Mayoral candidate here to serve
Years of frustration at trying to convince the South Waikato District Council of the high-tech goldmine sitting at the district’s fingertips was the final tipping point for a Tokoroa resident who has thrown his hat in the ring for the mayoralty.
Bruce Simpson decided ‘‘enough is enough’’ and will run for mayor in his year’s mayoral election.
The outspoken advocate has plenty to say on several issues including spending ratepayers’ money wisely.
He said a missed opportunity to create a $40,000 air model park funded from overseas investors was a costly mistake.
Unable to provide revenue figures his business plan was turned down by council in 2014.
‘‘In a low decile town why would you not accept the offer for international tourists to visit?
‘‘It’s not costing the ratepayer a cent. At the least we would’ve had forty thousand flying to the district and if one person comes it hasn’t cost a cent
‘‘The benefits are our hotels are full, our restaurants are full and people are shopping in the retail sector. It needs to provide an overall benefit.’’
The offers keep coming in and Simpson is determined to make Tokoroa a ‘‘go to’’ place rather than a go ‘‘through’’ place.
Simpson wants to follow Tirau as a model to develop Tokoroa as a town with distinction by turning the airport into a place for high-tech drone development.
Offers from overseas investors with the potential to provide more jobs for locals is a vision he has not given up on.
He said the latest plan to bring visitors ‘‘kicking and screaming’’ off State Highway 1 by building a playground in the coldest town in Waikato was a waste of money.
‘‘Encourage businesses to come because they bring people who are here twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. They’re not transient. They are permanent.
‘‘The problem is we are too reliant on diary and forestry. We need to diversify and we need a sensible economic development strategy.’’
Bruce Simpson believes the South Waikato has missed out on many economic opportunities.