Rates re­lief prom­ise key plat­form for Watt

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE - KRIS DANDO

David Watt says a freeze on rates would be his first move as Porirua’s mayor, if he beats out the other five can­di­dates in the up-com­ing elec­tion.

The Plim­mer­ton res­i­dent, 52, is up against Mike Tana, Liz Kelly, Euon Mur­rell, Gor­don Mar­shall and Mike Dun­can in the race for the seat left va­cant by Nick Leggett.

Mov­ing from the Wairarapa two years ago, Watt, a teacher and school man­ager most of his work­ing life, said he was mo­ti­vated to stand af­ter talk­ing with refugees in his new role as man­ager of the Porirua Lan­guage Project.

‘‘The most ef­fec­tive things I’ve heard about the coun­cil and the way the city is run is from peo­ple in the street,’’ he said.

‘‘I’ve talked with most of the CBD re­tail­ers and with the peo­ple the Lan­guage Project helps. I’m aware of their needs and as­pi­ra­tions and what role the coun­cil has to play in that.’’

Watt’s cen­tral plat­forms are to ‘‘tame’’ ex­ec­u­tive salaries of coun­cil man­agers, ad­dress flood­ing, trans­port and crime is­sues, ad­vo­cate for health, hous­ing and so­cial needs to cen­tral govern­ment and make Porirua a des­ti­na­tion for shop­ping, govern­ment of­fices, busi­ness and ter­tiary ed­u­ca­tion.

One move he would look to make im­me­di­ately is a first year rates freeze on new hous­ing and rental ac­com­mo­da­tion. He would also push to cap rates at in­fla­tion and be­lieved in a liv­ing wage for coun­cil em­ploy­ees.

‘‘We do not have the high in­comes of other cities and peo­ple are strug­gling out there with $4000 rates bills,’’ he said.

‘‘I want Porirua to be a place that peo­ple will pros­per and I don’t think it will hap­pen if we stay on the path we’re on.’’

Watt was not wor­ried about his in­ex­pe­ri­ence in civic af­fairs, say­ing his man­age­ment ex­pe­ri­ence and de­sire to work with peo­ple for com­mon goals would serve him well.

The fa­ther-of-four said Porirua was a won­der­ful and di­verse place to live and rel­ished the chal­lenge of lead­ing it for­ward.

‘‘The com­bi­na­tion of the land, sea and hills and the in­cred­i­ble at­ti­tude of peo­ple here makes me in­cred­i­bly happy to live here. There is that mix of gen­er­a­tions of fam­i­lies and new peo­ple be­ing wel­comed in to our vil­lages.’’

PHOTO: KRIS DANDO

Porirua may­oral can­di­date David Watt.

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