Mayoral candidates speak out

Poll: Mayoral candidates for the 2013 local body elections in the south have their say:



TIM SHADBOLT, candidate for Invercargill City 
I am indeed honoured to have served you as this city's mayor for 21 years.

During that time I have been passionately involved in hard hitting political campaigns to Save our Schools, Save our Smelter, Save our Neurological services and fought against funding cuts for SIT.

I've also been involved in community projects such as Splash Palace, Zero Fees, the velodrome, regional television and the Civic Theatre upgrade.

As an entertainer I've promoted the city on Dancing with the Stars, the World's Fastest Indian and numerous celebrity debates.

At a more modest level I attend many local birthdays, wedding anniversaries, Santa parades and fun runs.

If re-elected my main goals will be to transform SIT into the Southern University of Technology, to market and develop our industrial park at Awarua, sort out the controversy and divisions over our inner-city upgrade and to stop the decline of our population.

If you want Invercargill to progress as an exciting, innovative, dynamic city that celebrates its sporting heroes with ticker-tape parades and civic receptions, celebrates its art, culture, theatre, films, literature and heritage with concerts and award ceremonies then I would humbly suggest you vote for me.

 LINDSAY DOW, candidate for Invercargill City
''I need your vote to change the leadership of our city.

Invercargill needs a change to current thinking and direction.

I am that change.

I bring leadership experience; honesty and integrity to the position of Mayor for our city.

I will manage council members and insist upon transparency and accountability and ensure good governance and fiscal responsibility.

When elected:

  • I will undertake a rates review;
  • no inner city rejuvenation will proceed until earthquake risk assessments are completed - at building owners expense;  
  • the A2B Yacht Race will not be supported (we have lost all we are going to lose on that venture); and
  • greater consultation over the airport rebuild will be sought.

I advocate divestment of the city shareholding in the airport - make it a truly regional airport with all local authorities owning the asset.

Directorships of city companies would be managed by professional directors - not necessarily council members.

I am committed to ensuring that education, employment, investment in business/industry will be to the fore of my council's endeavours.

Do not let apathy and abstention determine that we are to have more of the same.

I'm LINDSAY DOW and I need your vote for your city.


KEVIN MIDDLETON, candidate for Invercargill City Council 

I am advocating change for success and growth within Invercargill as no-one has sold us as a liveable, safe, profitable capital city; as a destination to invest in.

I will bring back manufacturing our newspaper/magazines in Invercargill.

I have been advocating for a zoo proper to be established featuring our native fauna and flora as well as exotic wildlife. I will promote social venture for sustaindhable/profitable job creation.

I will advocate a CBD/city to display more of our identity and ability by raising the bar on what can be included in any rebuild.

I want to increase tourism to our CBD as that is where new money is required for our growth and business success in a short timeframe.

A franchisable superstore called ''Invercargill'' with craft, art, sports, music, products, services, businesses and every skill we can provide in our region for the purposes of increasing our footprint to more populated regions should be advocated by all.

Our location warrants the inclusion of council involvement in the success of our businesses and livelihoods.
Democracy comes in many forms, use it wisely by voting me, Kevin Middleton, in as Mayor to work hard with the best team available to provide the growth we need to survive.

PAUL DUFFY, candidate for Southland District
In standing for the Southland District Council mayoralty I bring 12 years' council, eight years' Community Trust of Southland and 18 years' School Board trustee experience.

I have chaired a variety of organisations both within the district council and in the community.

I understand governance, the importance of communities and value of the work done by volunteers.

I believe in strong communities as necessary to retain our population and service our rural areas.

As mayor I will advocate at every opportunity for Southland, for fairness in roading funding, and promote Southland as a place to live, do business and visit.

I will support Southland's economic growth based on sustainable use of our land and other resources.

Seek to give ratepayers maximum value for their rating dollar.

Engage with youth both at school and in the community, support education and training programs and encourage opportunities for youth leadership and employment.

Liaise with farming, transport, business and tourism sectors with the aim of encouraging growth.

I am a good listener and communicate well. I believe Southland's natural resources will provide us a great future.

I have the experience, enthusiasm and the energy to work for the benefit of Southlanders.

GARY TONG, candidate for Southland District 
By now every person on the electoral roll will have received the voting papers and may have already voted.

The past few weeks have been a roller coaster ride with a number of meetings in various areas of Southland. 

In all I have driven some 3500km and met with hundreds of Southlanders.

The public meetings were your chance to meet the candidates in this election and ask questions.

Southlanders are really just a little bit laidback when it comes to voting. In 2010 only 9124 out of 20,019 electors voted.

You want change and a clear direction from council for the future of Southland.

You want the council to stick to the core services provided for by your rates.

I am honest, reliable, act on facts and have a great sense of humour and above all I have an excellent knowledge of Southland, especially the people.

Southland is a highly productive area and the initiatives, resourcefulness and resilience of our communities is worthy of praise.

As your mayor I would work with you all, listen to your issues or complaints but be aware I will always ask you for a solution. 

I have broad shoulders and a positive attitude and neither can be changed very easily.

Together with Karen we intend to bring new life and a positive change to the mayoralty.

If your voting paper is sitting in the glove box, under the newspapers on the bench or wherever then dig it out and vote.

 JOHN DOUGLAS, candidate for Southland District
Farming, fishing, forestry and tourism may underpin the Southland economy, however, I care very much for the strength and vitality of our communities. These industries cannot thrive without the support from people who live in our towns providing essential labour and services.

My community involvement in rugby, Mossburn Community Centre, Lions Club, and the White Hill Classic has prepared me for my role on council. I have represented the Fiver Rivers Ward for the past six years.

I am a good listener and relate well to people. I am not afraid of making decisions once I have heard all the facts.

I have prudent financial skills honed with years of farming often through difficult times.

I am currently a director of 3 Dairy Farms and the financial governance gained at this level is helpful when deciding on council financial policy. I am as careful spending council money as I am my own.

I am keen to stimulate the Southland economy, providing new jobs for our young people.

My top priorities are:
1.    Spending money effectively on our roading network.
2.    Council to adopt a more enabling attitude to aid economic growth.
3.    Pushing for faster rollout of high speed broadband
4.    Strengthening our communities


VANESSA VAN UDEN, candidate for Queenstown Lakes District 
After six years in local government in contracts manager roles, I brought my experience to the decision-making table, serving a term as a councillor and the past three years as mayor.

True to my election assurances I have led a team that has overseen the slashing of council spending; initiated community-driven future planning; rationalised council into a cost effective machine and delivered three years of minimal rates increases.

Our focus on commonsense decision-making has helped to slow down the increases in debt year on year from the QLDC overspending culture we inherited three short years ago.  We have achieved this while continuing to enhance and build on what we have.

The council needs to continue this focus in the future to ensure QLDC plays its part in protecting, sharing and growing this wonderful place we call home. As communities we need to work together to achieve our goals.

This takes leadership and commitment - two things I have consistently demonstrated during the past three years.

Simultaneously a straight-talker and a diplomat, one thing is sure - wherever you stand, you know where you are with me.

 AL ANGUS, candidate for Queenstown Lakes District
Hello Southlanders.

I know a lot of you have property in the Wakatipu. Also this is a great playground on your backdoor step, and a good starting point for a career in tourism.

That said, I have some real concerns regarding the direction and infrastructure of this fast growing community.

In my opinion people and their concerns have been increasingly tossed aside in the pursuit of wealth (a fickle mistress).

We speak of council as if it is some powerful entitled entity and people are often somewhat intimidated having to deal with them.

Here's a new flash for you. We the community OWN the council and this is the first election in the 30 or 40 years of being in the Wakatipu that we have a chance to elect a truly community based council.

In my opinion, this opportunity will never come again. I don't believe council should be involved in the conference centre apart from collecting consent and rent fees, there should be no risk to the rate payer.

Also Alistair Porter has given a commitment to build his own one at Frankton at no cost to the ratepayer.

On the face of it seems like a no brainer to me. A lot of people say things like ''look at the big picture'', ''don't sweat the small stuff'', ''there's green shoots going forward'' blah, blah, blah - well I do sweat the small stuff, the build up of road side rubbish is an appalling first impression to this district.

The after hours aggression in central Queenstown has to stop, we cannot put our innocent visitors and locals in this dangerous environment.

A strong stand has to be made on liquor hours and host responsibility. Thanks for taking the time to read my very basic but earnest concerns born out of an absolute love of my community, mountains and valleys. 



TONY LEPPER, candidate for Central Otago District 
Hi, I am Tony Lepper your mayor.

I am thorough and professional at anything that I do. My three years as mayor are an example of this and I have worked hard to improve the perception of the council.

I am not scared to express an opinion or help a constituent who needs me. I have got involved in issues at a national and regional level and I am well known in central and local government circles.

I would like to make continued improvements in everything that the council gets involved in.  We have just upgraded our website and I think that this is an important step toward improving our communications with ratepayers.

Central Otago is coming out of a difficult economic time and we are well placed to capitalise on the optimism and development that is starting to occur. We have fantastic facilities, no debt, and affordable plans to meet infrastructure upgrades that are necessary.

We will have a change in faces around the council table after this election and I can lead a team of staff and councillors who can deliver the vision of a sustainable and bright future for all those who choose to live in Central Otago.

 LYNLEY CLARIDGE, candidate for Central Otago District
I am a local businesswoman married to John, with sons Chris and James.

I served nine years on council and community board, stepping down in 2010 . I served three years as a trustee on the Central Lakes Trust and three years on COINC, the shareholder that owns Dunstan Hospital. 

I am very concerned about government indications of regionalising our key services and I am prepared to fight to keep key services in our region. 

The council has forecast borrowing $4.5 million after the elections rising to $20m in 1916/17. How is our existing population going to cope! Add that to the serious problem of few fulltime permanent employment opportunities in Central Otago and if we don't take action now, Central Otago will have retired people struggling to pay their rates in the near future. 

We must proactively target opportunities to bring employment to our area without delay, develop strategies to cope with growth and affordable housing - we are missing the bus! We must have retirement options for our older population, developers are desperate to get options under way but have been broadsided by bureaucracy.

Council must urgently meet with rest home providers, developers, etc to facilitate options. I will have a new culture of council based on one clear value: Assist our people, find a way!



BRYAN CADOGAN, candidate for Clutha District 
Your vote is extremely important to me as I seek a strong mandate to further the progress made in the past three years.

I have proven to be committed, passionate and capable of leading our district, offering a new style and direction based around my core values in life of honesty, a ''fair go for all'' and an understanding of the challenges facing all our society.

I strongly believe that in the present economic environment, council must take all steps to acknowledge that wages have not kept pace with unavoidable expenses like rates, placing undue pressure on the family unit and our ratepayers' ability to control their own destiny.

It is time to align council's costs with your ability to pay, and I will continue to strive to achieve this.

We must continue to search for innovative and cost effective solutions to maintaining our roading network, further develop the relationships I have fostered for regional collaboration, ensure Central Government remembers ''The South'' and continue to focus on maximising the potential of all our youth.

I am proud of what our district has achieved in recent years and if you agree with my vision, I would appreciate your vote.

 HAMISH ANDERSON, candidate for Clutha District I am 52 ,married to Doreen and a dairy farmer at Stirling.

I have been on the council for 12 years, nine as deputy mayor.

I am standing for mayor because I believe, along with my supporters, that I have the academic qualifications (a B.ComAG degree specialising in management) as well as the governance experience to lead this Council and the Clutha District in a positive manner.

Governance experience includes chair of the hearings panel, chair of the representation review committee, former chair of the district development board and the council representative on the Otago Transport Committee.

I was on the Council of the Livestock Improvement Corporation and chaired it for four years. I took a pivotal role in the formation of the Clutha Development Trust and am a current trustee.

As mayor I will concentrate on making sure that your rating expenditure delivers a positive return for you and the district. I will persue an equitable share of Central Government funding for our roading network to allow business to prosper and people to travel freely. After all rural areas are where the country's wealth is generated.

Working with other councils to drive the best outcomes for our district and region will be a priority.


Gore District Council

* Note: The only mayoral candidate for the Gore District Council is current mayor Tracy Hicks. 

The Southland Times