The Stratford Press sent all the candidates for the Stratford District Council a set of questions in August.
We have been printing the questions we asked, with the answers received from the candidates, in the paper and online. Remember, voting closes at noon, October 12.
This week, candidates answer:
1. What governance experience do you have? What other boards and committees do you currently sit on?
2. What three qualities do you think you bring to the table?
Candidates answer (in reverse alphabetical order):
1. I have served in a variety of governance roles over a number of years and am presently a trustee and vice-chairperson of the Percy Thomson Trust, chairperson of the Stratford Positive Ageing group, a member of the Stratford District Council Audit and Risk committee, the Stratford District Creative Community Scheme and the Stratfords of the World Reunion Committee.
2. Finely-honed communication skills, especially listening; an absolutely positive attitude; integrity.
1. I have yet to be part of any boards/committees, although I think what is often more important than experience is common sense and the ability to make logical decisions in the best interest of the community.
2. The three best qualities of many that I would bring to the table are; logical decision making and common sense with no willingness to cave to ill-thought-out irrational ideas. Fiscal responsibility and strategic spending (studying to become a financial adviser and having just built my second house I think I have proven to manage finances well).
Lastly, I bring a youthful mind to the table which will not only benefit us in diversity of thought and greater representation of the community but information processing speeds and cognitive ability peak in your early 20s.
1. I have six to seven years governance experience, and currently chair three boards.
2. Diversity, Pragmatism, Common Sense.
1. I have served for 24 years on council. I am currently the chairperson of the Sport New Zealand Rural Travel Fund. I am on the Taranaki Synthetic Turf Trust and a member of the Council's Executive Committee.
2. I am bringing 24 years of continuous experience and common sense. I attend all the workshops to ensure that I am well informed on all council matters before making any decisions.
1. I have in the past sat on school board trusts and have had roles with in sporting clubs and community groups, although I have had no council experience, I see this as a more positive than negative as I go in with eyes wide open and no perceived [sic]
2. The best three key qualities I bring are, approachability, marketing management, and business management having a sound background in setting up and managing local Taranaki business.
1. I have very little governance experience. This year I became a Trustee for Tutaki Youth Inc. I am keen to become more involved with the community going forward.
2. Positivity, strong emotional intelligence, open mind.
1. I have sat on numerous sporting committees and am actively running a business in Stratford.
2. I like to think I will be bring to the table some new energy as I'm easy to talk to and having being born and bred and lived in Stratford most of my life want to see Stratford continue to grow. I have also travelled and have a good insight how other areas have made great progress to transform their town and districts.
1. 18 years as both a rural and urban councillor,and as a an executive member.
2. Empathy with the ratepayers, open and honest, commitment.
1. Served on the Toko School BOT and Fundraising Committee for 10 years. Secretary/Treasurer of Toko Rugby Club for 8 years. Current Secretary/Treasurer of the Stratford Golf Club.
2. Common Sense and Practicality, Sound Financial Understanding, Approachable to the public.
1. I am a past Chair of Ngaere school (10 years). I am a current councillor with three terms of experience ( two as Deputy Mayor).
I am a trustee of the Central Taranaki Safe Community trust, I am on the Executive committee, Audit and Risk committee, I chair the Policy and Services committee at council.
I am deputy chair of the Waste minimisation committee that I am representing council on.
I am the Council representative on the Central Landfill Committee.
I am also chairman of the Taranaki Electricity Trust.
2. Experience, common sense approach to issues with solutions and time to dedicate to our town.
1. At the age of 16, I started to get involved in community groups and since then have served as trustee for a number of local groups including our Kings Theatre and Tutaki. Now at the age of 22 I don't currently sit on any boards and don't plan to in the future.
My focus will be on serving on the council if I'm fortunate enough and starting my bachelors degree in communications.
My understanding of governance, financial literacy etc is all sound, again quality over quantity.
2. Stubbornness, Patience and Energy.
In Stratford it takes time and effort to get anything done. It's not good enough to have good ideas.
As councillors we have to be prepared to put the work in to see it through and not give up after a single attempt.
I don't want to keep a seat warm for three years, I want to get stuff done.
I have been behind the curtain, seen how local government operates - I know what it takes to make progress.
1. Previous governance experience includes:
Midhirst School Board of Trustees – Six Years
Victim Support Advisory Group for victims of crime through Homicide – Seven Years (Current)
Pioneer Village Board – One Year
Taranaki Suicide Prevention Trust – One Year
TET Kings Theatre Trust – Two Years
Whakaahurangi Marae Board of Trustee – First term (Current)
Te Ope Whakaora Committee – Three Years
Central Cougars Rugby League Committee – Two Years
Midhirst School Parent Teacher Association – Six Years
2. An open mind and unique ability to represent many demographics. I have common sense. I care.
1. Currently I am the Secretary/Treasurer Whangamomona Domain Board Inc, The Republic of Whangamomona Inc committee member, Huiakama Fundraising Committee member.
I have recently retired from my Secretary/Treasurer positions with the Whangamomona Netball Club and Whangamomona Pig Hunting Club, where I was also involved in coordinating and event management.
Most importantly, I am a self-employed sheep and beef farmer and a mother.
2. Experienced, Level-headed, Community-minded.
1. Stratford Racing Club President four years, on committee over 10 years.
2. Listening, Thinking Ahead and an ability to connect with people.
1. On the support committee for the Air Training Corps 48 Sqn Cadet Unit of Stratford for many years.
2. A common sense approach to expenditure on proposed and current projects.
My wide range of engineering skills and knowledge gained from my 55 years in the trade up to an engineering manager.
Waste not, want not is my philosophy and also if you want something that looks pretty but serves no practical purpose then you don't need it – waste of funds.
1. Currently I am on the Council's Executive Committee and Audit & Risk Committee, along with being the Council's representative at Sport Taranaki.
I am involved in a plethora of organisations within the community; I am a Trustee on the Central Taranaki Safe Community Trust, Mentor for Big Brothers Big Sisters, committee member of Stratford Golf Club and Team Hope Charitable Trust (past Chairman), and Assistant Coach of a school rugby team.
As a Police Constable, I am involved in teaching in primary and secondary schools as well as overseeing Stratford Neighbourhood Support Groups and Community Patrol.
2. I will advocate for the urban rate payer to ensure our rates are sustainable for all ratepayers.
Having completed two terms as an elected member for the Stratford District Council urban ward, I know how to stand my ground during a discussion and get my point across to other Councillors.
Through advocating and tact, I am able to get Councillors with opposing opinions to see my point of view and at times vote with me.
1. None, in respect to the question.
But I have been exposed to governance through my 16 years In the Royal New Zealand Navy, and my 12 years involvement as a Professional Sports Administrator.
2. A fair, firm, friendly approach. I am an analytical thinker. I am solutions orientated.
1. Councillor Stratford District Council three years.
Trustee - TSB Community Trust two years.
Director TSB Bank Ltd - one year.
Past Chair Stratford business Association (SBA) four years - Current Deputy Chair SBA one year.
Trustee - Tutaki Youth Trust five years.
2. A long career in the Financial services industry and have worked in a number of towns and cities in New Zealand and overseas. This has given me a strong background in management, understanding finances, engagement with internal and external stakeholders, working within defined processes and procedures and working as part of a team - all essential attributes required of Councillors.
Currently along with my wife, a small farmer with both a retail business and an accommodation business located near town - provides good experience and the opportunity to connect closely with a broad range of residents from the district and tourists from NZ and overseas.
Further my involvement on the boards of TSB Community Trust and TSB Bank have given me high quality governance experience.
A safe pair of hands - dependable, reliable and the ability to think through the consequences and risks of proposals and have served my 'apprenticeship' on the Council.
1. I've been on Council for three years. I am currently a trustee on the TET and on the Age Care Central Board.
2. First and foremost is the rural representation. Making sure that Council's assets are returning maximum rewards to rate payers. Acting on concerns of the rural roading systems.
1. Institute of Director courses, Fonterra Shareholders council, 17 years director of Taranaki Veterinary Centre, multiple governance courses.
I am also a Taranaki Synthetic Turf Trust Trustee, Taranaki Umpires committee member, and sit on the Taranaki Regional Council Policy and Planning – Representing Stratford District Council.
2. Governance experience and leadership, Common sense and a Friendly approachable manner.