Regional council candidates have say

By Andrew Bonallack -
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Andrew Stewart, John Dalziell and Gary McPhee have thrown their hats in the ring to representative Wairarapa on the Greater Wellington Regional Council.
Andrew Stewart, John Dalziell and Gary McPhee have thrown their hats in the ring to representative Wairarapa on the Greater Wellington Regional Council.

Andrew Stewart

Andrew Stewart was quick to point out he worked for the Greater Wellington Regional Council, in land management.

"I understand and appreciate the current programmes of land and water management," he said. "I want to ensure the importance of these programmes are recognised and carried forward."

He said it was important people were not distracted by the local government debate. "There are important challenges and exciting opportunities, not unique to here, but all around New Zealand."

He saw the important issues ahead being management of land and water, completing a regional plan, and the Wairarapa Water Use Project.

"I'm standing for council, I want to bring a fresh new set of skills, to navigate the challenges and these issues.

"You need a councillor that can contribute as part of a team. Who can listen to the community and take these conversations to the council table.

"As a business person, I understand the pressures of balance economic and business considerations.

"Finally as a father, I have a long term perspective on what I want to see for my children."

John Dalziell

John Dalziell promoted his credentials as a candidate with a lifetime's experience with Greater Wellington activities, and an acquired knowledge from 40 years of high country farming.

"I've been involved with the Wairarapa Rural Services Committee for nine years," he said, adding he had been a director and chairman for the Animal Health Board for 15 years.

"If elected I will promote an environmentally sustainable outcome for the region."

He said there was a need for "firm control" on expenditure.

With regards to local government, status quo was not an option. "I look forward to the commissioner's proposal."

Mr Dalziell said there was a knowledge gap, particularly in urban areas, of the activities of the regional council.

"The benefits of the regional council's activities benefit everyone in the region.

"Communication with council needs to be improved between Masterton and Wellington."

Gary McPhee

Gary McPhee told the audience he hadn't prepared a speech, saying "we all know what's going on", before asking for questions.

But prompted by referee Rick Long, Mr McPhee said there had been a lot said on regional governance, but everyone knew what Greater Wellington did.

"Wairarapa's been part of the Wellington region forever?

"That's absolute crap. In 1853, New Zealand was divided into three islands, nine provinces; 1876, abolition of provinces.

"Wairarapa was on its own until 1989."

He said he was sick of hearing figures like $11 million, with regards to the cost of going it alone. "It's between $2 and $4 million. We can afford it. Wellington uses consultants, in the Wairarapa, we use baling twine and chewing gum."

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