Out­look of four may­oral can­di­dates

South Waikato News - - Your Paper, Your Place - LUKE KIRKEBY

‘‘When the streetscape looks good, Raukawa House looks good, then busi­nesses will come on board’’

Un­leash­ing the South Waikato’s full po­ten­tial is a key fo­cus of all four of its may­oral can­di­dates.

As­sem­bled up Col­son Hill in Tokoroa Jenny Shat­tock, Alan Blair, Tracey Deane, and Jar­rad Gallagher were asked three ques­tions: If elected what’s go­ing to be your main fo­cus, how are you go­ing to grab the op­por­tu­nity the Taupo by­pass and Waikato Ex­press­way has brought to the area, and what have you got in mind when it comes to empty re­tail shops to im­prove the over­all im­age of the South Waikato?

For cur­rent deputy mayor Shat­tock her main fo­cuses will be re­tain­ing the pop­u­la­tion and jobs

‘‘We have got to ad­dress change in the pop­u­la­tion de­mo­graph­ics. We need to re­tain our pop­u­la­tion, we need jobs for our youth,’’ she said.

For Blair it’s all about eco­nomic growth.

‘‘My main goal is to con­tinue do­ing the good work the coun­cil has been do­ing over the last few years to foster eco­nomic growth and to make the South Waikato a pre­ferred choice for in­vestors, for peo­ple to come in live in, and for re­cre­ation,’’ he said.

Deane wants to see the coun­cil en­gag­ing more with the com­mu­nity.

‘‘I want the coun­cil­lors more in­volved in com­mu­nity groups of their in­ter­est of course but I am also go­ing to in­tro­duce an ex­tra meet­ing for peo­ple to cre­ate the fu­ture of the South Waikato 20, 30, 40 years ahead and these will be all over the dis­trict and any­one can come,’’ she said.

Gallagher said he was go­ing to fo­cus on cre­at­ing and re­ju­ve­nat­ing.

‘‘There are some ar­eas within our com­mu­nity that if we can re­ju­ve­nate and I am talk­ing hous­ing then we can cre­ate op­por­tu­ni­ties, one for our lo­cal busi­nesses and two for peo­ple who are com­ing in,’’ he said.

When it comes to op­por­tu­ni­ties brought by the Taupo by­pass and Waikato Ex­press­way Shat­tock said the Leith Pl up­grade, Pu­taruru Mov­ing For­ward, and Ti­rau’s traf­fic man­age­ment plan were all vi­tal.

‘‘Ul­ti­mately [they will] bring more jobs,’’ she said.

Blair said im­prov­ing the en­trances to Ti­rau and Tokoroa were key.

‘‘First im­pres­sions count,’’ he said.

Deane said Ti­rau, Pu­taruru and Tokoroa each need to de­ter­mine who they are go­ing to serve in the flow of traf­fic.

‘‘There is no point in all three towns ser­vic­ing the same peo­ple,’’ she said.

Gallagher said he wants to re­ex­plore past ideas.

‘‘There has been a lot of dis­cus­sion from pre­vi­ous coun­cil­lors and pre­vi­ous may­ors, pos­si­bly that have died in the ditch some of them, and I want to ex­plore these ar­eas, ‘he said.

As for ad­dress­ing empty re­tail shops Shat­tock will look at a busi­ness gaps anal­y­sis.

‘‘Once we have done our tidy up we ac­tu­ally need to go and door­knock. We are a great place to live and we need to go out and tell those busi­nesses we are here, ‘‘ she said.

Blair said it would be im­por­tant to show land­lords that to get bet­ter re­turns on their in­vest­ments they need to tidy up their shops.

‘‘When the streetscape looks good, Raukawa House looks good, then busi­nesses will come on board,’’ he said.

Deane said once the towns work out who they want to cater for busi­nesses will come.

‘‘It will be nat­u­ral as busi­ness peo­ple see op­por­tu­ni­ties,’’ she said.

Gallagher said through re­vi­tal­i­sa­tion he hopes to at­tract more peo­ple and busi­nesses.

SUPPLIED

From left South Waikato may­oral can­di­dates Tracey Deane, Jar­rad Gallagher, Alan Blair and Jenny Shat­tock.

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