Seeking district input essential

Council candidate Shelley Burne-Field believes the strength of Central Hawke's Bay lies in its people.
Council candidate Shelley Burne-Field believes the strength of Central Hawke's Bay lies in its people.

Takapau resident Shelley Burne-Field has announced she is running for a seat on the rural Aramoana Ruahine ward, with the aim of promoting better communication, accountability and excellence at the CHB District Council.

She was prompted to stand, she said, by the desire to see the council be more open with information, in a timely manner, so ratepayers were more informed when the council was making decisions.

Something like the recent council Building Control Authority review could have been avoided if there was better communication, she said.

"I don't think the issue needed to get to that stage.

"If there had been some real conversations going on between all the parties it would have helped resolve the situation earlier."

She was also keen to see more accountability, including fewer public excluded discussions at the council table.

"The council needs to be more open - to make the best decisions they must be talking to the people those decisions affect."

One of the big issues for the district in the next year was the reclassification of the country's roading network, which could have serious implications for a rural district like Central Hawke's Bay, she added.

"There needs to be a focus on roading as there's a real risk that what is being proposed could result in the deterioration of our rural roads, which are vital for this community."

Growing up and living in Central Hawke's Bay had opened up many opportunities, she said.

She holds post graduate qualifications in social policy and community development from Massey University, and has worked locally at the district council and power board.

"I have also supported health and social services in CHB communities for the past 25 years."

She grew up in Otane but now lives in Takapau village and said her grandfather, Hec Burne, was overseer for the Patangata County Council from 1955-1973.

"His workers covered a large area including Otane, Elsthorpe, Omakere and right along the coast, maintaining roads, drains, rubbish, and town water.

"He always spoke with pride about trusted local relationships built on real conversations and a desire for the best solution for all. In 2016, these values still hold true - communication, accountability, excellence."

- Hawkes Bay Today

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