En­hanc­ing re­la­tion­ships key fo­cus

Central Otago Mirror - - CONVERSATIONS - LYAL COCKS

The Queen­stown Lakes Dis­trict, from Makarora to Glenorchy, Lug­gage to Kingston, is a great place in which to live and work but it needs to be guided, with a col­lab­o­ra­tive sense of pur­pose, to en­sure it de­vel­ops to its best po­ten­tial, best for all of us, for now and for fu­ture gen­er­a­tions. That’s my vi­sion.

This dis­trict’s mo­men­tum for de­vel­op­ment has in­creased in re­cent years.The cur­rent Dis­trict Plan re­view will set our di­rec­tion. Fis­cally re­spon­si­ble coun­cil man­age­ment has seen a re­duc­tion in op­er­a­tional ex­pen­di­ture and pro­duced an af­ford­able 10 Year Plan. A new waste wa­ter treat­ment plant for Queen­stown opens soon and the new Wanaka Recre­ation Cen­tre is up and run­ning, to be fol­lowed by a new pool com­plex. Waste wa­ter schemes are be­ing de­vel­oped for Glenorchy and Cardrona. Hawthorne Drive (East­ern Ac­cess Road) will be com­pleted next year in con­junc­tion with the new Kawa­rau River bridge. A Queen­stown Trans­porta­tion Strat­egy plans to im­prove traf­fic flows; ease com­muter con­ges­tion with a park and ride ser­vice; cre­ate a trans­port hub for pub­lic trans­port; and im­prove park­ing in the city. The de­vel­op­ment of af­ford­able worker ac­com­mo­da­tion is un­der con­sid­er­a­tion in Wanaka and Queen­stown. Our air­ports are go­ing from strength to strength and Ul­tra Fast Broad­band is avail­able in Queen­stown and Wanaka and will be ex­panded fur­ther to meet de­mand.

Hav­ing served this dis­trict as an elected of­fi­cial for 12 years, and for the last six as Deputy Mayor, I have the knowl­edge and proven ex­pe­ri­ence to pro­vide the lead­er­ship to keep this mo­men­tum on track. There is frus­tra­tion at the time it takes Coun­cil to get re­sults, but de­ci­sion mak­ing and spend­ing pub­lic money in lo­cal gov­ern­ment is bound by democ­racy, leg­is­la­tion, plans, con­sul­ta­tion and bu­reau­cracy. To­gether with an ef­fec­tive Coun­cil team, guid­ing the sys­tem to pro­vide the most ben­e­fi­cial re­sults for most in our com­mu­ni­ties is the goal.

A key fo­cus for me, as Mayor, will be en­hanc­ing re­la­tion­ships, par­tic­u­larly with the busi­ness com­mu­nity, to har­ness the skills, in­no­va­tion and mo­ti­va­tion lo­cals have to im­prove this dis­trict. My com­mit­ment to grow­ing and di­ver­si­fy­ing the dis­trict’s econ­omy, ad­dress­ing the cor­re­spond­ing so­cial im­pli­ca­tions, re­tain­ing the nat­u­ral beauty of our en­vi­ron­ment, and im­prov­ing the well­be­ing for all res­i­dents re­lies heav­ily on ef­fec­tive part­ner­ships.

This dis­trict has been my per­ma­nent home for the last 18 years. I am stand­ing for Mayor be­cause I be­lieve in my vi­sion; I be­lieve I can lead this dis­trict to a bet­ter fu­ture, a suc­cess­ful fu­ture for all the com­mu­ni­ties which make this dis­trict the dy­namic, vi­tal place we proudly call home.

* Lyal Cocks is the cur­rent Queen­stown Lakes Dis­trict Coun­cil deputy mayor and is a can­di­date for the may­oralty this year.

Lyal Cocks has served the dis­trict as an elected of­fi­cial for 12 years.

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