Candidate profile statement
My principal place of residence is in the Franklin Ward area.
I am a born and bred Franklin resident. Most of my working life has also been based in Franklin where I have had significant community involvement as a police officer, dairy farmer, business owner and within sport, service and community organisations. My involvement with Council started managing rural fire brigades, civil defence and road safety for FDC. Since 2010 I have been a leader on the Franklin Local Board. I understand the good and the bad of Council. I will use my experience, leadership and knowledge to push for changes in how, why and where Council does things. All of Auckland should be treated equally, whether that be Council services, facilities or infrastructure like roads. Specifically for Franklin I will focus on the environment, development and transport issues. It is vital there is an experienced, knowledgeable and credible rural voice around an urban dominated Council table. I am that voice.
Born & bred in Franklin I have had significant involvement within our communities through work and my personal life. Including as a dairy farmer, police officer, in emergency management and Franklin Local Board. I am involved in rugby, service groups, health initiatives and am patron of Counties Special Olympics. I have knowledge and understanding of Franklin built up from my involvement at personal and political levels. Representing the area I love is a privilege and pleasure and something I am focussed on continuing to do. Being councillor is a full time roll and one I will give undivided attention to so our collective home gets the best it can from being part of Auckland. My family history here is significant, first arriving in the 1860s so Franklin is in my blood.
Why I want to be elected
For the last 12 years as a leader on the Franklin Local Board I have enhanced my understanding and knowledge of Franklin and council and have a clear view as to how things can change or be tweaked to get the best for both Franklin and the region. I want to use my experience and knowledge to get better outcomes in particular where, why and how council does things. This includes within likes of Auckland Transport. Empowering both our communities and council staff as we have done on the local board can lead to far better bang for our rates and greater equity across all parts of Auckland. I bring a unique, pragmatic perspective where I encourage and work alongside people which I believe can be effective at the councillor table. A credible rural voice is needed amongst the urban dominated council.
What I love most about the area I want to represent
Franklin is unique. It is an incredibly important farming and rural industry area but with fast developing urban areas like Pukekohe, Beachlands, Clevedon, Waiuku and Drury are seeing huge transformation. This creates opportunities to enhance the things I love most: The rural landscapes I grew up on, our amazing beaches and coastlines, the Manukau and Hunua Ranges where we have so many things to enjoy. It is our communities and rural values that is most important. Our willingness to pitch in, help our neighbours and be different from the rest of the fast paced urban lifestyle on our doorstep. We have to make sure as we change that we treasure our rich history and make sure we don't lose those values and things that has made this area such a gem.
What I think about key issues for Auckland
Choose a campaign topic to read the candidate's views on it.
City centre and local development
Getting the best out of the changes coming to our rural towns. Ensuring they are capable of maintaining the great things they have whilst enhancing them without losing their underlying values.
Economic and cultural development
Continuing to respect and champion our important rural industries alongside likes of the Steel Mill and our quarrying which are so important. Focusing on getting the best of them.
Environment management and regulation
Working with farmers, landowners, communities and businesses to enhance and protect our unique environment from the Manukau right across to the Gulf and all between.
Funding and financing
Rates need to be affordable and appropriately used. We need to push for greater funding tools from government and private sector to achieve the things needed. Working with others creates greater opportunities for leveraging other funding and getting better bang for our buck.
Outcomes for Māori
Working with Māori is a non negotiable, how that is done needs to be carefully worked through as everyone has their own specific needs and views. I am a fan of co-design and working alongside mana whenua and iwi in a balanced and respectful way to achieve our outcomes.
Parks and community
We have to be innovative and pragmatic with our parks and open space, making sure we get things that meet the needs of our communities.
A huge area of focus for me, road maintenance, design, capacity as well as having fit for purpose public transport and recognition that Franklin is reliant on private vehicles as well as heavy transport. Too many things to go in this small box.
Water, wastewater and stormwater
I am not a fan of the current structure and approach for Three Waters. I have endorsed previous Auckland Council comments opposing how this is being approached by Government.
What I will prioritise if I am elected
How, where and why council does things is my priority when sitting at the councillor table. There is an inequity within council currently that needs to be rebalanced, all parts of Auckland should be treated the same whether that is within council services, access to facilities or return for what we pay as rates. We need to redefine need and then look at how we operate so we work with communities to achieve our goals. As we have found on the local board, often we can achieve so much more working with people which is far more efficient. Council is a very large onion with far too many layers which need to be peeled back so dealing with council is easier and faster. Auckland Transport approach in rural areas is a priority for me, whether it be maintenance or things like speed limit reviews, things need to change. In Franklin my focus is on environment, transport and transformation from development, things I have been fighting hard for on the local board.