Rotorua mayor Steve Chadwick has pledged to foster an "age-friendly"council that consciously looks at how things can be done better for Rotorua youth if she is re-elected in October.

Mrs Chadwick signalled her second election position statement at the official opening of the library's new temporary home on Friday.

She told the Rotorua Daily Post today she was working towards a child-friendly initiative that would ensure "everything we do as a council is viewed through a lens that considers whether this will be good for our children and how it can be done better".

"We will consider what it means for our children in things like the cycleway, playgrounds, signage even the new farmers market - I want to see a children's barrow so children can come along, decorate and sell their own wares. It's about children being at the centre of our thinking."


In her written statement, Mrs Chadwick said, "with the successful portfolio structure we already have in place, I will work to grow our community connectedness, to build strong healthy families and continue with the unyielding positive belief we must have in ourselves to grow as a healthy vibrant, resilient community".

Rotorua's other mayoral candidates were approached for their thoughts on Mrs Chadwick's pledges and their own youth-focused aims.

Dr Reynold Macpherson said if he was elected mayor, he and his fellow councillors would consult with the community to find out what they wanted, including priorities for youth and all other age groups.

"Our community consultations so far tell us that their top priorities for the council right now are about restoring democracy and effective management, returning to core services, reforming financial management, encouraging business and community development, and authentic consultations to underpin land use policy and planning," he said.

Dr Macpherson said he thought the mayor was posing as the champion of the voice of the youth in a bid to attract votes.

Rob Kent said he did not think the announcement merited a comment and would reveal his plans to help youth into employment at a later date.

Rangimarie Kingi said she believed in rangatahi (youth) as future leaders.

"Our rangatahi need adult arahi (guide) role models. I karanga (call) for justice for struggling rangatahi by a new justice system."

When asked about her opinion of Mrs Chadwick's pledges, she was critical of the council, library, police, courts, media, hospital, schools and religions.

Frances Louis said she did not think the community should be led to "foster any of our mayor's '2030 Vision' plan".

"I suspect [Steve] Chadwick's second position statement will lead towards the legal and physical enforcement of her 2030 Vision.

"As mayor I would allow locals to have the majority say of what goes on here."

John Rakei-Clark said if he was elected he would work to bring back the "old-school way of Rotorua when it was buoyant".

"We have too many youth who are bored and have nothing to do. I want to work with schools and businesses to set up an apprenticeship concept and career advisement so students know what they are doing when they leave school."

He thought Mrs Chadwick's pledges were too late and "should have been done in the first year she was elected".

Mark Gould said youth were very important for Rotorua.

"They are our future. Teachers are doing a fantastic job. As mayor I would work with the schools and headmasters in our region to ensure there were opportunities for our youth to develop their skills."

Mr Gould was not in favour of Mrs Chadwick's drivers licence pledge and said it was up to the individual, not the council.

Steve Chadwick's pledge
- Work together to be an "age-friendly" community starting with kids. This work will be lead by the People Portfolio.

- Adopt a "Child and Youth Friendly" council approach to all activities undertaken.

- Complete a District Youth Plan with all providers involved in services for kids. This work has already begun and will involve the Voices of our Youth.

- For all young people to have their driver's licence before they leave school. This is a goal of the Mayors Taskforce for Jobs.

- Work with the community to find a way to mark the Place-Shapers who built and developed our district.