Brash and Don­ald­son face op­po­si­tion for re­gional coun­cil

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE -

In 2013, the ex­pe­ri­enced duo of Bar­bara Don­ald­son and Jenny Brash were elected un­op­posed onto Greater Welling­ton Re­gional Coun­cil for Porirua/Tawa. But Heidi Mills and Jorn Scherzer have put their names for­ward to make it a con­test.

Jenny Brash

Brash is stand­ing for her third term.

She said her re­gional coun­cil role has been ’’in­ter­est­ing’’ and ‘‘ex­cit­ing’’ and is keen for more.

‘‘The mo­men­tum we’re build­ing in so many projects needs to be main­tained. I’ve been in­volved in a lot of de­ci­sion-mak­ing and I think ex­pe­ri­ence has to count for some­thing.’’

Brash, a long-time Plim­mer­ton res­i­dent, said trans­port top­ics like elec­tric ve­hi­cles, in­te­grated tick­et­ing, stu­dent con­ces­sions and new park and rides are im­por­tant.

She wanted to see ex­it­ing for mo­torists at the Pare­mata round­about sorted quickly.

Along with the Nat­u­ral Re­sources Plan on the hori­zon, Brash wanted to see silt from Trans­mis­sion Gully and the on­go­ing work to im­prove Porirua Har­bour and Porirua Stream ad­dressed.

‘‘I have more than 20 years of gover­nance ex­pe­ri­ence and with city coun­cils - I know who to go to. It’s a chal­leng­ing and ex­cit­ing time.’’

Bar­bara Don­ald­son

Don­ald­son was the chair­woman of the coun­cil’s En­vi­ron­ment Com­mit­tee this term, her third on the coun­cil.

She said mak­ing im­por­tant de­ci­sions that af­fected the en­tire re­gion keeps her on her toes.

‘‘Al­though you’re elected in a cer­tain ward, you work with a re­gional per­spec­tive. It’s in­cred­i­bly in­ter­est­ing work and I’ve learnt so much th­ese past few years.’’

Don­ald­son, who lives in Aotea, said the Nat­u­ral Re­sources Plan was one of the most cru­cial pieces of work for the coun­cil.

‘‘We go to hear­ings next year and this is some­thing that shapes man­age­ment of wa­ter and land right across the re­gion. It is al­ways a chal­lenge to de­velop a plan like this and I want to see it through. I also want to con­tinue with my in­volve­ment in the Porirua Har­bour strat­egy and get that catch­ment area sorted out.’’

Heidi Mills

Mills said she will bring a fo­cus on en­gage­ment with the pub­lic if she wins a seat.

‘‘I’m about walk­ing the talk. I work in ed­u­ca­tion with young peo­ple and I’ve been ask­ing them about the rel­e­vance of the re­gional coun­cil - you get blank looks. This elec­tion has been an in­ter­est­ing learn­ing process but I think I have a lot to of­fer.’’

While Mills, from Tawa, used to work for the Min­istry of Youth De­vel­op­ment, she is cur­rently op­er­at­ing in­de­pen­dently, talk­ing in schools about youth is­sues. She said she was de­sign­ing re­sources to en­gage young peo­ple with their en­vi­ron­ment.

She said the main re­gional coun­cil is­sues have been ‘‘well­cov­ered’’, but get­ting them across to the pub­lic once the new term be­gan was im­por­tant.

De­ci­sions made at that level by coun­cil­lors are not pub­li­cised enough, she said, and more scru­tiny and un­der­stand­ing was needed.

‘‘I have en­ergy and drive and would bring an open­ness to the role. I’m ac­ces­si­ble and I think coun­cil­lors need to be seen more.’’

Jorn Scherzer

Scherzer, a Pa­pakowhai res­i­dent, wanted to bring his ex­pe­ri­ence in en­vi­ron­men­tal man­age­ment with EECA, and at the Min­istry of Trans­port, to bear.

Scherzer, 38, who has a young fam­ily, is well-known in the waka ama and pad­dling com­mu­nity, as a com­peti­tor and race or­gan­iser. He is the pres­i­dent of the Hoe Tonga Paci­fica Waka Ama As­so­ci­a­tion.

He said as some­one who pad­dles Porirua Har­bour and Pau­ata­hanui In­let daily, wa­ter qual­ity is his key is­sue. Pub­lic trans­port fol­lows closely be­hind.

‘‘I de­cided that you can com­plain about what the re­gional coun­cil are do­ing, or you can put your hat in the ring. I bring solid skills, a new per­spec­tive, and my work and waka ama role al­lows me to have a real re­gional fo­cus.’’

He said the re­gion needed to be bet­ter pre­pared for the use of elec­tric ve­hi­cles.

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