Since Wellingtonian James Barron and his husband moved to Castlecliff five years ago, the IT consultant has become increasingly involved in his new community. Now he's standing for Whanganui District Council, with one main objective.

"Delivering smarter, more innovative change," Barron said.

"The biggest thing in lots of ways is getting out of the damned way and letting that change happen, and supporting that change as it happens."

For Barron it's been a positive experience.


"Coming to Whanganui, coming to Castlecliff, being involved in the local community, getting that change, seeing that change happen, seeing incremental things, seeing how just a little bit of smart thinking can help people help themselves," he said.

"We've done that on the scale of Castlecliff and I now I really want to see if we can move that scale up to Whanganui size. If we can do for city what we've done for suburb."

"I think Council at the moment have got a lot of things right. We've got the right executive in, we've got the right head of Whanganui and Partners."

But, as he tells Local Focus in this video interview, some of his Whanganui experiences have exposed issues with council process.

'I live in a house here we've just built … now the experience of doing that has not been as smooth as it can be.

"Some people will say 'housing, that's too big, that's something central Government needs to do' but in reality the delivery of building new houses, that's something very much facilitated and in the remit of council and I don't think we're getting that exactly right at the moment."

"Our neighbour is living in an old five bedroom [home]. It could very much do with a young family with the energy to renovate it. But at the moment, I couldn't recommend that they engage with subdividing it, there's too many difficulties, too many bars we'd have to jump to do that," Barron said.

"That's an area very much in council's remit to make change and make better, and that's an area I'd want to look at."


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