Cancer survivor to stand this election
Tokoroa has been through it’s ups and downs over the years and the same can be said about Brenda Watkins.
Watkins, who has served two terms on the South Waikato District Council in the Tokoroa Ward seat, narrowly missed out in the last elections but she’s ready to give things another crack.
It’s been no easy journey for the former school teacher and current chair of the Tokoroa Council of Social Services to get to this point though.
‘‘I just missed out last time which is part of politics but it was almost like fate really because I did have to face a challenge when in 2014 I was diagnosed with cancer. My prognosis was absolutely vile,’’ she said.
‘‘After a second opinion my daughter and I came home from hospital and that night there was something alternative on television about vitamin C. I went through chemotherapy but I also got stuck into vitamin C and a year and a half later I am fine.’’
‘‘I said to my oncologist ‘what do you reckon, three years on the council if I get in?’ and he said absolutely, there is nothing wrong with you and nothing you can’t do.’’
Watkins, who has lived in Tokoroa for 35 years, was also the first female principal in Tokoroa. For 20 years she held the fort at Amisfield School.
She said she has several areas she wants to focus on if elected, including pensioner housing and removing derelict and burnt out buildings.
Her main focus though would be on making Tokoroa’s central business district the best it can be.
‘‘As far as the Leith Pl redevelopment is concerned I stand on it but only so far,’’ she said.
‘‘It should not just be Leith Pl stage one because the entrances to our town need to be attractive enough for people to want to stop in Tokoroa. The redevelopment also needs to advertise the rest of the shops, not just those in Leith Pl.’’
‘‘I would like a lovely big I-SITE with technology showing all our brilliant places such as the hospital and Lake Moananui and give opportunities to retailers outside the main street with the likes of fashion shows.’’
She said now was the time for Tokoroa to start shining again.
‘‘We have got to get stuck in and do things,’’ she said.
Brenda Watkins is once again standing for the South Waikato District Council after narrowly missing out during the last elections.