I’ve been Deputy Mayor for the last 2 years.
I’m standing for Mayor as the city needs a greater level of leadership and governance.
I’ve shown that I’m a creative thinker, with a ‘can do’ attitude, who is prepared to advocate for what ratepayers tell me they want.
I need your support to get as many candidates as possible from the LETS GO Invercargill ticket onto council, because one thing I’ve learned is one person cannot do it alone.
The current areas of concerns for me are:
Lack of accountability for finances spent by council that ultimately impact in rate increases. For three years I’ve sought how much Council pays for consultants, contractors and legal fees, And I get nothing but a wall of silence. What is being hidden from elected members, who represent ratepayers ?
That the advice given to elected members as we support projects is unacceptable. Over the last 3 years, I’ve tracked the costs of 10 projects. Those projects have risen in cost by 50-300% and can not be put down solely to the pandemic and supply chain costs.
Those projects have risen in estimated costs by an eye watering $75.3m according to my analysis. This will hurt our community and generations into the future.We need to get control of those costs and be brave enough to cancel some projects that are no longer appropriate.
The specific issues I wish to promote, given new councillor support, are:
Get the new museum built within 3 years (not double that time by the current council plans). The museum should never have been closed by Council in 2018. It has been closed for 4.5years and Council have down little to address the issues of ‘where to from here’.I’m opposed to the new museum storage at Tisbury at a cost of $10.2m.Every year we delay this new build, to cost goes up $5m+.I can get this done without any increase in the rates forecast.
3Waters reform. I’m totally opposed to this reform, which will cost our city ratepayers more if we join the South Island water entity, where we will subsidise other councils that have not done so well upgrading their water networks and have less capacity to borrow. We have a very low net debt due to careful management and have the highest credit rating of all councils at AA+.If central govt want to strip away our assets, they can fund the water entities through core taxes as opposed to our rates.
I believe the reform can’t deliver what they promise and that is backed up by independent analysis.
Recycling contract. In September last year, I got unanimous support for the contract with SdEto be extended to 2027, when the Bond Contracting contract lapses, which gave the disability workers some employment safety.
Some staff were not happy with that decision, and 2 months later, a paper from staff recommended that if the future on the recycling was to maintain two separate contracts(one for pickup and another for sorting), then council could possibly put the sorting contract out for tender in 2023 (next year).
I am totally opposed to putting the employment of 40 disability workers at risk.
This area needs an upgrade to link the new Destination Hotel in Lower Esk Street into the ICL development. It may also allow for more inner city vibrancy.
Stead Street Wharf:
Council needs to join with Heritage NZ to strengthen the wharf and open up the space. They agreed to explore this strengthening 3 years ago, but have done nothing but fence off the wharf. There is interest in creating a new café on site to cater for bikers on the trail to Bluff and others to enjoy the estuary.
Southern Lights walking trail. I would develop a loop walking trial from Kmart, up the Otepuni stream with night lighting, along Queens Drive past the umbrella and other art work, past the Water Tower (also lit at night), down Gala St and into Queens Park (trees lit up like Matariki for 2 hours after dusk every night), then back through the inner city with historic buildings displayed at night with up lighting and back into the inner city where we will have two new hotels (ILT Langlands and Destination Hotel in 2023).
Bluff Oyster festival. Council should help the organising committee and other hotel / tourist operators to expand the festival into a 4 day event like the successful Burt Munro event. There are development and tourism benefits for Bluff, Stewart Island, NZAS TIwai and the Invercargill.
Our council needs to be an ‘enabler’ for growth and development – we only need one good reason to get some things done, not 10 reasons why not.