We asked Waipā candidates to tell us what their philosophy for the district is and why they are the person to promote it.
Here’s what they had to say (in alphabetical order).
Elise Badger (Cambridge Community Board)
Waipā is a place where all people can live and lead their best lives.
I believe Waipā is made up of connected communities, flourishing businesses and dedicated community groups who strive to make this place better every day for themselves and their neighbours.
This aligns with my personal philosophy, that everything I do have a positive impact on those around me.
Andrew Brown (Te Awamutu-Kihikihi)
For Waipā to be a great place to live, work, learn and play.
Lou Brown (Te Awamutu-Kihikihi)
To improve Waipa’s, infrastructure and facilities whilst controlling council rates and debt.
To leave Waipā district a better place to live, work and enjoy for future generations.
Philip Coles (Cambridge)
Keep it simple transparent, I treat each day as election day over the three-year term, you have to be out there earning your support.
Governance is an important part of being a councillor but in the eyes of our community being their voice and representative is important to them and that one part of my philosophy.
As councillors we all have our strengths and weaknesses and I believe my strength is community base and that’s where I put my energy.
It doesn’t mean to say I don’t treat Governance sector seriously because I do and prepare well.
Jo Davies-Colley (Cambridge Community Board)
The role of the Cambridge Community Board is to advocate for community groups and members within Waipā, rather than to promote the region per se.
By advocating to council, the community board can encourage them to continue plans to beautify Lake Te Koo Utu, plan and implement safe cycle and walkways, keep the heritage feel of the town centre, control excessive growth, move closer to a third bridge and increase the number of green spaces for us all to enjoy.
Bernie Fynn (Te Awamutu-Kihikihi)
I am very passionate about our beautiful rural village like district feel, however with recent rising costs, council’s lavish cavalier expenditure and unwelcomed growth, its putting all of this at RISK – this is why I am standing, to implement CHANGE within council’s spending habits and PROTECT what we have – not to price our very own PEOPLE out of the district!
In standing my policies will be as follows:
- Rates Affordability – focusing expenditure on core infrastructure only
- Maintaining our lifestyle and quality of life, by limiting external growth
- Involving the public in the decision-making process as its your money
I have lived here most of my life, unlike others and want to keep the place as it has been, NOT have change for the sake of it and keep our rural lifestyle.
Roger Gordon (Cambridge)
I’m not sure what you are asking. I don’t think it is a councillor’s job to ‘promote’ Waipā. I see that as councillors we are effectively the Board of Directors of an organisation called Waipā District Council.
As such we are responsible for aspects of governance – setting strategy and policy, keeping council accountable for performance, ensuring compliance with legislative requirements of local government, and the culture of the organisation.
But I am also elected by the people of Cambridge to represent their interests. I take an oath to make decisions in the best interests of Waipā. In doing that I also make decisions based on what I believe are in the best interests of Cambridge as they are also invariably in the best interests of Waipā.
I think we have one of the best places to live in the country. We can see from the growth of our population in Cambridge many other people think that way as well.
So, we have got to ensure that we manage that growth and not detrimentally impact the great things we love about the town.
A good example of that is doing what we can to modify the impacts of plan change 26 the imposed 3×3 densification proposal put on to us by government.
Marcus Gower (Te Awamutu-Kihikihi)
I think we are really lucky to live here, Waipā is a great place, we have fantastic natural beauty, thriving towns. I’m a champion of Waipā and always talk positively about it. We get on well as councillors unlike other councils, and we care about what happens in our district.
Norris Hall (Te Awamutu-Kihikihi Community Board)
Waipā district area is of a deep historical, cultural, environmental and sporting significance to the heritage, progress and life of New Zealand.
We should always promote that, since all these threads are woven into a fabric which makes this district unique. I am proud to live in the Waipā district!!
Alana Mackay (Cambridge Community Board)
I believe that Waipā, and more specifically Cambridge is a great place to live, work, and raise a family.
I would like to see the community, community board, and council work together to maintain the things we love as we shape our town and district for the future.
I am committed to working hard for my community and would like to continue to be an advocate and representative for our wonderful town.
Sue Milner (Cambridge Community Board)
We have a great place to be part of. I have lived in many parts of New Zealand, but I have lived here longer than any other place, and we really are living in a special place, I have no hesitation in letting people know that we live in a great place.
Mike Montgomerie (Maungatautari)
I want Waipā to continue to be a great place to live. Our population will obviously keep growing. I would far rather be part of a growing district than a shrinking one. However, growth brings growing pains.
We need to cater for that growth while maintaining the best parts of what we already have: our vibrant town centres, our safe communities, our world class farmland and our increasing recreational opportunities.
Andrew Myers (Maungatautari – Community Board)
Home of Champions – I live and breathe this thought daily in driving a strong business and involvement with the sport of rowing.
James Mylchreest (Mayor)
To build an attractive and progressive community for the benefit of all of our residents so that we live up to our vision of being a great place to live, work, play and invest.
To enable this, it is paramount that our prime agricultural land is protected for primary food production, our indigenous biodiversity is preserved and appropriate infrastructure is provided to support commercial, industrial and residential growth.
We are facing significant national and international challenges in the form of climate change, economic uncertainty and the global impacts of Covid 19 not only from a public health perspective but also in our supply chain.
To maintain and improve our standard of living sound and consistent forward planning, based on facts, is required and needs to be based on local knowledge and experience.
At this time of unprecedented change, I believe that my knowledge and experience will enable me to promote Waipā and the district’s past success is evidence of this.
Ruth Nicholls (Maungatautari – Community Board)
Why do I feel so passionate about holding office? Living rurally in the Te Miro community has opened my eyes to many of the challenges and privileges currently faced by the rural sector. With both my parents and in-laws being retired farmers it has allowed me insight into both life stylers and farmers concerns.
Selina Oliver (Cambridge Community Board)
I am locally born and raised; I would like to invest my time back into my community.
Susan O’Regan (Mayor)
- Waipā to be a district our children can grow and thrive in
- it to be a place they feel offers them fantastic opportunities for employment
- to see a thriving economy where all businesses can flourish benefiting the whole community
- a district that has transitioned into a circular economy minimising waste and conserving our precious resources
- our children to have a range of attainable well-planned housing options within which to live
- a district that offers an enviable quality of living in terms of the physical and natural environment; a district with well-developed conservation and restoration works for our maunga, awa and wetlands
- a healthy and safe district where it is safe and secure to live, work and play in our urban and rural areas.
We need to understand and mitigate our collective carbon footprint and support and our businesses and residents in transitioning into a low emissions economy including improved transport options.
We need to continue our work to reduce antisocial behaviour and strengthen our communities support networks to protect our more vulnerable residents. I want a district whose residents are empowered.
James Parlane (Te Awamutu-Kihikihi and Community Board)
Waipā should be a place where everybody gets a fair deal. The council should be making sure everything is up to date ” Ship Shaped and Bristol Fashion”.
Inspectors should be inspecting and taking action. Workers should be working.
We should not be seeing signs saying, ” we know there is a problem” and waiting three months for it to be fixed.
This is not about being nice. It is about governance. That means making sure the CEO is earning his money. If he is not working, then we need to find one who will work for us.
We have had too many councils who have been schmoosed by the CEO who likes to ” run interference” which is shorthand for covering things up.
I can cut through the bovine excrement.
David Slone (Cambridge Community Board)
Waipā is a joint venture. It’s a merger of communities and environment – people and places. My philosophy, one I love to share, is very simple. We all need to be better ancestors and ensure that our grandchildren’s grandchildren have a happy, healthy Waipā in which to thrive in.
All of our decisions should be checked against that basic philosophy and if they don’t help make Waipā a better place, maybe we need to have a rethink.
I’m standing for the Cambridge Community Board because I recognise that we have a community full of people who share my vision and I see this as a great way to support them. At the end of the day, it will be the community that continues to make this an awesome place and it is the role of council to help out.
Delwyn Smith (Cambridge and Community Board)
Waipā is a beautiful area and any changes to roading, building, developing needs to keep this beauty protected and enhanced. The community is from varying ages and incomes, so the council should not penalise those who are vulnerable, in terms of ability to pay, or with a quieter voice, but seek to esteem all people.
I am not afraid to speak up for those who need speaking up for. I am not afraid to question assumptions. I care about people and want to make things better.
Clare St Pierre (Pirongia-Kakepuku)
Treasure our amazing location and stunning environment and appreciate the good decisions and planning that has given us our current lifestyle. But our biggest asset by far is our people – all of us in Waipā who know they belong here and care about those around them. This really shone through during COVID and it hasn’t changed now.
All my uni study about climate change showed that its seemingly intractable challenges are best tackled by bringing people together across our different perspectives to listen, contribute and collaborate together. Lots of the solutions are low tech, low budget and yet aglow with people, and the common thread overwhelmingly is the empowering of communities. I’m the person to promote such local empowerment because of the inspiring community-led environmental restoration work
I’ve championed first for Mt Pirongia and now for the Ecological Corridor project to link Maungatautari with Pirongia – Taiea te Taiao. I’ve seen when ordinary people, just volunteers, commit to a vision greater than themselves, that somehow by wanting to raise the mauri of the maunga they find they have raised their own mana as well.
Let’s do this across the depth and breadth of Waipā!
Corilin Steel (Pirongia-Kakepuku)
I’m here to make a difference.
Takena Stirling (Māori)
Waipā a place of progress and people. I believe people in our district are fiercely protective of the towns that they reside, largely made up of small village towns the respective locals will show up to enhance and support their communities, and in this sentiment, I believe that it is the local people who drive progress.
I am the person to promote it because, I am one of the locals I describe above, I understand and acknowledge the things that truly matter to our locals.
Liz Stolwyk (Cambridge)
Community and council working together to produce a magic place to live, work and play. I personally promote Waipā as a great place for families.
As a mother of three teenage boys we have fantastic libraries, playgrounds, skateparks and stunning parks for our family to flourish.
Rates are affordable in Waipā and we have healthy and vibrant business centres and schools – Waipā is a magic place to raise a family.
Jill Taylor (Te Awamutu-Kihikihi Community Board)
I am proud to live in Te Awamutu. I want it to be a safe place to live and work in that everything we need, so we don’t have to go out of town for shopping and entertainment.
Bruce Thomas (Pirongia-Kakepuku)
My philosophy for Waipā is to do my best to be constructive when making decisions, to promote Waipā as a destination and encourage business growth.
Around the council table to be positive and supportive and a team player rather than an individual on a personal agenda.
Bernard Westerbaan (Mayor, Te Awamutu-Kihikihi and Community Board)
Waipā is a great place to live. My family and I have lived here since 1981. My children have been schooled locally and currently three out of five are still in the area. Two of the five have married into different cultures and we have 10 beautiful grandchildren.
Waipā has excellent facilities for all to enjoy, and we should promote local more for locals. If the word gets out that we have nice areas to visit like Karāpiro, Pirongia, our towns etc, outsiders will visit.
We need more industrial to ensure locals do have the option to work local, otherwise people will work outside our district and more than likely spend money outside our area.
We also have to make sure that our areas do not become ghettos with big subdivisions and small 350m2 sections.
Chris Woodhams (Mayor)
My philosophy can be stated in one simple yet powerful slogan “Waipā for All.”
For me that means Waipā is an inclusive, healthy community; one where we come together through shared resources and networks, exchange knowledge and skills leading to personal and professional development, and collaborate with others to generate greater positive impact within Waipā.
Social and cultural connectedness plays a vital role in the growth of Waipā. It is time to make it easier to work together to improve and grow our district and the community we share.
Why am I the best person to promote this? Because I lead with vision, passion and aspiration, and I want only the best for Waipā now and into the future.
I am a strong leader with an equally strong voice. I have a proven record of real-world delivery and achievement. My business management and governance record hold me in good stead to execute the management and oversight required in the mayoral role.