A Masterton woman with more than 30 years' experience in corporate management has declared herself a candidate for Masterton District Council in the October elections.
Jennifer Taylor, 49, said she will be running in the "at large" ward and is confident she has the "experience, skills, integrity and passion" to serve the people of Masterton.
Ms Taylor said she has been in the workforce since she was 16 years old.
"I have over 30 years' experience in public and private corporate management and have previously worked for the Department of Conservation, Telecom NZ International, ANZ, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade -- this included two postings overseas to the Pacific -- the British High Commission in Wellington and South Wairarapa Veterinary Services.
Ms Taylor said through her business consultancy, Taylor Corporate Solutions, she works mainly with Wairarapa companies so has "an excellent understanding of the challenges facing many of our business owners".
She is on the board of the Wairarapa Chamber of Commerce.
Ms Taylor said if elected one of her priorities for the three-year term would be to ensure the completion of a Masterton district economic strategy. Other priorities would be to ensure the recent investment, and any future funding, by government in Ultra Fast Broadband (UFB) and rural broadband for Masterton district is maximised, and that Masterton district does not fall behind the rest of New Zealand in its use and leveraging of digital technology.
She would work to see that sectors of the community, such as senior citizens, young people, rural residents and businesses, do not become disadvantaged or marginalised from society, because of a lack of access to, or education in, digital technology.
Ms Taylor wants to ensure Wairarapa Unitary Authority discussions are transparent and timely, but allow for real engagement with Masterton rate-payers.
"It must not become a drawn out saga that takes us years to recover from as a community. I am 100 per cent committed to the future of the district, as this is where I live, run my business and where I intend to retire. I'm lucky to live just out of town on a few hectares of beautiful countryside, on which two elderly rescue horses pass their days being unexpectedly expensive paddock ornaments."
Ms Taylor said she wants to ensure Masterton district continues to grow and develop, while still retaining its attractive blend of urban and rural living.