Know what I stand for
I want to make a change to the way Hamilton runs its' books. Read more below:
Fiscal Common Sense
We must control rates.Hamiltonians deserve rates certainty, not unexpected, big increases. Ratepayers should not be expected to bear the burden of “pet” projects nor expensive, new ideas. Rates are required to maintain and grow a thriving city, but every dollar must be justifiable and spent wisely. Fairness, affordability are essential factors alongside funding a sound future for all Hamiltonians.
- 1.Set fair, reasonable and affordable limits for rates and rates increases based on sound long term planning and stick to them.
- 2.Rebalance spending to focus on the top priorities, community need and Council’s core functions such as maintenance of existing assets (pools, parks, libraries and footpaths, stormwater).
- 3.Plan carefully for the future and prioritise and implement plans that YOU - the ratepayer – support and understand, including existing projects and responding to city growth.
- 4.Hold the Chief Executive to account for the promised $82M organisational savings over 10 years without harming service levels or long term outcomes.
“Rates fund the city. But Council should not impose unexpected rates increases on existing ratepayers without justification. Council must demonstrate need, fairness, transparency and integrity in setting rates and actively look for smart alternatives to fund a strong future.”
In 2018 I pushed for a lower, slower rates increase and transition to Capital Value rates. I did not support the purchase for $6.2M of private property in the central city and, I will not support the ratepayer funding demolition at this time. There are other priorities that need focus such as sports turfs, playgrounds, tourism development. I voted to save the iSite from closure but to place it in a location that saves ratepayers $1m over 4 years, because I see the need to provide good services but at a reasonable cost.
Fiscal Common Sense
Ratepayers deserve a Mayor with financial common sense.Council must both provide for the needs of a city today with aging infrastructure and invest wisely in a strong future in which business, communities and people thrive. This requires the highest standard of financial governance. Hard questions must be asked time and time again to ensure activities are cost effective, resources are used well and Hamiltonians are getting value out of every dollar spent. Rates must be affordable, fair and most importantly, justifiable.
- 1.Focus on the maintenance of existing assets while setting clear objectives for investment in assets needed match the City’s growth.
- 2.Maintain high standards of accountability, transparency and integrity in all funding decision making: this will include outlining the short and long-term implications of all funding choices.
- 3.Adopt a BEST VALUE approach for council activity through a focus on efficiency and cost effectiveness across all activities. This includes robust cost/benefit analysis, seeking the best cost, quality services and products for long lasting benefits to the ratepayer and city.
- 4.Maintain vigilance over spending to minimise the impacts on ratepayers in the short, medium term and long term.
“It is not okay to let existing city assets fall into the level of disrepair as we have seen happen over the past eight years. We must look after what we have, and keep it to a standard befitting of one of New Zealand’s biggest cities. I will not be a Mayor that sticks their head in the sand: effective planning, sound financial management and forecasting must go hand in hand.”
Over the past 3 years I have led debate over effective renewals and maintenance of existing assets. I pushed for the early repair and renewal of the Central Library and Waterworld to restore them to a standard that Hamiltonians deserve. In my role on the Risk and Audit committee I focus on sound purchasing and contracting, avoiding waste and duplication, and accurate financial forecasting.
Fiscal Common Sense
Our Council must work smartly and cost effectively.The Mayor and Councillors must keep a culture of vigilance, understanding the short, medium and long-term implications of their decisions on ratepayers and the city. They must proactively seek out sound data, new approaches and partnership opportunities to ensure value for money.
- 1.Require all Council resources to be managed efficiently and cost effectively. We must strive for continual improvement of Council services through a reduction in time and cost, as well as implementation of sound financial benchmarking.
- 2.Ensure open, competitive procurement processes are used to drive cost efficient contracts and tender prices. Get good quality at a good cost.
- 3.Seek new opportunities for collaboration and shared services to save costs. Look for willing partners with common goals.
- 4.Demand the most up-to-date data is used to inform long-term funding decisions. Ensure planning accounts for the short term and long term needs of the city.
- 5.Keep our community spaces and places in good order to avoid increased costs of delayed work or closure of key assets.
“I know we can continue to improve customer services, to allow business and community to thrive, while reducing costs through best practice, sound procurement, collaboration and partnership. It’s about working together with others to build a strong future for our growing city.”
For over 12 years I have been a leading advocate for all Waikato Council’s working together through the Waikato Local Authority Shared Services. This service minimises duplication, and has significantly reduced costs to ratepayers. I have supported community outreach to explore local support and capability (what can others help us with), and, find more ways of working together with funders and business, in fair and transparent ways. There is more to achieve here.
Fiscal Common Sense
Proactively seek funding and smart partnerships outside ourselves.Ratepayers should not bear the full cost of all future projects. Council must look outside itself and create new opportunities to assist our rapidly growing city. As your Mayor, I will ensure Council proactively seeks out opportunities like public-private partnerships, so we are getting maximum cost effectiveness.
- 1.Encourage meaningful partnerships and support innovative solutions that reduce project costs, such as public-private partnerships.
- 2.Support our volunteer community and philanthropic sector to better serve the community. This means taking time to understand their needs and concerns, assisting with coordination of activities, community outreach, and appropriate funding.
- 3.Increase strategic central government focused advocacy to unlock additional financial and legislative support to help tackle some of Hamilton’s biggest challenges: home affordability and improved transport options.
- 4.Strengthened the recently reviewed Waikato Local Authority Shared Services model to improve the region’s inter-council and inter-regional cooperation.
“Hamilton is well served by our partners, volunteers and philanthropists. Let’s continue to work with them to explore win-win for the community, council and investors. Let’s better value and resource volunteers. One thing is certain to reach our potential we must work with others, at a local regional and national level.”
For more than 15 years I have been a strong advocate for collaboration with our local and regional council neighbours. For example, Te Waka (the Regional Economic Development Agency) evolved from the “Waikato Means Business” initiative and Waikato story which was a collaborative process championed by me in my time as Chair of Regional Council. Strong regional economic partnerships assist Hamilton to thrive.
I want to make a change to the way Hamiltons live. Read more below:
Strengthen local communities and local projects.In addition to investing in growth and infrastructure, we must invest in our people. Our population is growing and changing, with the numbers of migrants, youth and seniors on the rise.
Hamilton is home to a range of fantastic community organisations, charities and volunteers who make our city a better place to live. The Council can do better in supporting the important work done by these groups. Councillors are elected by the people, to represent the people: to truly be about our citizens we must improve our engagement and support community-led development.
- 1.Re-establish community sector advisory forums - such as youth, seniors, migrants, Maori, and Arts - to bring councillors and citizens closer together.
- 2.Increase the capacity of the Council’s Community Development and Communication Teams, to expand opportunities for community input, community-led development and participation in our city planning and projects.
- 3.Increase community grants to support the needs of established organisations, charities and volunteers who help us in our work of making our city a better, safer place to live.
- 4.Ensure community facilities and assets are of good quality and fit for purpose for use by the people of our city.
“Cities are more than built environments, they are home to people. Council has a duty to put people at the heart of decisions. To do this we must listen to, and work with, the people we represent. I believe we can and must do better.”
Over the past three years I have actively pushed for a community-led approach to the development of the Rototuna Village Hub. I am proud of how Council staff empowered the community to take a lead in consultation events, and how the community groups supported Council. This led to a draft village hub concept that reflects community values. I also regularly attend community events organised by youth, migrant communities and community houses and make myself available to listen to their concerns and desires.
Protect and enhance our environment, including our biggest asset, the Waikato River.Access to quality green space has been proven to enhance the wellbeing of communities. Hamilton currently has 2% of quality ecologically significant green space. Science tells us we need 10 % to sustain biological diversity and keep our environment strong. The Waikato River, its tributaries and our lakes are must are well loved and by Hamiltonians and visitors; the water quality must be protected. As our city develops, we must take a balanced approach to protecting our natural heritage, with the growth required to create a top-class liveable city.
- 1.Increase funding and coordination support for environmental restoration groups, especially in gullies and near water bodies within the cities, to progress to the 10% of ecologically significant green space required for a healthy city AND prioritise the planting of native species.
- 2.Retain a focus on environmentally sensitive development in the city, to create quality green spaces that complement the built environment, including new subdivisions, and the existing reserves and green belts.
- 3.Educate the community and work harder to prevent spills and pollution into our waterways directly or through stormwater.
- 4.Ensure that a response to climate issue and our obligations to Central Government are discussed, and appropriate tools and actions are put into action.
“We are fortunate to have many strong and passionate volunteer groups committed to environmental protection and restoration. Only by working together can we reach our full potential. We must grow communities that provide for the economic, social, cultural and environmental well-being of this beautiful river city.”
I am proud to be a passionate advocate for protecting Waikato Te Awa, and water quality. I am a member of the Local Government New Zealand’s Policy Advisory Group, with one of our key issues being the role Council’s could and should play in climate change. One of my champion environmental projects has been as part of the project team that launched Project Halo: an initiative returning tui to our city.
Care for our community assets: parks, pools, libraries - our places and spaces.To be a world class city we must grow our city in a way that creates livable, quality communities. We cannot allow our facilities and places fall into disrepair, or is sometimes the case, close. To maintain a vibrant, thriving city we must look after our existing places and spaces, giving Hamiltonians the high quality community assets and play spaces they deserve.
- 1.Employ thorough maintenance programmes and budgets to look after and refresh our community spaces and places, keeping them in good condition and fit for purpose.
- 2.Promote and encourage excellence in urban design to build quality places that support connected, active and strong communities.
- 3.Expand the City’s opportunities to build state-of-the-art playgrounds, sports facilities, and leisure centres through smart partnership with others.
- 4.Maintain and improve our parks and green spaces including the wonderful Hamilton Gardens and riverside reserves and paths.
“A great city is much more than roads and houses. It is a network of quality community spaces and places where people can socialise, exercise, play, enjoy the arts, relax and unwind. Looking after our fantastic community assets - the spaces we all share – is common sense.”
For the past 3 years I pushed for the early renewal of Waterworld, a space that had become unacceptably rundown. Considering the high quality aquatic centre we have today, it is hard to believe a time when Waterworld was facing closure. I am also proud to have promoted the renewal and refreshment of the Central City Library, and opening of Lake Waiwhakareke Heritage Park to the public. I will always be a strong voice for ensuring new growth areas are offered high level community amenity.
My positions on growth and opportunities will be released in the coming weeks, so stay tuned for more.