Ti­maru: More ‘do­ers’ needed

South Canterbury Herald - - FRONT PAGE - ELENA MCPHEE

‘‘The world's our oys­ter, re­ally. ’’

The man set to be­come Ti­maru’s new­est coun­cil­lor says build­ing com­mu­nity par­tic­i­pa­tion and pride in his home­town will be one of his main aims while he is in lo­cal govern­ment.

Nigel Bowen, co-owner of Speight’s Ale House, se­cured an over­whelm­ing ma­jor­ity in the by­elec­tion with 5241 of the 10,483 votes cast.

Mark Rogers was se­cond with 1795 votes, fol­lowed by Anthony Brien (1338), Owen ‘‘OJ’’ Jack­son (1255) and Mur­ray Clev­er­ley (823).

Bowen, who grew up in Ti­maru and has spent most of his life here, at­tend­ing Ron­calli Col­lege, said at­tract­ing tourists into the district would be a main fo­cus for him.

When it came to Ti­maru­vians im­prov­ing their town, he wanted to see ‘‘less so­cial me­dia com­men­ta­tors and more do­ers’’.

‘‘All the coun­cil­lors that are cur­rently in there have the same mind­set [as me].’’

Mak­ing the most of Caro­line Bay, one of the town’s key as­sets, would be cen­tral to draw­ing more vis­i­tors in, Bowen said.

He did not have

‘‘all the an­swers’’ at this stage, but while he was in coun­cil he wanted the Ti­maru peo­ple to ‘‘tell us what they want’’.

‘‘The world’s our re­ally.’’

oys­ter,

He has pre­vi­ously said keep­ing rates and debt lev­els down will also be key, along with build­ing bet­ter in­fra­struc­ture for every­one - and find­ing a way to bal­ance ‘‘fluffy’’ fa­cil­i­ties which will ap­peal to both vis­i­tors and lo­cals, like the art gallery, with work on im­prov­ing the town’s in­fra­struc­ture.

Through his work with the CBD Group, and or­gan­is­ing an events work­shop for event or­gan­is­ers around the district - in the hope of build­ing one uni­fied events strat­egy - Bowen said he was al­ready try­ing to think of ways of pro­mot­ing the town more.

He has pre­vi­ously said that Ti­maru peo­ple ‘‘bag­ging’’ their town have a ten­dency to put vis­i­tors off.

Bowen said he did not be­lieve there was any con­flict of in­ter­est with his po­si­tion as CBD Group chair­man, but said he would be dis­cussing the is­sue with the coun­cil.

Bowen was ap­pointed to the role of chair­man late last year, fol­low­ing a rec­om­men­da­tion to es­tab­lish a group at a Ti­maru District Coun­cil meet­ing.

PHOTO: JOHN BIS­SET/STUFF

Nigel Bowen wants more at­trac­tions on Caro­line Bay.

Nigel Bowen

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