Retired and ready to stand for civic duty

By John Maslin

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Alan Abbott who is standing for Whanganui District Council. Sunday, July 24, 2016 Wanganui Chronicle photograph by Bevan Conley.
Alan Abbott who is standing for Whanganui District Council. Sunday, July 24, 2016 Wanganui Chronicle photograph by Bevan Conley.

And then there were six.

Retired plumber and gasfitter Alan Abbott is the latest nomination for a seat on the Whanganui District Council.

He joins Steve Baron, Ross Fallen, Doreen Hardy, Dave Hill and Josh Chandulal-Mackay as official nominations received by the electoral office Noeline Moosman.

Mr Abbott has lived in Whanganui for close to 60 years, is married with an adult family and was a self-employed plumber and gasfitter for almost four decades. He said it's that business background he wants to bring to the council table.

"I've always said to family and friends that when I retire I would stand for council to give my time back to the community," he said.

"I've always been known as a straight shooter so I won't be one to sit at the council meeting without speaking up. But more importantly I'm fully committed to work for all of the Whanganui people."

Mr Abbott said a priority would have to be ensuring the wastewater treatment plant is completed.

"I'd expect it to be done once and once properly for the most cost-effective price and put an end to chasing scapegoats to answer any problems in the past," he said.

He said council needed to focus on promoting Whanganui as a great place for tourists to visit and for others to come and make their permanent home.

"We need to be promoting Whanganui as a gateway to Taranaki and the Whanganui National Park. And I'd like to see an area set aside for freedom campers. Their word of mouth after they have an enjoyable stay would be worth gold to Whanganui."

Other ideas he had focused on the Whanganui River with a "river week" involving raft races, rowing, waka races, swimming and jet boat events.

"And we could develop a 'week of thunder' similar to the Burt Munro week in Southland incorporating the Cemetery Circuit motorcycle races, jetsprints and speedway," Mr Abbott said.

He's currently treasurer of the Triumph Owners Motorcycle Club and has held a number of positions on other local clubs and sporting adjuncts.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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