Experience key factor for Simon Nixon

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Hastings district councillor Simon Nixon is standing for a third term.
Hastings district councillor Simon Nixon is standing for a third term.

Third-term Hastings district councillor candidate Simon Nixon says his previous two-terms' experience have put him in his prime.

The Hastings-Havelock North Ward councillor said his two terms had allowed him to get to grips with the systems.

He does not dance around the issues on his agenda: an improved air service, more land freed up for industrial and residential areas and for Hawke's Bay to host one of the existing universities' campuses.

Furthermore, he said the region had great tourist attractions but was not utilising them to their fullest.

Mr Nixon has previously advocated for improved airline services and was pleased when Jetstar began flying to Hawke's Bay. The next step was increasing the number of aircraft flying south, then jets flying direct to Australia, he said.

"Hawke's Bay has the advantage of isolation - we should leverage off that," he said.

"We need to become more a part of the international world."

He said civilisation started with better transport and that was at the forefront of Hawke's Bay's continual development.

With a shortage of sections and housing stock, Mr Nixon said freeing up residential land was a top priority. More industrial land was also important as it would ultimately increase job opportunities.

Having years-long horticultural experience, Mr Nixon said he supported the Recognised Seasonal Employment scheme for those who travelled to Hawke's Bay but he did not think it was necessarily a job for locals.

He said three months' work, which was often what seasonal employers offered, could not sustain a family for the remaining nine months of the year.

The council should be steering clear of using ratepayers' money and instead be helping businesses flourish.

"A lot of money has been wasted over the years on monuments," Mr Nixon said.

"I think we could have a zero increase in rates policy for several years and it would not damage the council's ability to do its job properly."

Another of his concerns was Hawke's Bay's low population growth. If the region hosted a university campus it would draw young people to the cities. Students would bolster the Bay's economy with living costs and part-time work.

"I feel disappointed that Hawke's Bay - and Hastings - are not doing better."

- Hawkes Bay Today

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