City back in surplus by 2017, says Hardaker
Hamilton mayor Julie Hardaker says the city will be back in surplus by 2017 due to her leadership, and is offering more of the same to voters in October.
In a pitch strongly reminiscent of the one that elevated her from employment lawyer to mayor in 2010, Ms Hardaker said financial management, efficient council services, investment in the economy and city lifestyles would be her priorities.
During her weekend campaign launch the incumbent aligned herself with terms such as "new way of doing things" and "looking to the future" while casting her opponents as "old culture", "divisive and negative" and "living in the past".
In a speech that kept well away from any detailed policy, the central business district and the river, streamlining council rules and job losses were themes. Ms Hardaker also took the chance to respond to critics of her efforts to save jobs.
She dismissed the value of talks being planned with AgResearch chief executive Tom Richardson and his DairyNZ counterpart Tim Mackle, and in a dig at mayoral rivals said some councillors were living in the past trying to relitigate a decision to move 180 staff from the city.
"Hamilton is still the powerhouse of the dairy industry with DairyNZ, LIC, the CRIs, the university, national and international suppliers and, of course, the farmers themselves.
"AgResearch is going to do what is best for AgResearch and nothing we do will change that. But what is best for Hamilton is to seize this as an opportunity to reinvent what we do in this sector and how we do it. I am very excited by the prospect."
- The are eight people vying for Hamilton Mayor this year including incumbent Julie Hardaker, Ian Hanley, Jack Gielen, Dave Macpherson, Tony Dixon, Tim Wikiriwhi, Ewan Wilson and Arshad Chatha.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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