Key issues identified ahead of elections

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LGNZ president, and Hastings Mayor, Lawrence Yule.
LGNZ president, and Hastings Mayor, Lawrence Yule.

Ageing infrastructure, unemployment and housing are key issues identified by Northlanders ahead of October's local body elections, according to Local Government NZ.

Ahead of the elections on October 8, Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) has started conducting research as part of its campaign encouraging more Kiwis to vote.

LGNZ said the national Vote2016 campaign would start a conversation with residents about the issues that matter most in their communities, with a focus on encouraging candidates to stand and inspiring more residents to vote.

LGNZ has surveyed local body representatives nationwide about the importance of local government and what they see as key issues facing their communities.

"Local government has an important role to play in delivering strong local economies and building vibrant communities," LGNZ president Lawrence Yule said.

"Working closely with communities is vital to shaping the places where people want to live, work and play."

Far North District Council deputy mayor Tania McInnes said local government was there to lead and encourage sustainable prosperity and well-being and to serve and assist communities to be the most amazing places they could be.

"We have key roles to play in infrastructure, community facilities and regulations, but we also play an important role in advocating for appropriate activities that encourage overall well-being - in line with our community's aspirations," Ms McInnes said.

A major issue she cited as facing the Northland region is lifting below-par infrastructure by implementing long-term, affordable strategies.

Much of the region's infrastructure needs improvement and the council's current focus is on roading recovery with a strategy in place to ensure it is done as affordably as possible.

Far North district councillor John Vujcich sees the key issues for Northland as ageing infrastructure, unemployment, housing, education and related social issues.

Mr Yule said: "Research tells us it's the visible, tangible services that matter most to communities."

- Northern Advocate

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