Can­di­dates look to the fu­ture

For our fi­nal ques­tion for Porirua’s may­oral can­di­dates KRIS DANDO asks: If elected mayor, what do you see as the most press­ing is­sue(s) for you in the com­ing three years?

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Gre­gory For­tuin says the cru­cial as­pect of the job for him is en­sur­ing he and the 13 coun­cil­lors are on the same page in terms of ad­vanc­ing the city.

‘‘ You have to mold a team to­gether. There will be such di­verse peo­ple around the ta­ble and there needs to be good plan­ning and strate­gies put in place.’’

He sees cre­at­ing wealth and em­ploy­ment, and in­spir­ing young peo­ple to suc­ceed as his pri­or­i­ties.

For Brian Collins it is to en­sure in­for­ma­tion pro­vided by coun­cil em­ploy­ees is ac­cu­rate. ‘‘This is so coun­cil­lors can make fully-in­formed de­ci­sions.’’

He de­spaired at the lack of prepa­ra­tion shown by some of his op­po­nents at the can­di­dates meet­ings so, as mayor, will de­mand his coun­cil­lors do their home­work.

Peter Windsor says his chief tasks are to keep rates to a rea­son­able level and re­struc­ture the way ser­vices are de­liv­ered to the com­mu­nity.

‘‘We have to more savvy, there needs to be ques­tions asked about where money is be­ing lost.’’

He be­lieves out­side con­sul­tants should be used less, with cur­rent coun­cil of­fi­cers need­ing more skills.

Piripi Gray be­lieves it is im­per­a­tive more empty shops in Porirua are filled with ten­ants and small-to-medium busi­nesses are en­cour­aged to em­ploy lo­cal peo­ple.

‘‘The tal­ent is all around us and we never use it. We can’t rely on peo­ple out­side this city to solve the prob­lems that are on our doorstep, like gangs and graf­fiti. Use groups like the [ Com­mu­nity] Guardians, Maori War­dens and other com­mu­nity groups to make this a bet­ter place.’’

Rus­sell Mar­shall wants two ‘‘sum­mits’’ be­fore Christ­mas, look- ing at the lo­cal econ­omy and so­cial is­sues. ‘‘ I want se­ri­ous con­ver­sa­tions with the busi­ness com­mu­nity and the pub­lic, gath­er­ing in­for­ma­tion to tell us where we are and where things are not right. I think there is a sense of ur­gency to do this.’’

He says this will go a long way to help­ing the city coun­cil un­der­stand how, so­cially, to make Porirua a more co­he­sive com­mu­nity.

Mike Dun­can re­it­er­ated the main plat­form for his can­di­dacy: a hard look at rates.

‘‘That’s where it starts and ends for me, it’s my prime driver. I want [coun­cil] de­part­ments to get away from get­ting a bud­get and then spend­ing ev­ery last dol­lar of it. If we make the sav­ings on small things [he men­tioned the amount of coun­cil cars be­ing driven around by sin­gle oc­cu­pants], it all mounts up.’’

Nick Leggett says while his three tan­gi­bles in the next tri­en­nium are up­grad­ing Porirua’s CBD, see­ing work start on the har­bour and im­prov­ing the city’s sewer pipes, lift­ing the per- cep­tion of Porirua re­gion­ally and na­tion­ally is a high pri­or­ity for him.

‘‘I want to make peo­ple even prouder of liv­ing here and work hard to sell Porirua on the facts, not al­low­ing the me­dia to show the city as some­where full of poverty and crime.’’

Litea Ah Hoi be­lieves amal­ga­ma­tion and the har­bour will likely dom­i­nate the next three years, but hav­ing Porirua be­come a safe com­mu­nity ‘‘in re­al­ity’’ is vi­tal.

‘‘It’s one thing to have the World Health Or­gan­i­sa­tion say that this is a safe place to live but coun­cil need to work much harder to ad­dress some of the is­sues that are af­fect­ing our peo­ple.’’

Liz Kelly in­tends to work hard early in her ten­ure to re­duce the coun­cil’s de­pen­dence on rates, say­ing it will ‘‘make an im­me­di­ate dif­fer­ence’’.

Shared ser­vices with other lo­cal au­thor­i­ties and ob­tain­ing their sup­port to en­cour­age cen­tral govern­ment to re­move GST from rates are key is­sues.

‘‘The time is right, all coun­cils should work to­gether on this.’’

Peter Windsor

Gre­gory For­tuin

Rus­sell Mar­shall

Liz Kelly

Piripi Gray

Nick Leggett

Litea Ah Hoi

Brian Collins

Mike Dun­can

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