‘I won’t make prom­ises I can’t keep’

Central Otago Mirror - - CONVERSATIONS - MARTIN MCPHER­SON

I’m Martin McPher­son. I have lived in Cen­tral Otago for 23 years. You know me both as sit­ting coun­cil­lor and as a pro­moter of this re­gion.

I am prob­a­bly best known for my work on the Alexan­dra Blos­som Fes­ti­val, an icon of Cen­tral Otago that is cel­e­brat­ing its di­a­mond ju­bilee next month. There­fore, you would have to agree as a lo­cal coun­cil stal­wart I have con­sid­er­able ex­pe­ri­ence in and around coun­cil and the wider community.

Cen­tral Otago is grow­ing; we are see­ing un­prece­dented de­vel­op­ment in all parts of the re­gion.

As a leader of coun­cil I wish to celebrate our cur­rent success sto­ries and look to the fu­ture to pro­mote more growth and ac­tiv­ity.

As a mem­ber of the plan­ning com­mit­tee I have worked on the re­vised dis­trict plan that I know will al­low more land in the dis­trict to be opened for de­vel­op­ment.

With imag­i­na­tion and cre­ativ­ity, we can pro­mote Cen­tral as an at­trac­tive home for peo­ple seek­ing a life­style change. My gen­er­a­tion, born be­tween 1946 and 1965, are seek­ing a place to live that offers the life­style, ser­vices and af­ford­abil­ity that Cen­tral has on of­fer. Not re­tire­ment, but re­lo­ca­tion and in­vest­ment in their fu­ture and ours.

To main­tain an af­ford­able fu­ture, we need to at­tract more peo­ple to live here and share our space. Let’s talk to de­vel­op­ers and landown­ers, let’s take ad­van­tage of new wa­ter schemes not only ur­ban but the ru­ral in­vest­ment in ir­ri­ga­tion to pro­mote our re­gion as a mecca for growth.

When elected I pro­pose that by the New Year I will have ad­dressed the fol­low­ing: I will or­gan­ise a sum­mit of prop­erty de­vel­op­ers and landown­ers to ex­plore fur­ther de­vel­op­ments and how as coun­cil we can help; I will talk to Ngai Tahu re­gard­ing land around Alexan­dra and seek op­por­tu­ni­ties to de­velop joint ven­tures with the South Is­land’s biggest prop­erty in­vestor; I will ask coun­cil to ini­ti­ate a review of our cur­rent tourism and eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment strate­gies.

I want to see Cen­tral Otago bet­ter pro­moted as a life­style and in­vest­ment choice for disgruntled city dwellers. The only way I know to keep rates down is to ei­ther cut ser­vices or in­crease the num­ber of peo­ple pay­ing for our pools, wa­ter schemes and waste.

I won’t make prom­ises I can’t keep. I will al­ways lis­ten. My heart and soul is here. I be­lieve by putting you, the peo­ple first and fore­most we can go for­ward to­gether. If you know me and then you know I get the job done and with a pas­sion.

‘‘Martin re­ally does care about peo­ple and work­ing with them to en­hance their lives where he can. He is the most ap­proach­able man I have ever met and the way he in­ter­acts with peo­ple is amaz­ing.’’ My part­ner’s words not mine.

Martin McPher­son is a can­di­date for the Cen­tral Otago may­oralty.

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Martin McPher­son has lived in Cen­tral Otago for 23 years.

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