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Let's talk Leadership!

I am a team player by nature, so  I prefer collaboration, cooperation and partnership, but when needed I can stand alone and make a critical decision. And over the last 3 years I have done both. I think the role of Mayor is not widely understood in our community and it  is assumed I have more decision making power that I do.  As  Mayor I only have one vote on each decision except if the vote is tied (equal numbers for and against an issue), when I have an additional casting v...

September 13, 2022

Let's talk crime!

https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/... I woke up to the latest ram raid news today with a mixture of deep frustration and sadness. People have asked me often angrily (I don't blame them) "When are YOU going to fix it? What have YOU done?" If I had a magic wand it would be the first thing I would do. But I have no super power to make change. Crime is complex and will take a whole of community approach to fix. I'm not making excuses. We will play out part. Recently the Police and I spoke with Minister ...

September 8, 2022

Let's talk about reform!

The pace and scale of Government led reform in recent years has been incredible and unsettling. It has put all Councils under great pressure and left insufficient time and opportunity to engage with our communities or to explore better solutions. 3 Waters – I don’t believe that the current Government proposal meets the needs of our fast-growing city.  I believe we can work smarter, need to find alternative solutions to get the best outcomes. The 4 mega entity model is not right for Hami...

August 28, 2022

Let's Talk about Positive Progress in our City.

The last 3 years have been challenging for us all. There is no doubt. Council provides a huge number of services and public facilities, many are not discretional, or are required by law. We must, for example, provide, maintain and develop high quality water services, roads and footpaths, disposing of waste.  We provide libraries pools, playgrounds, parks, cycleways, sports grounds, the zoo, Hamilton Gardens. Some residents talk about core functions and "nice to haves" but not everyone agree...

August 25, 2022

Infrastructure: the biggest issue for all Councils over the next 10 years.

"We might not always realise it but this infrastructure  is vital to our quality of life. It is at the heart of our economy, powering our industries, providing high quality jobs and helping us share ideas and information so we can trade with the world." Dr Allan Bollard Board Chair, New Zealand Infrastructure Commission. I find that when I mention the word "infrastructure" many people lose interest, even though it is the most expensive and important aspect of Councils' work. It is...

June 26, 2022

Waikato Regional Theatre is all go: Prime Minister Adern turns the first sod.

In October 2019, just after I was inaugurated as Mayor, I had the pleasure of standing alongside the why I wanted our city to be bold. This week, I recalled that conversation when I attended the sod-turning for the Waikato Regional Theatre. When it was first mooted, the Waikato Regional Theatre was an audacious goal.  Some said it wasn’t do-able. I not only believe it is but also know it's going to put Hamilton on the map as a cultural centre, a vibrant riverside city and a place where co...

November 30, 2021

Huge costs of Infrastructure coming our way. Let's talk.

This month the Infrastructure Commission released a draft strategy that implored our sector, alongside government and industry, to plan and build infrastructure in a different way. The commission noted building what we need to keep up with demand, and face future challenges, will cost about $31 billion per year; almost double what the country spends now.Read more of my opinion piece in the Local Government Magazine below:https://localgovernmentmag.co.......

October 30, 2021

Water Reform: Next Steps PART 4

Water is a treasure, a taonga. We all feel passionate about water in all its forms. It is a natural treasure/ taonga. We need it for our health, our homes and our businesses. We love to spend time in it and on it. We need it for our environment. It is the most valuable resource we have.  Right now, 67 NZ Councils (from the very small to the very big) have been managing water services for their local community. Auckland has given that function to Watercare Water services account for 1/3...

September 4, 2021

Water Reform: can we learn from others? PART 3

Representatives of Tasmania Water and the Mayor spoke to a group of Mayors on Thursday around the learnings and success of Water Reforms. The Power Point presentation was shown in 2018, and is still relavant. Find out more here on Tasmanian Water Reform From last Thursdays conversation I took home the following key points: Water reform was a disruptive process and communities initially resisted any changeHowever, over time the model delivered huge positive outcomes in water standards and ec...

September 4, 2021

Water Reform: it is right to ask questions. PART 2

We ALL have questions and that’s what Councils all around the country, including Hamilton City Council, are going back to Government with in October.  Following Council's  feedback, there will be more a formed proposal to consult more widely with our community on.  In the meant time here are some answers to your most frequently asked questions and answers complied by Council. My key questions (and something I have spent a lot of time on this week) are: How will the proposed...

September 4, 2021

Three Waters reform: Splash in the shallows, wallow in worry or dive deep into detail? PART 1

This week alone I have spent more than 12+ hours diving into the detail of the Three Waters reform alongside other Mayors, planners and subject specialists. They are tough conversations. It's a political hot potato for sure. However, these conversations are critical. I won’t roll over and be tickled. I want what’s best for Hamilton. I am diving in deep to understand the draft proposal and to influence Government’s next steps. Unless we do, Hamilton's voice might not be heard. This is ...

September 3, 2021

Critical Change Ahead for Water

In the next few months, decisions will be made in Wellington that will have massive implications for Councils and ratepayers, including people in Hamilton. Reforming the way we deliver water services in New Zealand – water, stormwater and wastewater – has been discussed for some time. This week the issue heated up with reports released by Government showing the huge work and investment needed to get critical water infrastructure across New Zealand up to scratch. I have known for some time t...

June 4, 2021

Survive, Revive, Thrive

I was honoured today, for the second year, to open a Business Summit in our city  – Survive, Revive and Thrive. The name of the Summit is very timely. While Hamilton is doing very well in comparison to many other metro centres, we are not yet thriving – at least, not all of us.  We can always do better and we always should try to. The global pandemic will continue to serve up some significant challenges for our city and beyond. Saying that, I am very much a ‘glass half full’ ...

May 26, 2021

Improving Maaori representation

I have supported a process which will see Hamilton City Council revisit the issue of establishing Maaori wards for our city. Council will discuss this issue again as part of the Long-Term Plan Council meeting on April 15th.  At that meeting, Council will consider a new resolution which considers putting Maaori wards in place by the next election, but only after engaging with the wider community.  This is a very complex issue and people understandably feel passionately so I want to tak...

April 6, 2021

Time to speak up, share your voice

My election as Mayor came with a promise to Hamilton. I promised people could have a far greater say, much more easily (and much earlier) on important decisions. That promise is important to me. I believe all people have the right to share their voice and shape their city. Our city is full of passion and diversity and all views should be heard. However getting people involved in what happens at Council is not always easy – I know that!  We all lead busy lives. But now, more than ever, I...

March 5, 2021

A momentous event for our city….

Hamilton was jam-packed with family-friendly action last weekend with the Christmas Parade, the rugby and more. But in the midst of it all, something momentous happened. On Saturday afternoon, I was thrilled to attend a ground-breaking ceremony that has been 20 long years in the making.  It was the first tangible step in building New Zealand’s first ever Pan Pacific Hub, right here in Kirikiriroa-Hamilton. The Hub has come about thanks to the work of the Hamilton-based K'aute Pasifika Tru...

December 8, 2020

Big decisions ahead based on five priorities

Next year your Council will complete a piece of work which will impact on Hamilton for decades to come. Our 2021-2031 Long-Term Plan will put the building blocks (and budgets) in place to strongly set the direction of our city for the next 10 years – and beyond. It will aim to help our city and people recover from Covid-19, as well maintain our existing assets and ensure we are well placed to cope with and leverage growth. It will also aim – where we can afford it –  to address the ch...

November 10, 2020

Twelve months into the job

Twelve months ago I was honoured to be elected Mayor of Hamilton. A year later, I feel more privileged than ever to lead one of New Zealand’s most wonderful cities, a place I have called home for more than 40 years....

November 4, 2020

Huge boost for Ruakura inland port

Today was a historic one for Hamilton with the government announcement that has pushed ‘go’ on the Ruakura inland port and industrial precinct. Minister for Urban Development and Transport Phil Twyford has confirmed government will invest $40 million in ‘shovel-ready’ projects to help fast-track Ruakura. The $40 million comprises a $20 million grant to Hamilton City Council and a $20 million loan to Tainui Group Holdings (TGH). The money will help fund transportation, bulk infrastructure...

October 7, 2020

Rapid rail investigation welcomed

Today I welcomed the announcement that government will investigate the potential for rapid rail between Hamilton and Auckland.Transport Minister Phil Twyford said the government intends investigating four possible scenarios, ranging from extending electrification of the existing route to building a new rail alignment, alongside the existing rail corridor.  Each scenario would connect both city centres....

August 25, 2020

Water: something must change

Last month I was asked by Local Government New Zealand to speak with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and others about the issue of three waters reform. Since then, I have addressed a number of Mayors, Councillors and senior staff from other councils about why I think we must change the way water and waste-water services are provided in New Zealand.  I want to share some of these thoughts. But firstly, some background…Over the past three years, central and local government have been con...

August 17, 2020

Rates dropped to 2.8 per cent

“Yesterday I chaired the very important meeting which saw our Council confirming  an annual average rates rise of 2.8 per cent for the coming 2020/21 year. The increase is one per cent lower than what had originally been proposed in our draft Annual Plan, and lower than what we had forecast in our 10-Year Plan. We received 198 formal submissions on the draft Plan, all of them very welcome. Thank you to those people who engaged with us, and provided important feedback.  Feedback doe...

July 24, 2020

Bounce Back: Let's Create a Stronger, More Vibrant City Together

Hamilton, we'll bounce back. And while we rebound, let's rebuild. We have talented people. We have innovative businesses. We have a strong education sector. We have resilient communities. We have generous givers. We have incredible volunteers. So let's build together to... Bolster local communitiesEnable affordable homesSupport growth to create jobsControl rates and council costsWork with key partnersInvolve you in decisions that shape our city Let's create a stronger, more vibrant city. Togethe...

July 24, 2020

A fantastic new asset for Hamilton

I had the privilege today to open yet another new asset for Hamilton. A wonderful 84-metre long ‘history wall’, celebrating the history of FMG Stadium Waikato has been installed.  The wall outside the venue runs along the Tristram St end of the stadium, and below the corporate boxes.  And its panels commemorate a fascinating, 100-year journey. ...

July 19, 2020

Hamilton Ready To Do Part & House Returnees to NZ

I know our city will do its part to help accommodate New Zealanders returning home and going into managed isolation. It has been announced that further hotels in Hamilton, Rotorua, Wellington and Christchurch will be used to house returnees who have come home. The Hamilton hotels involved are secure, stand-alone facilities and are not open to other guests. I’m advised that returnees will begin arriving in the city over the coming week. It’s important we remember these are Kiwis coming home ...

June 26, 2020 Posts 1-25 of 37 | Page next
 

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