Council ambitions for active conservationist
Passion for her community’s future has prompted South Waikato Forest and Bird chair Anne Groos to stand for the Tokoroa Ward seat in the upcoming local body elections.
Groos, who has been based in Tokoroa for 30 odd years, believes there are several community ‘‘needs’’ which she plans to address if elected.
She said her background as a government employee for 16 years puts her in good stead for the job.
‘‘With the Leith Pl redevelopment we need proper toilets that are not wet through because what are people going to be judging our town on?’’ she said.
‘‘If you go to Matamata they are beautiful and the ones in the dog in Tirau are too. But in Tokoroa the contractor goes through flat tack with a high pressure hose spraying everything because the council has screwed the budget down so tight.’’
Groos, who is a conservationist at heart and an Old Blue Recipient for her 30 years of work in the field, said more also needs to be done to protect the Blue Spring in Putaruru.
‘‘The Blue Spring is a natural taonga but the large number of people swimming there has resulted in the removal of aquatic weed which is home to many invertebrates and the rare native dwarf galaxias and other shy fish,’’ she said.
‘‘If people wish to swim in the cold water there are many other sites along the Te Waihou Walkway, particularly from Whites Rd carpark, and there should be better signage saying no swimming in the Blue Spring otherwise it is going to be lost forever, ‘‘ she said.
She said attracting tourists was also on her agenda.
‘‘Why do people go on about Tokoroa with this wild image? We are culturally diverse and we have lots of fun so it is a plus,’’ she said.
‘‘We need to encourage tourism because not everyone wants to go the big cities,’’ she said.
‘‘We have great camping areas, walk and cycleways but we need more people to provide accommodation through the likes of Airbnb and home hosting, ‘‘she said.
Groos said she also plans to get rid of burnt buildings and dilapidated houses and push for improved respite care, rest homes, and more pensioner housing for the aging population.
‘‘It is about giving back to the community and being involved to make the South Waikato a better place to live,’’ she said.