What’s your vision for Hamilton?
A vibrant, modern and affordable city. Hamilton should be a hub for the Waikato community that it’s residents are proud of, bringing an ethnic diversity for urban, rural and cultural prosperity.
What do you think is key in getting the balance right between ‘looking after what we have’ and being ready for our cities’ growth?
Growth is important as long as we can get growth with sustainability; Basic services must be looked after first (footpath, potholes / roads and other infrastructures repaired, parks, playgrounds and cemeteries maintained), without compromising our future developments needed to accommodate our cities transport and housing needs. I believe in taking care of what we already have, before venturing out on new projects. The key will be talking to the right people (and a mix of people), and from there – understanding who to take advice from when it comes to growth vs. sustainability.
What’s the one thing you’d do differently that would make Hamilton an even better place to be?
I see Policies and Legislations and I think how would that affect another person or myself if I was in that situation. Say for example a Council member may see $$$ signs when they see a Resource Consent Application come in. I see things very differently and to me it is important to know how does that Resource Consent affect another (say a neighbour?) What are the ramifications of granting that Business that Resource Consent.. Just because a neighbour didn’t pay the $15,000 for a Resource Consent – doesn’t mean their situation of living with the after-math is not important for Council to consider in making a decision. I believe it is important to hear all sides – not just engineers or the business proposal. I listen. I don’t believe in treating Hamiltonians like we are in a cage and conducting some type of Guinea Pig experiment following Auckland while wasting money in the process. I believe Hamilton has been around long enough to stand on its own and look at our own past trials – (Garden Place closure of its road and parking). If Hamilton was fair and the people felt heard – it would be a good place to live. No one likes to be ignored or feel like their objections, problems, ideas, views or opinions are not important. I would be an honest Leader listening with empathy, asking hard questions and saying it how it is.
How do you think we can get more people interested and engaged in Council?
To get people engaged in Council – Communication is the key. I think councils try their best when it comes to communications, and sometimes over-do it rather than simple key messages. Keep it simple. Keep it honest. Keep it real.