Council hopeful offers new energy

By Alisa Yong alisa.yong@age.co.nz -
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Kathy Bartlett is standing for Carterton District Council. PHOTO/LUCIA ZANMONTI
Kathy Bartlett is standing for Carterton District Council. PHOTO/LUCIA ZANMONTI

Carterton's latest candidate to declare their intention to stand in October's local body elections is keen to bring some "new energy" to the council.

Kathy Bartlett, 34, said she wanted to see council engage with the community better.

"I'm pretty passionate about community engagement. Our town has 9000 people in it and I don't think there's any reason why the council shouldn't know what the constituents want to spend that money on."

Ms Bartlett said she believed "the more involvement from locals the better".

"I think it shouldn't be really hard -- there's a lot of digital tools and lots of ways to make sure council is representing people accurately."

The mother-of-two said she would be a voice for all those who had moved to Carterton to raise their families.

"I don't think we have representation for those people with our current councillors."

It was time for some fresh faces on council, she said.

"We've had some of our councillors for a really long time and they've done good things but it's time for a bit of new energy."

As the president of the Carterton Film Society and one of the organisers of Sunset Cinema, she had the skills to be a successful councillor, she said.

"I've found I can organise people to pull off professional events that seem to engage the community well, so I've got the communication skills and I think I'm open-minded about hearing what people have to say."

She believed council should encourage economic development by better supporting the organisations and initiatives like the Farmers' Market, Heart of Arts and R2R, which were already under way in town. "I think we could support them to grow and get more people coming into town that way.

"We've got heaps going on actually, and I think council can work in to support everybody in what they are doing."

Although undecided on the issue of the three councils amalgamating, she was keen to support local engagement with the Local Government Commission's consultation process.

"We are all pretty concerned about it [amalgamation] but the LGC is doing an engagement process and I'm interested in doing more community engagement with that process and ensuring local uptake."

The daughter of Dennis and Janette Bartlett, who run Jolly Good Shoe Repairs on the corner of Church and Dixon streets in Masterton, she grew up on a market garden near town and attended Homeleigh Christian School. She studied art in Wellington before training as a massage therapist and returning to Carterton to raise her daughters. She now operates her business Green Room Massage from the Ambrosia Health Clinic on High St South.

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