Electing 2 Councillors
- 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.
- Jobs, jobs and more jobs
One of the most important issues for me is that we need to do more to grow our local economy and in turn create more jobs. Many people think that only central Government has a role in job creation. While this is true to an extent, to me local Government also has a role to play (along with business owners etc).
I find it a shameful waste when a young person in particular cannot get a job. The further creation of industrial parks, incentives for business relocations (or start-ups) such as rates and lease reductions, ensuring excellent infrastructure (I.T., transport, roads, airport services etc) and other economic incentives will help grow our job base. These are all activities local councils can play a significant role in.
We need to do more to attract an increasing number of visitors to our region – after all Tourism is a significant driver for our local economy. This will be achieved by the creation of new attractions, improvements to what we already have and better marketing promotion of our region. Next years Rugby World cup will be a golden opportunity to put our region on the world stage – let’s make sure we get it right!
The loss of Marineland is one of several losses which helps explain the long term downwards trend in overall visitor numbers to our city. We will need to renew this attraction with something that is likely to be marine related – this will be a priority for the next council.
- Safer communities
People must feel safe in their homes - in particular senior citizens. We need to ensure that our city streets, parks and gardens remain safe for all who use them.
I support the appropriate video monitoring of city streets (this should be extended to some suburban shopping centres). Safe street lighting and the lighting of pathways and other public places etc will need to be monitored and improved as required.
The Council should also lobby Central Government for the additional strategic placement of community police stations and that our city’s complement of sworn officers does not drop below acceptable levels.
The trucks issue along Marine Parade has not been fully resolved in my opinion and will need to be looked at again. There are also some big traffic flows that flow through areas of our city such as Napier South – this concerns me as a reasonable number of young children also live there.
- Community events and celebrations
In my role as Manager of Creative Napier I helped produce a wide range of Festivals and events. With the exception of the Winter Solstice Fire Festival these all took place over the summer months when there was already a wide range of events taking place. I have no problem with a busy summer!
However we need a regular cycle of events that will take place through out the year. This will have the added advantage of injecting some more fun into our communities and attracting more visitors to our city.
- Affordable rates for all
I recognises that the quarterly rates bill is often a real stretch for most people living in the Nelson Park ward. At the end of the day you can have all the ideas but they have to be sustainable in terms of limiting their impact on rate rises. This will inevitably mean you have to be realistic and introduce new programmes over time.
- Let’s keep Napier beautiful
I would like to see ongoing improvements to the playgrounds and associated parks around the Nelson Park ward and beyond. I have long had a concern about the waterways (drains) flowing through parts of the ward. They need to be regularly cleaned and the water flow kept at a sufficient level to discourage insects and bad smells especially in the summer months. I am also keen to see the waterways more attractively planted and a proper path built for walkers and cyclists. With attractive planting the waterways could become a very pleasant walking route and another option for people to safely cross the city.
I would also love to see the shopping centres around the different suburbs of the Nelson Park ward improved as time and money allows. What has been achieved at Onekawa is an excellent template for what can be done. The creation of some planter boxes and attractive planting could be a useful first step.
While the above policies are important to me so too are the everyday things that are a Councils bread and butter tasks. Maintaining footpaths, street maintenance, collecting rubbish, street lighting, providing libraries, halls, recreation and sports amenities etc are all tasks that should be done well, on time and to budget. If I am elected to Council I will work hard to make sure that these core services are maintained to an appropriate cost effective level of provision.
No issues on file for Dave Pipe.
No issues on file for Ken Simons.
No issues on file for Denise Woodhams.