Board candidates share views on Bay
Freedom camping, housing and proper representation in council are some of the key Golden Bay issues the four community board by-election candidates see facing the area.
Deborah Rhodes lives near Collingwood on a dairy farm with her husband and three children.
As a nurse, mother and farmer, Deborah said she saw many community issues worthy of advocacy.
‘‘Housing in the bay is difficult,’’ she said.
‘‘For a lot of people, families and the elderly, permanent and/ or long term stable rentals fluctuate
‘‘The community board lacks power to progress the concerns of the community.’’
with summer demands.’’
Care of the elderly either in their homes or access to supported residential care is scarce, Rhodes said.
‘‘Tourism on the increase dictates the need for good infrastructure and requests from the Golden Bay community should be met.’’
She said among her strengths would be to advocate for the local region with an ‘‘urgent voice’’ to council.
Dylan Shaw is a builder and lives in Kotinga with his wife and two children.
He has a ‘‘strong desire’’ to see the environment in Takaka preserved for future generations and believes in finding a balance of tourism, farming, and environmental protection that works best for the community.
There was a ‘‘lack of engagement’’ from younger residents for local issues and politics.
‘‘I believe part of this is a result of lack of trust and feelings of being under-represented by the TDC,’’ he said.
Balancing Golden Bay’s two main income streams of farming and tourism in a sustainable way so that the negative impact on the community and environment can be minimised was high on his priority list.’’
Averille Grant is a fourthgeneration local, with a ‘‘deep understanding’’ of Golden Bay’s historic, cultural and scenic heritage.
She is a committee member of the Golden Bay A&P Show Association and as a trustee for the Grandstand Trust.
The key issues Grant sees facing Golden Bay are a lack of permanent residents affecting year-round business sustainability, and a lack of autonomy for local decisions to be made by Golden Bay residents.
‘‘Our two councillors must vote for the district rather than what our community wants,’’ she said.
‘‘The community board lacks power to progress the concerns of the community. Consultation by TDC is often perfunctory at best.
‘‘Golden Bay’s aging population is twice the national average, with a lack of young people staying in the area to provide care and services.
‘‘[There is a] need for a change of land use for additional dwellings to help mitigate [the] problem.’’
Rod Barker said freedom camping was one of biggest issues facing Golden Bay.
‘‘Yet this problem confronts many communities nationwide. Causalities of this issue stem from national strategies to increase tourism combined with insufficient planning to deal with obvious impacts.
‘‘For example, younger longterm visitors to New Zealand are able to purchase vehicles which are converted into makeshift campers,’’ he said.
‘‘These visitors then sell the vehicle on to new arrivals when they’re finished. It’s a well established system.’’
He said central government needed to regulate the sale of vehicles to overseas visitors so that only registered self contained campers were available for visitors wanting this type of experience.
Voting for the Golden Bay Community Board by-election closes on February 17, 2018.