Councillors and Council as a whole has to make. They key is to develop and implement robust and prudent policies.
It’s clear that 2010-2013 will see a tough job become even tougher – but open-minded Councillors, with the skills to critically analyse and evaluate all areas of Horizons business, will thrive in such a challenging environment.
Horizons needs a responsible, pragmatic group of decision makers around the Council table. The best ‘mix’ will have representation from a diversity of economic, social and cultural backgrounds as well as a strong gender balance.
- WHERE OUR LEGACY LIES...
Over the next three years I expect water quality to be one of the most challenging issues for Horizons.
We have reached a watershed moment in time and although much work has been done and many millions of dollars have already been spent on improving water quality across the Region, the time has now come to tackle this issue ‘head on’.
Unfortunately there is no miracle overnight ‘fix’ and Horizons can’t turn back the clock and transform the environment to its pristine state when so much of it has been substantially altered and developed over time. We need to set our bottom lines taking into account environmental, economic, cultural and social factors as we prioritise the way forward.
Clearly the Manawatu River catchment and Lake Horowhenua are at the top of that priority list.
We must work together to find and implement realistic and workable ways to permanently improve water quality and mauri in these taonga.
Let this generation be the one that history sees as having the foresight and intestinal fortitude to do what it takes to leave the Manawatu River and Lake Horowhenua as a legacy for future generations to be proud of.
- A POSITIVE INTIATIVE...
"Collaborating with other councils in the Region"
The Manawatu-Wanganui local authority shared services (LASS) initiative has delivered total savings of more than $500,000 for ratepayers of its member Councils, including Horizons and the Manawatu and Horowhenua District Councils, since it became operative in 2009.
I want to ensure Horizons continues to play a major role in locking in the gains this worthwhile collaboration has already made while further opportunities are investigated and gains realised by leveraging on the ‘economies of scale’ that the shared services model provides.
Alongside this work, as a regional leader, Horizons should also continue to investigate and develop opportunities to work alongside District Councils in the Region, and help bring about constructive discussions on cross-boundary issues such as transport and infrastructure.
- SO EASY TO SAY; SO DIFFICULT TO GET RIGHT...
Good communication is the key to overcoming a sense of disempowerment and apathy that leads to a widening gulf between Councils and their residents, ratepayers and other stakeholders. Clearly this is a very disturbing picture, one that most Councils recognise but struggle to make much progress on. However, it is not a one-way street and the public need to show that their influence does not stop when they cast their vote!
The Council recently directed the Chief Executive to prepare a communication strategy and an accompanying action plan (due September 2010) to ensure that our ratepayers receive communication about our 2010-11 goals and work programme in a focused manner.
Increasing the smart use of technology could also help improve the communication of our current messages and as a way of bringing on board and encouraging a new generation of voters, ratepayers and emerging community leaders.
"Some key projects and issues for the next three years"
•Resolution of the Taonui basin consenting issue
•Building a new road bridge at Kopane
•Completing the Linton Main Drain works
•Completing the Tangimoana flood protection upgrade
•Finalising the capacity of the new Burke’s pump and getting that pump installed and operational
•Undertaking the hydraulic modelling investigation into the feasibility of improving flow to the Foxton River Loop
•Completing the Ohau River Scheme upgrade programme with Phase Two starting in 2010-11
•Making progress on transport issues including: the siting of a new bus terminal for both inter-city and local buses in Palmerston North, retaining the Capital Connection service in its current form, and securing sufficient funding for the continuation of the Horowhenua Community Health Shuttle, Foxton bus service, Foxton Beach community van and other providers which may be at risk due to the introduction of the Government’s new ‘ Farebox Recovery’ policy
•Addressing the impact of groundwater takes on coastal dune lakes, particularly Lake Horowhenua and Lake Papaitonga.
•Implementation of One Plan during and after the appeal phase.
•Ensuring that we safeguard the internationally recognised RAMSAR designation on the Manawatu Estuary by continuing to implement the Manawatu Estuary Management Plan
- We will continue to meet targets set for us by the Government, with huge improvements in Accident and Emergency, cancer treatment, cardiac services, smoking cessation, elective services,and diabetes, we are on track to do this. Timely patient access to urgently needed surgery and health services is still a top priority. Indenfication and treatment in primary care will be a big benefit to hospital services.
- While maintaining clinical and controlling costs we will increase productivity within hospital services. Prudent financial management is important to MidCentral Health Board so the focus will be on excellence in health care delivery, instead of concern for financial considerations. We must bring a common sense approaach to financial sustainability, with good planning.
- Aged and Disabilty Sector
With our population ageing the demand for services is increasing. Ageing population will place huge financial strains on MidCentral Health as well as our capacity to provide these services. We will put a plan for a new aged residential care strategy in place giving people a level of care they are comfotable with. This service, to take the pressure off our hospitals, will help people stay in thir homes longer. We must continue to look at innovative ways to compliment our great Assessment, Treatment, and Rehabilitation service.
- We are extremely fortunate to be served by quality and committed management, nurses, clinicians and support staff. The workforce should be strengthened and valued so they remain a productive part of the coimmunity. We support their efforts to find continued improvement in cost and quality of care, in a difficult and demanding environment.
- Integrated Health Services
We will work to ensure ongoing commutity involvement in planning and decision making. The delivery of better, sooner, more convenient healthcare, closer to home, with the Primary Health Organisation, where it is convenient. These are so that patients recieve the care they require when and where they need it. Community and hospital services need to work together for the benefit of the patient and the needs of the patients are recognised and respected.
- Regional water quality
- Economic productivity
- Council spend and transparency
- Regional infrastructure, including transport networks
- Listening to community concerns
- I am standing as a Rate Freeze Candiate
determined to hold rates at present levels.
RFC candiates are being represented throughout the electorate . We will not vote for increases .
All future budgets must be maintained at present levels or where possible lower .
- I have been endorsed by the Save Our River Trust. Where I am currently the project coodinator.I have been chosen to represent the Trust in the cleanup of the Manawatu River and the Foxton River Loop .
To date we have taken a colaborative approach working with our partners HDC and Horizons as well as our Community .
All 9 Hapu of Ngati Raukawa are represented within the Save Our River Trust . I am passionate about the cleanup of our lakes and waterways .
- I recognise the interests of our stakeholders in the Farming and rural community and am keen to listen to the problems and help facilitate solutions . I understand that any enviromental cleanup must be done in an orderly colaborative manner . Its time for more help from Horizons and less regulatory pressure . We must all work as a partnership if we are going to achieve workable results .
- I totally support a review of the present Resource managment act and the way in which its being enacted on our comunities. It needs to be simplified to reduce costs and the situation of a farmer not being able to clean a drain withouit extra cost and the frustrating time delays is unacceptable. Not only that it ties up Valuable Horizons staff time which could be better spent being elsewhere. .
- Water Quality & Water Quantity
- Public Transport
- Economic and Environmental Sustainability
- Collaboration and Communication
- Emergency Management & Resources
No issues on file for Mike Smith.