Matthew Martin is a senior reporter at the Rotorua Daily Post

Three new candidates come forward for election

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Rotorua Lakes Council meeting. Photo / Stephen Parker
Rotorua Lakes Council meeting. Photo / Stephen Parker

Three new candidates have put their hands up and one has pulled out of the race to contest the upcoming Rotorua Lakes Council elections.

Joining the contest for the 10 positions on council are Michael Staite, Bobby Mihi Howard and Shelly Fischer.

Pulling out is Rotorua District Residents and Ratepayers group member John Visser, who is leaving Rotorua before the election.

Shelly Fischer.
Shelly Fischer.

Ms Fischer, who will replace Mr Visser as one of the group's six candidates, was born and raised in Rotorua.

She worked part-time at the Rotorua Salvation Army before becoming Community Ministries manager for the church.

"I'm concerned the council is creating a legacy of debt the residents will be responsible for covering for many years to come," she said.

"Rising rates and house prices are going to cause a housing crisis similar to Auckland ... and we are already seeing the effects of this in the social sector.

"It's the council's job to act responsibly and to assess what impact their decisions will have for the future of Rotorua."

Bobby Mihi Howard.
Bobby Mihi Howard.

Mrs Howard said she was passionate about building the capacity of people to reach their potential.

"Our beautiful city possesses great resources and opportunities for growth in various areas and I believe collaboration is the key to accelerating the transformation of Rotorua," she said.

"I have always loved Rotorua and I'm thankful for all the opportunities provided to me to grow and develop as an individual. I am wanting to return the favour and if I'm successful, that will be my way of providing for the people on a greater level.

"I would love to offer solutions and problem solve difficult situations. I believe in keeping people's mana intact, but also believe in being honest."

Michael Staite.
Michael Staite.

Mr Staite said no one was any better or any less than another, "all people are important and all deserve to be heard".

"We all have dreams and aspirations for Rotorua and I'd like to be given the chance to make these a reality by providing realistic opportunities at a local government level.

"Through the various experiences I have from working within the community I have connected with many people on multiple levels. I can promote positive change on behalf of the people from the ground up.

"For me the common vision is bigger than all of us, but a strong foundation is one that supports healthy people, communities, and our environment, ensuring sustainable development and growth.

"I believe in fairness and balance, transparency, accountability, inclusivity and solution-based thinking," Mr Staite said.

Candidate nominations for elections open on July 15 and close on August 12.

The elections will take place on October 8.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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