RSA manager ready for council challenge

By John Maslin

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Kyle Dalton is making his first foray into local body politics with his nomination for the Whanganui District Council and his reasons for doing so are forthright.

"My theory was if I saw 12 nominees I could vote for then I wouldn't stand. I haven't seen 12 names yet that fit that bill," he said.

Mr Dalton said changes needed to happen and council needed to get back to its core roles, get those running smoothly before looking at anything else.

He said council could take a leaf out of the 10 principles of war.

"The first principle is deciding what your objective is, which is essentially what the council has done with its 10-Year Plan. So everything needs to be directed to achieving that.

"The second principle is morale because nothing happens unless everybody's in the right frame of mind and fully committed to doing what needs to be done. If we haven't got the people at the head of the tree doing that then we've got some significant problems."

Mr Dalton has lived and worked in Whanganui since the mid-1990, was an officer in the Territorials with 5 Battalion and moved his security business from Marton to the city in 1997. He's currently secretary-manager of the Wanganui RSA.

In 2005 he went back to Massey University and earned a BA with honours in history with a particular focus on Whanganui history.

He believes a better job could be made of marketing the district with a more consistent approach and not necessarily controlled by council.

"Whanganui has rarely featured positively in media coverage outside the region in recent years. It hasn't been proactive and at times marketing seems to be thrown together."

He said better used could be made of existing community facilities: "It's not about returning a profit from those venues but they certainly need to get closer to break even rather than ratepayer money continually being pumped into them when they're underutilised."

And Mr Dalton believes better use could be made of the city's heritage buildings.

"We've got scenic attractions and other attractions but our built heritage is something special and a lot of people come here specifically for that so we need to be capitalising on that."

He works four days a week at the RSA and said he has time to give to the council.

He said he was committing to at least two terms as a councillor believing one term is not enough time to make a meaningful contribution.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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