Know what I stand for

Finance

I want to make a change to the way Hamilton looks after the finances. Read more below:

Control Rates

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.

How?
  • 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.

Strong Finance

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.

How?
  • 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.

Working Smarter

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.

How?
  • 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.

Partnerships

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.

How?
  • 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.

Quality Lifestyles

I want to make a change to the way Hamiltonians live. Read more below:

Local Communities

Quality Lifestyles

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.

How?
  • 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.

Our Environment

Quality Lifestyles

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.

How?
  • 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.

Our Places

Quality Lifestyles

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.

How?
  • 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.

Growth

I want to make sure that our city is ready for future growth. Read more below:

Housing

Growing our city

Enable affordable, quality housing that meets the needs of all residents.
Like other fast-growing cities, Hamilton continues to feel the effects of a housing shortage. The problem extends beyond the number of available housing: it is about providing affordable homes for first home buyers, families looking to upsize, renters, those with disabilities and retirees. We must urgently address today's supply gap and the pressure for future population growth. We must also build healthy, liveable communities so providing parks, green space and other community facilities are important for a good result for Hamilton.

How?
  • 1.Keep a focus of inner-city high-density living to meet the needs of first home buyers, renters, urban professionals and those wanting smaller, high-quality apartments and a city lifestyle.
  • 2.Provide the resources to streamline the building and resource consent process of the Peacocke development and other high growth areas.
  • 3.Look for public/private partnerships to unlock potential development in other areas such as Rotokauri, and Ruakura.
  • 4.Maintain robust engagement with Central Government to ensure Hamilton gets the tools and resources (including financial) to assist growth while not unfairly placing the burden on today's ratepayers.

“I want all Hamiltonians to have access to appropriate and affordable housing. While we must build quality, attractive and liveable higher density options, we must focus on building quality communities, not just more houses. A strong future for Hamilton rests on us meeting the needs of a diverse population through sustainable, community-focused development.”

Over the past 3 years, I have supported inner-city development and retaining a development contribution remission in the CBD to incentivise developers to act now. I also supported the Special Housing Areas for the consideration of Government. I did, however, advocate for greater requirements of affordability in new areas above the 10% proposed. I was a strong community voice for community housing trusts initiatives recognising the need to provide for lower incomes and those who cannot access at this time home ownership. The importance of strong amenity values and community facilities is important to me. I believe in quality, not just quantity, this applies to in-fill and Greenfields development.

Infrastructure

Getting ready for growth

Like all cities, we need basic infrastructure services—clean water, sewage, roads, electricity, telecommunications, to name a few—to support the well-being of our citizens and businesses.
Hamilton faces a level of infrastructure investment over the next 10 years that is unprecedented.The population of Hamilton is growing fast and this brings with it the need for homes, schools and community services. It also requires new infrastructure; water services (drinking water, water for business, sewage and storm water) and roads. The current infrastructure is already under pressure, needs maintenance, renewal and in some cases improvement.Achieving good infrastructure outcomes requires us to think the timing and about the full infrastructure life-cycle. Good infrastructure outcomes start with having an agreed vision of the future. This means understanding how and when growth will occur.

How?
  • 1.Seek support from central government to provide new, expert, central capability to support the delivery of major infrastructure projects across central and local government, including some projects that are already planned or underway.
  • 2.Ensure high-quality data and analysis of the investment pipeline for all investment types and support this with an integrated approach to planning. Also, ensure best practice strategy and planning is focused on cost-effectiveness and high-quality outcomes.
  • 3.Working with private infrastructure providers to develop robust public/private partnerships for the funding and delivery of infrastructure.
  • 4.Lobbying government for greater funding tools (infrastructure bonds and off-the-book loans) and tapping into government’s collective buying power through collaborative contract.

“The cost of infrastructure (new and existing) in Hamilton is huge. While I welcome a government interest-free loan we are all aware of the impact on debt to revenue ratios and that loans must be repaid. To deliver the best outcomes getting the planning phase right is critical to ensure that the right infrastructure is procured in the right places at the right time. All that we do must be informed by cost-benefit analysis or business cases to deliver the best outcome for all Hamiltonians, those who live here now and those who will arrive.”

In the past three years, I have pushed for reliable and accurate renewals and maintenance of existing infrastructure. I supported with a few valid cautions (about the timing of the housing and the cost of community facilities, including schools) the need to open up the growth cell in Peacocke, achieved through the acceptance of the government interest-free loan. I also am consistent in expressing the need to find cost-effective partnerships/ agreements to allow Rotokauri and Ruakura to progress. I heard concerns about existing drainage in older parts of the city as sought assurance that this too can be resolved.

Transport

Transport for a fast growing city

Our city is growing fast. More people will be coming here to live. Congestion on key routes and the bridges is an increasing issue, as is road safety.
New forms of personal transport are arriving every year, such as Paxters for the postal service, electric bike and electric scooters. New types of public transport have arrived and will continue to. This includes; Uber, Shared Car Fleets, Passenger Rail to Auckland. Hamiltonians also enjoy, and want, safe cycling and safe walking opportunities. A successful future for Hamilton relies on integrated transport planning, deliver safe, convenient and affordable solutions to get people from where they are to where they need to go. We need transport for business goods to support our economy AND transport that cares for the environment.

How?
  • 1.Continue to focus on the redesign of our most unsafe intersections and main road for both vehicle and cycles.
  • 2.Push the Government and the New Zealand Transport to address the recent funding overspend and ensure that we can deliver promised and needed improvements to passenger transport and cycling AND reduce congestion.
  • 3.Promote and refine rail opportunities for both passengers and business goods between the main centre (Hamilton, Auckland and Tauranga).
  • 4.Support the direction of Hamilton Airport to increase inter-regional flight and explore Pan-Pacific, Pan Asia connections.
  • 5.Build all new areas of the city in a way that integrates modern and environmentally friendly transport such a wide paths and routes for cycling, mobility and electric scooter plus safe walking AND ensure that local services are easy to access.
  • 6.Provide opportunity and promote environmentally friendly modes of transport across the city.

“Successful cities take transport seriously. People move about. Understanding when and where they travel, providing confidence about safety and reliability is key to making transport solutions work well. We must also consider the huge environmental impact of transport and move steadily towards sustainable, low impact travel options. “

I was a member of the Regional Transport Committee for over 12 years and a member of the joint Passenger Transport committee for 9 years. I attend Access Hamilton meetings. I am proud of being part of a team that grew the bus services, instigated the Orbiter and Nightrider services and the first fully wheelchair accessible fleet in NZ. I played a key role in working to assist Council with funding when the Minsters of Transport and Education the proposed to stop funded school buses. I have been a strong supporter of cycleways from Te Awa River Ride to Safer Routes to School and safety improvement for commuter cycling.

Opportunities

I want to help create opportunities for our communities and city to thrive.  Read more below:

Tourism

Creating opportunities to thrive

Help our tourism champions further grow our tourism industry.
Tourism is a growth industry in New Zealand. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) Regional Tourism estimates indicates visitor expenditure in the Waikato district has nearly doubled in ten years. Hamilton needs to harness this trend to encourage more visits and stays in the city.While we can celebrate being the nation’s number one destination for bookings over summer, big conventions are still turning away due to insufficient beds for visitors. We must help our local tourism champions further growth in the industry.Tourism New Zealand wants to help the Hamilton & Waikato region grow by $1 billion per annum by developing, implementing and promoting strategies that are regionally-focused and align with gateways like Auckland which connect the region to the world. Hamilton must support this.

How?
  • 1.To speed up the development of additional four-star accommodation in the CBD, through fast-tracking the planning and consent process and open a discussion about a partnership with the endowment fund.
  • 2.Provide additional funding support to improve visitor attractions across the city, such as the facilities at Lake Waiwhakareke, our Waikato riverside, the Zoo and the Hamilton Gardens. This means implementing low-cost projects and strategies that will support this goal before new unsupported public projects.
  • 3.Incentivise hosting conditions to encourage large-scale conferences, conventions and national events to the City. This could include increasing funding and staff resources to attract new business events and competitive pricing to entice first-time large-scale events.
  • 4.Build upon our already iconic events such as Hamilton Garden Arts Festival, Balloons over Waikato, Boon Street Art Festival and supporting emerging events like the Chinese Lantern Festival and Children’s Day.

“Opportunities will not come to us, we must provide people with the reasons to stay here, experience our high-quality dining, arts and family experiences. I will remain a strong ambassador until we are no longer the butt of jokes in stand-up comedy routines.”

For more than 15 years I have supported the development of the internationally unique natural heritage at Lake Waiwhakareke, to support eco-tourism. I have also supported the Te Awa River Ride, which has fabulous potential to connect Ngaruawahia to Cambridge. Last year in the Long-Term Plan I proposed funding to modernise the zoo entrance plaza and café as well as connecting the zoo to Lake Waikwhakareke. I thank my colleagues for their support. I continue to push for solutions to our accommodation shortage. I have worked to identify events that H3 could entice and have enticed to Hamilton.

Community Voice

Creating opportunities to thrive

Give a voice to the community, and listen better.
The council exists to serve and protect the interests of the community. So, Council must find ways of giving voice to all parts of our community including youth. We already have a strong and passionate community development team who are regularly out in the community however, more can be done to harness local community views and knowledge. A strong community voice will drive greater levels of community-led development and assist councillors to make better decisions.

How?
  • 1.Reinstate opportunities for young people (rangatahi), seniors, ethnic communities and the arts community to have a regular voice at Council through focused sector hubs. This will be designed with them to better meet their needs and Councils.
  • 2.Use more tools and methods of public participation beyond existing formal submissions and online surveys. For example; regular Community Open Days and improved social media and App based engagement.
  • 3.Resource the community development team and community houses better to be strong hubs for public participation in Council process, decision making and shaping the future.
  • 4.Make Council a more welcoming and respectful place to receive public feedback and submissions. This means creating more ways for people to be heard and adopting a stronger culture of public service.

“Over the past few years people have told me how unhappy they are, that they miss out on opportunities to have a say and, that we don’t listen. However, I want to hear your voices. We have a duty to listen. As Mayor, I will reshape the way we engage, allowing the community to shape the future.”

I come from a background of collaborative and inclusive council processes. Over the past 3 years, I undertook professional development with the International Association of Public Participation. This provided an up to date, best practice awareness of the tools and methods that can be used to enable Hamiltonians to have more input into Councils decisions. I also proposed and helped develop community-led development for the Rototuna Village Hub. I had to use my casting vote when an error was made during the LTP consultation to make sure you had the right to be correctly heard.I believe Councillors should be accessible to the community and so I spend a lot of time at community places and events (not just during an election year, but all of the time).

Small Business

Creating opportunities to thrive

Build Hamilton reputation as a leader in innovation, promoting our business advantage and championing our SMEs.
As a safe city with strong existing and developing transport networks that connect us to both Auckland and the Bay of Plenty, we are well placed to attract and support small business. With good availability of business and industrial land, good transport links, great education, new housing underway and plenty of wonderful spaces, places and events, we provide a strong work, live, learn and play lifestyle. Now is the time to make sure it is well known that we are open for business.

How?
  • 1.Work closely with key business organisations such as the Chamber of Commerce, Hamilton Central Business Association and others to align efforts and focus on supporting existing and attracting new business to the city. Keep improving the central city experience. Key to this is transport and safety to attract more workers and customers to town.
  • 2.Make it easy for businesses to establish by streamlining consents and other application processes, and front-ending support especially for small business.
  • 3.Support and extend the purpose of the Smart Business Office to foster innovation, information sharing, concept development AND problem-solving.
  • 4.Be proactive in seeking out and attracting and supporting new opportunities such as relocating some Governments Ministry Head Offices to Hamilton and shoulder tapping emerging and growing businesses. Grow and promote a live, work, play opportunity.

“Like many Hamiltonians, I love living and working here. It is a city that offers a great lifestyle. We have good connections to both the Ports of Auckland and Tauranga and regular regional flight routes. As our countries SME sector continues to thrive - let’s make Hamilton the springboard for their success.”

Over the past three years, I have helped many small businesses overcome difficulties in consent or other applications through creating constructive dialogues with staff. I have supported the work of Hamilton Central Business District Association to revitalise the Central Business District. I am a strong advocate for integrated transport solutions for commuters and business goods.

Quality Partnerships

Creating opportunities to thrive

Partner with others and further build on our strong relationships across Central Government.
Council cannot meet all the aspirations of the community on its own. Much of our city’s success to date has been achieved through quality partnerships with others. Hamilton is growing fast which brings infrastructure, homes and transport pressures. To provide for the needs of a fast-growing city we need a strong partnership with Government Agencies such as the NZ Transport Agency and Ministry of Economic Development. The Central Government shares responsibility for supporting the economic and social wellbeing of NZ and its key cities.Public/private partnerships are also key to the earlier and more cost-effective delivery of city infrastructure and key projects. To have a strong and thriving community we need others to bring skills, experience and shared resources to the vision for our city.

How?
  • 1.Work closely with Central Government alongside MP’s and with Government Agencies to understand, and scope, the key pressures and issues of the city and develop partnerships and funding solutions for a win-win outcome.
  • 2.Make progress on understanding and exploring potential public/private partnerships for key infrastructure projects that can support city growth. Staff are already exploring key opportunities and need political support to make these happen.
  • 3.Support community- based organizations to deliver projects, programmes and services that help Council deliver outcomes that benefit the city and its communities. This includes using grants, staff resources and knowledge sharing.
  • 4.Being open to ideas and innovative solutions for with potential partners to understand their values and visions for the city and to align these with those of the city. It is about finding common ground, being flexible and respectful. This means supporting the work of the Smart City Office soon to be opened by the central library.

“Partnerships provide the pathways to affordable and earlier delivery of key cityprojects. Without these many improvements to our city would not have occurred. This includes arts and culture, sport and recreation and transport. It is vital that we continue to respect and value our partners, working alongside them towards a shared vision.”

Over the past three years I have supported submissions to NZTA to support a number of key transport partnerships, including a trial passenger rail service, road safety and cycling projects. I also promoted and successfully delivered an increase in funding to community groups so that they can assist the Council to deliver on key social and environmental outcomes. In my previous role as Chair of Regional Council, I played a lead role in developing key partnerships with iwi, with environmental groups and with Central Government in relation to water quality, transport and economic development. Working with others in a cooperative and inclusive fashion has been a fundamental element of my leadership style for over 15 years.
 

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