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 we asked, with the answers we received from the candidates, in the paper and online.
If you have a question you would like candidates to answer, come to the Stratford Press / Newstalk ZB Candidates Evening at the Stratford War Memorial Centre on September 18. Doors open at 6pm.
This week, candidates answer the questions:
1. Shakespeare / Mountain / something else - what do you think should define the district's identity, and why?
2. Have you ever attended a youth council meeting?
3. Do you think Council should have an official opinion on Climate Change? Why?
1. Shakespeare, Why; it's our point of difference, it is something we can leverage off. We also must celebrate the perfect view of the mountain as well. That is why we are the Heart of Taranaki.
3. No. I believe we don't need to a have an official opinion but we need to be sustainable both environmentally and economically and any projects that are council or community driven, need to make sure they are done in a sustainable way.
1. Stay with what we do best. Definitely Shakespeare theme, mountain and the rural tourism trail. Garden trails have also been a great attraction.
3. Council shouldn't have an opinion on climate change because it does not have the true facts or the correct data to make an educated decision.
1. I would recommend a three-part strategy using the mountain, Shakespeare and Eastern Taranaki (Forgotten World Highway/Whangamomona) to further develop and promote our identity and brand. Our position in relation to the mountain is unique and the attraction for both tourists, locals and prospective residents is huge. Our Shakespeare identity is also very unique and with most of the town's street names derived from his works we have a foundation to build on this and further develop our story. Eastern Taranaki also has significant tourism potential that we should not lose sight of.
2. Unfortunately, no
3. I think the Council should start a conversation with the community on how global warming may impact this district over the next 50 - 100 years and what are the opportunities for us both personally and from a council, business and industry perspectives to contribute to better managing this. Clearly any initiatives we take will not have a global impact but to do nothing is not good enough. We do have to show some leadership especially as tourism is a major revenue source for Taranaki and the country as a whole.
1. Stratford is a very central area in the Taranaki region. You pass through it to travel both North and South of the province. Whilst everyone recognises its historical virtue relating to its Shakespearean theme…… it should not be discounted that holding a central position to the wider region has its marketing advantages.
2. At my age the answer is No. However, I am familiar with some of the needs of Stratford youth as my daughter is actively involved in many local activities involving young Stratford people.
3. I would like to think that the council does have an opinion on climate change, however the rural community should be recognised for already been actively involved in climate change with the riparian planting programmes currently in place.
1. I supported the Council initiative of having Shakespeare as Stratford's identity and as a point of difference. Our streets are all named after Shakespeare and this sets us apart from other towns. The glockenspiel is another point of difference that attracts any tourists who spend time and money in town. We can attract more tourists which is great for our economic growth. We should include the Shakespeare theme in the Prospero Place and Broadway upgrades as well. We cannot claim the mountain as this is shared by all our neighbouring councils.
2. I have attended some Youth Council meetings.
3. Yes, this is one thing for the incoming elected members to discuss. Should I be re-elected, then I would like to be involved and look into this hot topic.
1. To me it has always been the mountain first and because of the connection with Stratford upon Avon and its connection with Shakespeare, then he is the figurehead of this town.
3. No, we are already doing our bit with the farming sector tree planting programme. Central Government will always be changing the rules anyway so no point wasting time or money just comply with legislation when required.
1. Shakespeare - the wide spread appeal of branding under such an internationally recognised icon cannot be ignored.
2. No not as of yet.
3. Yes I believe the council should have an opinion on climate change as its become a major discussion point. What that opinion is however is open to debate.
1. I agree that Shakespeare is an excellent identity for Stratford. It is what makes our district unique. The mountain is also prominent but I believe that this is more of a regional identity.
3. Yes. Local government has the opportunity to link the communities it represents with central government policies. Not only that, Council also has a direct responsibility to adapt and regulate environmental planning in order to mitigate emissions and educate our communities.
1. The history of this land and its identity have never been forgotten or lost. Our ancestor Ruaputahanga named this land Whakaahurangi long before the days of the pioneer settlers. It is a beautiful story, rich in history and beauty and discovery. We do not need to look that far from home to also acknowledge the most majestic mountain in our own back yard. If you know who you are and where you come from, you will know where you are going.
3. I ask that the council formally support the RMA to look at what we are doing as a community for climate change. The four cornerstones of my campaign are simple. I have spoken about these publically many times and I will use this platform to do so again. Hinengaro – Healing the way we think as a community, Tinana – We heal the body of our community, Whānau – We build on the bonds of our community which is the prime support system, Wairua – We heal the spirit of our community. We take care of these, then the land will prosper also.
1. I refuse to accept that we have to choose one or the other. Our town's identity can be as diverse as we like. We are capable of being both the entryway to our mountain AND a Shakespearean town. Limiting how we market ourselves is ridiculous.
2. I served three years total on the Youth Council, two as secretary and my final year as chairman.
However our Youth Council no longer does a good enough job at representing our young people and providing opportunities for them.
Change is needed on the Youth Council. I see a way where we can lower costs for the council and improve outcomes for young people. Youth Development is an area where South Taranaki, Stratford and New Plymouth can work together on.
It's time for a Taranaki Youth Council.
3. It's not about having an opinion. NZ is better than that. We know the science. We know to whom we are responsible. Climate change is not a political issue. It doesn't care what your opinion is. Council must acknowledge the facts and join with the rest of New Zealand in declaring to address the issue and prepare for the future.
1. The district's identity is our mountain. Stratford identity is with Shakespeare. We have a long association with this through our name and links with the street names and the Glockenspiel. Our parks and reserves are ales carrying English names - King Edward, Victoria, Windsor.
2. Yes. They are doing a great job. But we still need to find a way to have better engagement at council level. We need to hear the views of our youth.
3. I don't know about an official opinion, But we have to be mindful of its implications and consider the effects of climate change in our decision making.
1. We already embrace the Shakespeare theme in Stratford with the street names and glockenspiel and the mountain is certainly associated with Stratford. I don't think we need anything else.
2. No but I have supported youth council fundraising events.
3. Everyone should be doing their bit for the environment not just the council. Council should make decisions based on evidence not have opinions.
1. We have always been aligned with the Shakespeare theme, since the late 1800s. I believe as Stratford is the gateway to Mt Egmont we can identify with this also. Why not have two?
3. Climate change will result in a multitude of irreversible impacts in our country. Yes we need to be aware of its impacts; the spread of diseases, more frequent heat waves and heavier rains. Wellington has declared a climate change emergency and is prepared to take action – why can't we? Maybe it's just to be aware. It is the small things that count.
1. I think we define Stratford well at the moment with being the heart of Taranaki with the mountain and Shakespeare themed streets and tower.
2. No I haven't.
3. I don't think so, as it needs to be addressed at a higher level as it is not local council's job.
1. I don't necessarily think we should be defining the district with just one identity. Let's embrace all that Stratford has to offer and show case it all!
2. No I have not.
3, It is not up to only the Stratford District to have an opinion on climate change this is an issue that every person in the world should be thinking about. The council should encourage our district to make choices and provide supporting knowledge to help the Stratford people take charge and commit to individual and community actions. My stance would be, every person should do their bit and as a council we could support and encourage this.
1. Stratford is in the heart of Taranaki under the mountain with a history of Shakespeare attached, a promotionally marketing identity based around these three key points will sit well for our district.
2. No never been to a youth meeting but it is great to see youth wanting to be involved.
3. Climate change is an ongoing issue and as a council we should be seen to be doing what is achievable to help in the cause to maintain the future of our district, province, and country as a whole.
1. We, as a council, have voted to make Shakespeare our theme and we all now need to get behind this and make it happen for Stratford. Our mountain has always been an attraction to Taranaki and we need to continue to utilise this attraction while being respectful.
2. Yes, I helped set up the Youth Council and I am very proud of what they have achieved. They add great benefit to our youth of Stratford by ensuring their voices are heard.
3. Yes, it is important to have an official opinion as it is a problem we are all facing.
1. What is the most important thing in the world? it is people it is people it is people... The Stratford residents should define the districts identity. Shakespeare, the mountain these are things that are complementary to our image, not defining of it.
2. I have yet to attend a Youth Council meeting.
3. To have an opinion would be good, the industrial revolution of centuries past caused a lot damage to the world's environments due to a lack of foresight. We need to mitigate damage to our children's future, we can't put aside our country and land's interim health for a small-time immediate economic gain. That's not to say that we should be legislating up the wazoo however, there are bigger entities available to tackle such large problems in the way needed, we just need to be mindful of our own footprint.
1. The official identity of Stratford is not a big issue to me. I don't believe that Stratford really needs an official identity. In saying that many towns have mountains not many towns have Shakespeare, which makes Stratford stand out from other towns around New Zealand.
2. No, I have not attended a youth council meeting but I am looking forward to working with them if elected.
3. No that wouldn't be productive. Climate change is a complex global issue that science has yet to reach a consensus on. There is no shortage of people trying to solve this problem, the fact is that we have yet to find a viable solution. Over politicisation of climate change has spread misinformation and fear that gets us nowhere. As a council, I believe we should stay out of it and let advancements economic and technological find the solution.
1. I passionately believe that our Shakespearean heritage is the unique point of difference for our district and that we have a firm basis for the development of our current Identity project. With the Romeo and Juliet glockenspiel, 71 streets named for the bard and his works, and the Prospero Place development there is opportunity to promote that point of difference for our town.
2. I have had the pleasure of attending swearing-in ceremonies for Youth Council each year and salute the young people who learn valuable skills in public affairs. They are our future.
3. We are constantly addressing climate change in our Stratford District Plan and Long Term planning, and forming policies that make our people aware of the negative effects of Climate change on our community, and practical steps we can take to avert them.