Hastings resident Allister Tosh was a candidate in this year's general election for the Tukituki electorate with his Future Youth Party. Unsuccessful, he is now standing for mayor in the upcoming by-election.
Hawke's Bay Today asked all six candidates running for mayor - here is his response.
1. What is your vision for the Hastings district?
My vision for Hastings is to build a modern vibrant city where the citizens feel safe, the youth have a new sense of optimism, have clean water and air, and to help employees, especially in the social services, feel a sense of worth. A place that wherever life takes you, that when you return home, you wonder why you had ever left.
2. What steps will you take in your first 100 days to turn this vision into reality?
I would, with the appropriate professionals, work through the fiscal envelope to bring council debt down to a more substantial level, look at more modern recycling initiatives, set up a youth centre so as to take the load off the public libraries. The bus service having one day a month where one adult and child ride for free to motivate people to use public transport, or a free day. More inspections for the fast food industry.
3. Name the one main area you would collaborate with other Hawke's Bay councils on.
There are so many issues I would collaborate with Napier council on. One very important issue being the internal/external debt of the Hastings council, which is dire. This is a huge worry for yourselves, the ratepayers. But through sound economics and the right professionals I believe we could bring this debt down to a workable level so as not to burden yourselves the ratepayers.
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4. Are you in favour of continued chlorination for the Hastings district's drinking water?
I personally am not in favour of water chlorination as the UV filters already make the water safe to drink. I would though have constant testing at the bore sites. Sad to say, but there are some out there that have no respect for water usage and the reality is urban water will be metered in future.
5. Do you support the controversial Water Conservation Order - why, why not?
This is where I believe my diplomatic skills would come to the fore, to be the mediator in this delicate controversial issue. I support the WCO but I can see the huge concerns of the TANK group, their concerns for the employment sector and the future of our food industry and exports.
6. What's the biggest asset you would bring to the mayoralty?
My biggest asset I will bring to the mayoralty of the Hastings ward are my leadership, diplomatic and economic skills, and most of all my people skills to work alongside my colleagues to make amicable, intelligent, fair decisions for all.