The Stratford Press sent all the candidates for the Stratford District Council a set of questions last month.
Over the next few weeks, we wil be printing the questions, with the answers we received from the candidates, in the paper and online.
This week, candidates answer the question:
(If currently a councillor) How many meetings have you missed, as of August 23 this year?
If not a current councillor - have you attended any Council meetings as of August 23 this year in the past three years?
Grant Boyde: One meeting out of all, as I was out of the country representing New Zealand at the World Masters for hockey.
Rick Coplestone: I have missed very few meetings in the past three years. These have legitimate reasons for not being present.
Peter Dalziel:I have missed three out of 75 meetings. I've also attended about 50-60 workshops over this period.
Stephen Dravitzki: no.
Jono Erwood: I am committed to being a Councillor and this is clearly demonstrated by my meeting attendance record. In two terms as a Councillor, I have only missed three meetings of a possible 138 meetings held in six years. I have only missed four workshops over that time as well.
Laurie Gooch: One. I went in to see how the Council works behind the scenes.
John Gray: No not as of yet.
Amanda Harris: In the past I have attended Council meetings on occasion and since declaring my interest in local government in late June, I have attended four Council meetings as of August 23.
Rawinia Henderson: Town meetings with council representatives were held in Midhirst yearly and I attended these meticulously each year. I've done my fair share of submissions, supported and been a part of different council initiatives and community projects. I found supporting my community in the past on the ground was a better use of my time. You change as you get older, wiser, and more mature. The direction of your priorities change and you start realising you have a voice and you should start to use it.
Christopher James: Of course. I'd be very concerned about any candidates that hadn't. During my time in our Youth Council I regularly attended meetings. Since then, even through the times when I've been away I have kept up to date with the minutes. Unfortunately much of the decision making process is done out of public meetings, we have to make the majority of workshops open to the public and media. Furthermore, it's time to bring these meetings into modern day - live streaming and recording meetings is free, easy and improves access for young and old alike.
Alan Jamieson: In the past three years I have only missed one meeting. A Policy and Services meeting. I was out of the country on holiday.
Vaughan Jones: No.
Graham Kelly: Due to my removal from both the executive and Policy and Services committees, I have missed some meetings, however I have kept up to date with all proceedings electronically.
Nicole McDonald: No I haven't.
Min McKay: No I have not attended a meeting in person.
Tony Milham: I attended one council meeting a number of years ago and was so disappointed at the visibility from within the decision making and lack of time given to the public on questions and answers that I never went back to another meeting.
John Sandford: In the last 12 months I have attended all 12 ordinary meetings and 11 policy services. The one meeting I missed was due to illness and could not be avoided.
Ivan Toopi: Although I haven't yet attended the meetings I do make a point of keeping informed and reviewing meeting minutes of my local councils.
Mathew Watt: I have yet to go to a council meeting but if elected into Stratford council, I will be committed to making every meeting I can.
Gloria Webby: 2016-17: Missed one Policy and Services meeting, 2017-18: Missed one Extraordinary meeting (Audit and Risk), 2018-19: Missed one Policy and Services meeting and one full council meeting (representing Stratford, NZ at Stratfords of the World reunion held in Stratford, Victoria, Australia)
Total absences in three-year term: Four.