Snijders wants more support, public engagement

By Zaryd Wilson

1 comment
Rob Snijders is running for the Rangitikei mayoralty. Photo/ Bevan Conley
Rob Snijders is running for the Rangitikei mayoralty. Photo/ Bevan Conley

Rob Snijders had already put his nomination to stand for Rangitikei District Council.
Then he had another idea.

It was while doing the Taupo half marathon earlier this month that he decided he would also go for the top job.

"You sort of get time to think about things," he said.

"I think I've got more to offer across the district and have got a fresh mind because we are relatively new here.

"Because of that fresh mind you see thing entirely differently."

Mr Snijders' nomination makes the Rangitikei mayoralty a three-horse race with George London and incumbent Andy Watson also vying for the chains.

He spent many years in the United Kingdom working on urban regeneration and while he has no experience in local body politics - apart from a few months on the Marton Community Committee - he said his 20 years dealing with councils would help in him the job.

"I also know how to get good value for money."

Mr Snijders and his wife recently bought The Granary on High St in Marton with the aim to restore it following a fire three years ago.

He was granted a rates rebate on the building by council but said in his experience he hadn't had much support from council.

"I would have thought a councillor would have got in contact with us to have a chat over a coffee," he said.

"We are not expecting the red carpet treatment, however, an investment of the council's time would go far to establishing good working relationships."

Mr Snijders said, as mayor, he wanted to support people who were looking to invest in the district, especially in tourism.

"There are so many opportunities. Little hidden gems that people have got stored in garages and sheds," he said.

"There's a lot of individuals coming into town wanting to do things. It's about providing them with support."

He said council consultation needed to be better and was not convinced people were engaged.

"I've never seen a councillor come knocking on my door."

He was also concerned about the future costs of the council civic centre projects in the district's major towns.

"In the recent Annual Plan consultation the council put forward the proposal to purchase the buildings on the corner of High St and Broadway for a new civic centre," he said.

"No costs were published for the proposal apart from the purchase price and fees for the heritage assessment. This sends out an ill-informed picture and message."

- Wanganui Chronicle

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