Questions & Answers

How old are you?

“Our council needs to be more relevant to our community”, Chief Executive Richard Briggs of Hamilton City Council has stated in the 2019 Pre Election Report for Hamilton City Council.  The median age of Hamilton is 32 years of age. I am 38 years of age.  This is one of the closest and most relevant age to our community out of all Mayoral candidates standing for Hamilton.

A little FYI Jacinda Ardern entered into office at aged 37 years of age.  Our New Zealand Prime Minister is one of ten of the youngest serving state leaders in the world.

Who inspires you?

Condoleeza Rice is a woman I would say I admire and look up to.  Condoleeza is an American political scientist and diplomat.  She served as the 66th United States Secretary of State, the second person to hold that office in the administration of President George W. Bush.

Rice was the first female African-American Secretary of State, and was President Bush’s National Security Advisor during his first term, making her the first woman to serve in that position.  I admire Condoleeza Rice for her upbringing and being a strong independent woman who was bought up in Alabama, USA and grew up while the South was racially segregated, watching her father sit on the porch with a gun, ready to defend his family against the KKK’s (Klan’s night riders).

She used everything that she saw and was subjected to, to become the inspiring woman she is today.  In 2008, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh announced the Agreement for Cooperation between the United States and India involving peaceful uses of nuclear energy.  As Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice was involved in the negotiations of this agreement.

How important do you think it is for a more diverse council?

We all know that diversity includes cultural, language, religion, race, sexual orientation, gender, age and ethnicity.  But diversity also includes paths one has walked that may be very different to the norm.  By having a diverse council in Hamilton, ensures that the young have a more positive mindset about diversity and difference from their elders in a day and age like today.

Everyone should feel that they belong in a city, – including Hamilton.  Inclusion is part of what builds a cohesive society, where all people need to have a sense of belonging, feel connected, have security and safety in place, know what acceptance feels like and are able to be who or what they are and in the process able to freely express their views.  By doing so, – a city can reap significant benefits to society both socially and economically.  Working with individuals or groups that are different from your own, opens up the doors to differences and challenges they may be facing, and may help to break down fear and misunderstanding in our city over diversity and difference.

Acceptance of diversity also gives one the freedom to be the person they are without discrimination and in social harmony.

I want Hamilton to be a place without discrimination and a city that flows social harmony.

What do you think about the current Hamilton City Council?

There has been wasted spending and decisions not just in the last term of 3 years – but in the last 9 years since I last stood for Mayor in 2010.

I disagree spending thousands and thousands of dollars in art when there is roads, CBD and safety that need attention.  Since 2011 (according to the Hamilton Arts Agenda), 24 public artworks in the city was valued at over $4.9 million dollars.  In 2017, news agencies reported that the Hamilton City Council looking at spending $73 million on a Waikato Regional Theatre to replace Founders Theatre.  I don’t understand this when we have Claudelands Event Centre, Waikato University and The Meteor to accommodate as an Auditorium, and with the existing debt – spending more shouldn’t even be an option.

Rate Payers are not a bank and we all know money doesn’t grow on trees.

What has prompted you to run for Hamilton City Council?

I am standing for Mayor of Hamilton, because I would like to see Hamilton City Council work for all of the people in Hamilton, – not just some.

I believe that this can happen if the right person who embraces all diverse cultures and life paths in Hamilton, is in the leadership role making decisions that shape our city to be a strong and united team where decisions and costs include rate payers.  Throughout my different paths that I have walked in my lifetime, – I have learned many life experiences that have made me into the person that I am today, including respecting where one has come to the colour of their skin and to what gender they may be.

I am well equiped to be Mayor of Hamilton.

Here is a description of a Mayor’s role and duties in which I am more than capable of doing everything set out below.

The Mayor is elected by the city as a whole and, as one of the elected members, shares the same responsibilities as other members of Council.

In addition, the Mayor:
• Is the presiding member at full Council meetings
• Is responsible for ensuring the orderly conduct of business during meetings, as determined in Council’s Standing Orders
• Advocates on behalf of the community.
• This role may involve promoting the community and representing its interests at regional, national and international gatherings
• Is the ceremonial head of Council
• Provides leadership and feedback to other elected members about teamwork and chairing committees
• Keeps the council fully informed of the activities of the Office of the Mayor
• Carries out civic and ceremonial responsibilities associated with the position of Mayor
• Represents the Council at Local Government New Zealand activities

​• Acts as a Justice of the Peace
• Requisition a meeting of Council
• Declare a Civil Defence emergency
• Requesting the Mayor to attend an event

What do you think are some of the key challenges coming up for Hamilton?

I believe paying off past debt former Mayors, Councillors and Council have racked up.  Reducing rate rises for rate payers is up there as HIGH PRIORITY.

As a resident of Hamilton most of my life, I recall the past 13 years there has been many broken promises of candidates every 3 years say what they need to get in the Mayoral seat.  And in return, – rates have risen, and problems still exist.  There has been assurance every term CBD would be taken care of.  The only changes I see in the CBD is traffic congestion worsen, road-rage, less parking, more homeless and counterproductive art that could have waited till other areas should have been taken care of first.

I always note right before the 3 year terms up suddenly changes happen to illustrate to rate payers and the city of Hamilton the current elected Mayor and elected Councillors have done good, but in my eyes – the delay in the current elected Mayor and Councillors doing so where important areas have been left ignored for far too long verifies concrete negligence.

The wasteful spending needs to stop immediately; careful selection in the 2019 change of elected Council needs to happen from voters with the right change needed for the increasing number of people moving to our city.

How do you think you could play a difference around the table?

You only have to meet me once to learn that I won’t back down if I am passionate about something.  I am not a push-over.  I am mentally strong and will be a resilient warrior for Hamilton that makes decisions based on facts.   I work hard, give 100% in my drive and development and am 100% honest.

I will be an influential leader who achieves cost-effective results and steers Hamilton on the right path with return, solving important problems along the way where rate payers will see a difference.

I have high levels of compassion and understanding, and I am empathetic in all situations.

How long have you spent in Hamilton?

I have lived in Hamilton for most of my life.  At age 5, – I attended Rhode Street Primary, Hamilton’s Whanau School which is located in the South Western Hamilton suburb of Dinsdale (a school established in 1959). Being a quiet child that observed others, socially many culturally diverse friends at this age from Fijian, Indian, Samoan and NZ Maori.  Growing up in Hamilton I have been around many different religions friends followed from Catholic, Christian, Mormon, Muslim to Jehovah’s Witness.  This has taught me to respect each and every person’s right and life-choice of religions from a very young age.

High Schools included Hamilton Girls High School and also Fraser High School.

My child has also attended pre-school, kindergarten, primary, intermediate and high school here in Hamilton.  I have met many amazing mums and dads here in Hamilton and the honour of meeting many teachers who dedicate their life to educate our future.

I have met many diverse Hamiltonians in my lifetime of being a Waikato Girl, and I can’t wait to meet more!

Will you continue your current profession if elected Mayor of Hamilton?

If the people of Hamilton elect me Lisa Lewis as Mayor of Hamilton, I see this as a full-time job.  I feel Hamilton deserves a full-time Mayor.  I would hope any of the other Mayoral Candidates would also dedicate 100% to the role like I have promised to do if whoever becomes Mayor they will also give their all like I am assuring the people of Hamilton promising dedication and loyalty to my city.

Do you think your past will affect you running for Mayor?

I believe that my past has enhanced my ability to be Mayor of Hamilton.  My background as per my “About Lisa” section on my website outlays a range of training and upbringing having me equipped and prepared for the role of Mayor of Hamilton in 2019.

Throughout my life the media have only portrayed one side of me. Peoples perception of me varies like anyone who has been in the public eye. There are many elements to Lisa Lewis. At aged 38 years of age, I have had life experiences, lessons and background one would only dream of living or may read in a book. I have dealt with each situation to the best of my ability where in all honesty most circumstances many people could not deal with, – I have shown strength, courage, perseverance and endured through the good, and the bad.

Being a Mayor requires one to be in the public spotlight.  Some individuals cannot handle such strains of the public scrutiny that being well-known can bring, which being Mayor the burden on one’s emotional or mental well-being is something to consider in which I succeed as a candidate.

There is no skeletons or cobwebs in my closet; It’s either on Google already or on this website. I do have the ability and life experiences to be Mayor of Hamilton. Dealing with daily issues that arise in personal life and in business is very normal living for me. I, Lisa Lewis have the fighting power, drive, determination and dedication to not give up on this city. 

Do you support having Maori representation (Mangai Maori) around the council’s committee tables, and would you support them as part of the council’s governance structure next term if given the chance? If not, why?

If I am successful as a candidate for Mayor or Councillor I would say: As an advocate between Community and Council, I would like Māori to answer this question and I relay it verbally on their behalf. A Councillor and a Mayor is a bridge between the Council and Community; Māori should speak for Māori – not pakeha (I wouldn’t want someone to speak on my behalf). Their microphone needs to be turned up just like any other.

Yes I do support Māori representation around Council and I will support Māori as part of the Councils governance structure next term.

Māori makes up over at least 30,000 of Hamilton.

I feel honoured to share this beautiful city with Māori along with many other diverse cultures. I believe it is important to listen to all the different people that make up and contribute to our city and I respect each and every group and more importantly to iwi.

In my campaign policies we are addressing issues that includes Māori.

I have also contacted the Māori King for his feedback surrounding Māori and how my policies could possibly assist more Māori in Hamilton. I also believe that it is important to hear the voice of people (not just the voice of leaders), as into how Hamilton Council can assist Māori and any other culture in ways that HCC are possibly lacking.

Want to see change?

This campaign is going to take a tremendous amount of resources in order for us to win. Can you help?