Aim­ing to be voice for the com­mu­nity

Matamata Chronicle - - Your Paper, Your Place - REXINE HAWES

A man who is head­ing a cam­paign to in­tro­duce ex­tra fea­tures into the planned Mata­mata Memo­rial Cen­tre will at­tempt a sec­ond run at be­com­ing a coun­cil­lor for the Mata­mata-Pi­ako dis­trict.

Kevin Tap­pin man­aged 1980 votes at the 2013 elec­tions, just be­hind Bob Mc­Grail, who is not con­test­ing re-elec­tion. Tap­pin hasn’t spent the past three years dwelling on the re­sult though, and says he only de­cided to put his name for­ward re­cently.

He was born, bred and ed­u­cated in Mata­mata, his fa­ther was also in lo­cal pol­i­tics, serv­ing for one term on the Mata­mata Bor­ough Coun­cil in 1971.

He is the owner/op­er­a­tor of Hur­ri­cane Com­put­ers on Arawa Street. He has served the com­mu­nity through Ro­tary, Lions, on both the Mata­mata Pub­lic Re­la­tions As­so­ci­a­tion and Mata­mata Busi­ness As­so­ci­a­tion com­mit­tees and is a mem­ber of Grey Power.

Coun­try mu­sic is a pas­sion he shares with his wife Kay, a well­known singer. They are both on the ex­ec­u­tive of a group which brings high-pro­file en­ter­tain­ment into the Waikato and Bay of Plenty.

Tap­pin is also a sound en­gi­neer at Mill Cor­ner Stu­dios. He is cur­rently spear-head­ing the charge to find an ex­tra $1mil­lion for a stage and wing fa­cil­ity to be added to the planned memo­rial cen­tre.

In 2010, Tap­pin was elected onto the now de-es­tab­lished Mata­mata Com­mu­nity Board, and says the longer he sat on that board, the more he re­alised how im­por­tant it was for or­di­nary com- mu­nity mem­bers to have a say on dis­trict plans and poli­cies.

‘‘I en­joyed the ex­pe­ri­ence and we, as a board, man­aged to get a lot of things achieved. It made me con­scious of hav­ing rep­re­sen­ta­tion on coun­cil. I went to ev­ery coun­cil meet­ing over a three year pe­riod, to see how it all worked.’’

He says that apart from a pas­sion for get­ting the memo­rial cen­tre re­build right, he doesn’t have any fixed agenda or per­sonal projects to try and push through. He just wants to be a voice for the com­mu­nity, to rep­re­sent their con­cerns and take to coun­cil the is­sues peo­ple talk to him about.

It’s a job he be­lieves he’s ful­fill­ing with the com­mu­nity al­ready.

‘‘I know peo­ple don’t mind talk­ing to me. Be­cause I ama lo­cal busi­ness­man, peo­ple of­ten come in and talk about their con­cerns in the com­mu­nity and I’d like to be in a po­si­tion to voice those dis­cus­sions at the coun­cil ta­ble.’’

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