Nelsonians deserve leadership that is 100% focussed on the needs of our city and a Council that has the courage to make decisions that will stimulate growth and provide the best possible outcomes to the wider community. You want a Mayor who sets priorities and doesn’t push today’s problems into tomorrow. You want an accountable Mayor who has the community at heart and understands fiscal responsibility.
Like any regional centre, Nelson has aspirations for development as well as many essential services that need to be maintained. The role of leadership is to ensure that we get the investment balance correct in terms of delivering things that matter to the whole community. Naturally we must pursue opportunities for growth, but that can’t be at the expense of protecting what already makes Nelson an outstanding place to live, work and visit.
It’s critically important that everyone understands that the responsibilities of the Mayor were increased and extended by the 2013 changes to the Local Government Act. These extended obligations require Mayors to set the direction for council decisions and to manage budgets accordingly. More than ever, this means Nelson needs a Mayor who has knowledge, experience and desire to work in partnership with the community, and who delivers results in a cost effective way.
In my term as Mayor I have proven I have the commitment, financial capability and personal integrity required to lead a Council which moves our city forward. I am here to serve all residents equally – whether your family has lived here for generations or just arrived, whether you’re young or old, whether you’re a sportsperson, an artist or a gardener. My objective is to lead a community where people really do care about doing the right thing. I am committed to treasuring the environment we love. I am committed to setting priorities and investing wisely in our city. And I am committed to Nelson being the best little city in New Zealand. But most importantly of all, I’m committed to handing forward, to future generations, a city that can continue to prosper.
Good decisions start with active listening and asking questions. Good decisions also rely on quality information. As Mayor I’ve always tried to give Councillors plenty of opportunity to understand the issues and ask questions of staff because our community deserves informed decision-makers. I also prefer to make decisions based on consensus and throughout this term many critical decisions, especially those regarding our Long Term Plan and Annual Plans and key projects like the Trafalgar Center, have been made either unanimously or with very little dissenting vote. It is easy to be taken in by the perception of a divided council but, the fact is, that when it comes to the most critical decisions we have made over the last three years, there has been a high degree of unity around the Council table.
However, it must be said that matters involving the Nelson Southern Link Investigation have led to some Councillors’ personal views coming into the Council chamber and this has not led to the quality of decision-making that I would like to have seen. The role of local government leaders is to ensure that we make decisions in the best interests of our community – regardless of our personal preferences.
I have led decisions based on a clear vision and workable plan, financial prudence, and a respect for all residents and ratepayers.
As Mayor I am committed to leading a transparent, less bureaucratic council that invests responsibly, listens to what matters to you, and delivers results – to ensure this is the best little city in New Zealand.
You deserve nothing less.