A number of pressing issues confront HRC including regional development, Capital Connection, transport, flood protection and freshwater management. All are important but if I have to pick one it would be freshwater management. This is a high priority for the community, the Government and local authorities, particularly since the debacle with the Havelock North water supply contamination. It also impacts on the management of land use due to the effects of runoff from farming operations. The HRC One Plan identifies run-off as being the biggest single threat to water quality in the region. I have experience of water quality management as chief executive of a district council and understand the importance of good practice in this matter. HRC must consider the conflicting interests of businesses such as farming and those who use the water for drinking and recreation. Furthermore, there is increasing demand for water in an environment that has to confront the impact of climate change.
This election is for the Palmerston North constituency and, if elected, I would have a particular interest in how the HRC provides for Palmerston North. However, HRC is responsible for a huge area and each councillor has a responsibility for the entire region.
Each area has its own interests and concerns and I would be part of the team that contributes towards providing viable solutions that work for all. Regardless of whether we live in the Manawatu¯ , Whanganui, Tararua, Ruapehu or any other part of the region, problems such as fresh water management have similarities. As an accountant I would always be conscious of the impact of council’s activities on rates. I am not part of the inner sanctum at present and the pressing issues will be shown when I get there.
I’ll focus on the Palmerston North seat, working with the three Palmerston North seat councillors, and we will be working with councillors including the two councillors allocated for the Manawatu¯ .