Can­di­date: ‘Ex­pe­ri­ence helps’

Taupo Times - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - ROBERT STEVEN

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.

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