Candidate: ‘Experience helps’
Turangi/Tongariro ward residents will have the chance to vote for a new councillor and a new community board member from September 14 to October 6. Candidates standing for the roles will be profiled over the next few weeks.
Maggie Stewart says she knows the workings of Taupo District Council and would be the best choice for the vacant councillor role.
Stewart served 12 years on the Turangi-Tongariro Community Board until 2013, when she worked as councillor for three years until 2016
Stewart said she originally joined the community board to bring in something new for Turangi’s young people.
‘‘I had a teenage daughter living here and all they talked about was getting a skatepark,’’ she said.
Getting a skatepark built involved working with a great number of people, including local skaters.
Following submissions from the Turangi Community Board, young leaders and others, the Taupo District Council agreed to fund the skate park as part of the Turangi Town Centre Revitalisation Project. The skatepark opened in 2014. ‘‘We got an amazing skatepark. Waiting for something isn’t always bad, because if we got it when I first got in, we wouldn’t have got such a great skatepark,’’ she said.
‘‘You plant seeds and then they grow, eventually, into what you envisaged.’’
Stewart said her previous experience puts her in a strong position to encourage growth in Turangi.
‘‘I know I’ve got the ability to help drive these things and get them into the ten-year plans so the financial structures are in place when we’re ready to progress a project.
‘‘By doing it in a planned way, you don’t impact on the rates. It’s already forecasted for the future,’’ she said.
Stewart moved to Turangi 20 years ago in 1997. Her husband Pat works in the geothermal power industry.
She volunteered at the Citizens Advice Bureau for 15 years and ran Maggie’s Store Cupboard to assist low-income families.
Stewart is currently chair of the Turangi Foodbank.
Voting papers will be delivered to eligible ratepayers from September 14. Voting closes on Friday October 6.
Former councillor Maggie Stewart is standing as a candiate for the Turangi-Tongariro Ward role.