Here’s a list of questions I am frequently asked (if you have a question to add to this list, add it to the comments section below):

Q: “What’s the timeline For The Election?”

  • 1 Jul 2019: Electoral Enrolment Centre campaign starts
  • 19 Jul 2019: Nominations open for candidates
  • 16 Aug 2019: Nominations close and electoral rolls close
  • 20-25 Sep 2019: Voting papers delivered
  • 12 Oct 2019: Polling day and declaration of preliminary results
  • 17-23 Oct 2019: Official results declared

Q: “What is your day-job? why are you willing to give it up?”

  • I have been a successful marketing consultant for Small-Medium Sized NZ businesses since 2009
  • I love my job, but local body politics fascinates me so I’m willing to take a large pay cut for the chance to get stuck in, make a difference, and contribute my skills to improving upon an-already-amazing city

Q: “How hard are you working to Prepare For this Role?”

  1. I’ve taken the old-fashioned-approach and gone out door knocking
    • I love visiting people at their home and asking them what their ideas and concerns are for the city
    • Half of the people I talk to are extremely positive and the other half extremely frustrated about certain issues dear to them. I’ve added a webpage called “issues” to capture these
    • I’ve set a goal of visiting 10,000 home by the end of this election
    • I’m setting a pattern of good communication and openness that will continue when I’m elected
  2. I’ve read thousands of pages of council documents
  3. I’ve attended many council meetings
    • I am often the only member of the public at these meetings. I find them very interesting. The councillors are making decisions that will affect us over the coming years and even decades
    • Did you know you council meetings are now posted onto YouTube?
    • You can watch meetings live, or catch up on them later
  4. I’ve met with dozens of community leaders
    • To get an understanding of what’s important to the communities they represent
    • I’ve met with leaders in local government, central government, environmental groups, elders, sport, arts, business, Maori culture, youth, religion, education and more

Q: “Why are you running for council?”

  • I’m fired up about traffic and waste!
  • I feel called. I feel drawn to the role
  • I think my skills are of value to the governance of the city I love:
    • Listening Carefully
    • Asking Questions
    • Fresh Thinking
    • Making Decisions
    • Taking Action
    • Leading Change
  • I love people hearing people’s stories
    • I’m famous for asking “what’s your story” within the first few seconds of us meeting for the first time.
    • Meeting with and talking to people all day about what it important to them, is a dream job to me
  • I love to learn
    • The more I learn about council life, the more I become interested in learning more. It’s wonderfully complex and intriguing
  • I love the challenge
    • How can one person influence a council of 11?
    • How can one person influence a population of 137,000?
    • How can one person influence the future of a city?
    • I have so many ideas about how to bring change, and relish the opportunity to try them out
  • I’m excited and positive about the future
    • I believe my enthusiasm and positivity is contagious, and what the city needs

Find out more in my 2 minute video which explains:

Q: “Why Should We vote for you?”

Here are 8 reasons why you should vote for me:

  1. Listens. Sheldon Nesdale has visited over 7000 homes in the Tauranga area to connect with residents and listen to their ideas and concerns
  2. Qualified. Sheldon has an MBA (Masters in Business Administration) from Waikato Uni, and holds several governance roles
  3. Future. Sheldon has 3 young boys at home so he thinks about the future and the legacy we will leave behind
  4. Prepared. Sheldon has read thousands of pages of council documents already (his summaries and videos are on his website)
  5. Connected. Sheldon has interviewed 50+ national & local community leaders to understand their perspective and ideas
  6. Leader. You may recognise Sheldon’s name from the events he has brought here: TEDxTauranga, Tauranga StartUp Weekend, The Dry Dock Breakfast Club
  7. Action. Sheldon has a reputation for injecting fresh ideas, and taking action
  8. Solutions. He generates practical solutions to problems instead of complaining and blaming

Q: “How Are You Going To Fix Tauranga’s Problems?”

The first step before providing a solution, is to define the problem.

Here are the issues that people have talked to me about:

  1. Traffic Congestion
  2. CBD Parking
    • It is getting increasingly difficult to get all-day parking in the CBD
    • It is harder for shoppers to get parking outside their favourite shops at peak times
    • People who frequent the CBD are envious of the free, plentiful parking in our cities satellite CBD’s and shopping centres
  3. Rates Increases
    • We understand that our rates are used to maintain the cities parks and recreational assets, supply waster to our homes, take away waste water, divert stormwater away from our homes, provide us with roads and transportation, provide us with libraries, and democracy and tourism and strategy and planning and the arts and events and ensure new buildings are strong and our environment is protected.
    • But we are sick of never-ending increases and we are worried that spending is out-of-control and inefficient
  4. Recycling & Waste
    • Most of us want to do the right thing and divert recyclable material away from landfill and into new uses
    • Many of us are willing to pay hundreds of dollars a year for the convenience of kerb-side collection, but others are not so willing and instead, put this material in their rubbish bags
    • Moving these costs into rates is an unpopular option because most citizens fiercely oppose rates increases
    • Solutions: How to fix Tauranga’s waste and recycling
  5. Building Consent Process
    • We are sick of the delays, we are sick of the high fees, we are sick of the never ending back-and-forth requests for information
    • We just want to get cracking on our add-ons and new builds
    • Solutions:
      • Digitise more steps in the process
      • Work with other councils to solve this common problem for all councils, not just this council
  6. Democracy
    • It seems that many council decisions are sprung on us
    • We don’t feel listened to, we don’t feel heard
    • We don’t we feel that what we say makes a difference sometimes
    • Solutions:
      • Hold a monthly meeting in a different suburb every month
      • Hold these meetings at different times of the day, evenings and weekends so they are accessabile to a wider range of the public
      • Involve the mayor, councillors, council managers and staff on a roster so everyone gets a turn
      • Set clear rules for these meetings so they don’t turn into personal attacks which are no fun for anyone
  7. Poorly Conceived Projects
    • We hate to see poorly conceived projects rolled out which spend our rate-payer funds
    • For example, many retailers and commuters are frustrated by the Greerton traffic so-called “improvements” (even though it’s delivering it’s purpose: pedestrian and cyclist safety)
    • We are annoyed by the transformation of Phoenix carpark at the Mount into Te Papa o Ngā Manu Porotakataka, a “skate park where skateboards are banned” (even though the budget was cut and it’s not yet finished)
  8. Council Debt
    • We are concerned about our debt levels. $600 Million dollars of debt at the moment, and a plan to near $1B by 2028 are such big numbers
    • We understand that half of that debt finances the construction of new suburbs (which don’t have rate payers living there yet), and the rates drawn from those suburbs over the next 30 years will repay that debt
    • We understand that the other half of the debt finances large infrastructure projects such as waste water treatment plants for our growing city, but we get a little grumpy when we see that those installations benefit suburbs that we won’t be living in anytime in the next 30 years
    • Many of us carry debt in the form of a mortgage on our house and we have a plan to pay it all back eventually. It makes us uncomfortable that council may never be debt-free. We understand that it’s an organisation, not a person, and so may “live” forever but something about owing money for so long doesn’t feel right to us
    • We understand that the council’s interest rates are much lower than what we can get for our own mortgages, but it seems like a waste of money to be paying $1M per week in interest payments. We know that it’s us, the ratepayer, that is paying that interest bill every week
  9. Revitalisation Of The CBD
    • Those of us that frequent the CBD want a downtown that we are proud of, that is vibrant and active
    • Those that stick to our own self-contained suburbs are less concerned about the CBD because we rarely go there
    • We realise that building activity is a sign of growth and investment, but the road closures are inconvenient, and the building activity is noisy, dusty and ugly. Many people have commented that it looks like we are trying to recover from an earthquake
  10. The CBD Waterfront
    • We think it is a shame that empty cars get such a glorious view 12 hours a day from the large open-air carpark
    • The esplanade, cycle path, tidal steps, and bombing platform are now in place. The space looks great and has 100s of visitors every day
    • Solutions:
      • Ideas that have been suggested to me are: removing the rail, adding a line of restaurant and cafes closer to the water, and developing the open air carpark into something else
  11. Museum
    • We are divided on the building of a museum
    • Many of us are envious of amenities that other NZ cities have, but we are concerned that the burden of the multi-million dollar price tag for building a museum of our own will fall on rate-payers
    • On the other hand, many of us are sick of this issue being kicked around for decades and just want action at long last

Q: “How Can We Help You Sheldon?”

Wow! Thank you for offering!

Do you believe in me and think I would make an effective Councillor?

If so, here’s what you can do:

  1. Get involved with local body politics
  2. Endorse me when you talk with friends, family, work colleagues
  3. Donate financially to my campaign
    • I’m running a lean campaign but I’m diverting time away from growing my business so any contribution is very welcome, thank you
  4. Distribute my flyers
  5. Support my Facebook page:
    • Add comments, share my posts, tag in your friends
  6. Offer your fence or grass verge (on a busy road) to me for a 90cm x 60cm election sign

Q: “Are you for, or against, the museum?”

I can see both sides.

On the “for” side people tell me they want a centre that tells the local stories that make us unique in the world, stories about our history told in a modern, immersive visual way (instead of shelves of dusty relics).

  • A place easily configurable for a variety of events
  • A place where we can extract a few cruise ship tourist dollars (for premium exhibits) instead of whisking them away to Rotorua as soon as they step off the cruise ships
  • A place for our school kids to visit and learn

On the “against” side people tell me the price tag is too high and the timing is not right.

  • That we should be focusing on getting our essential infrastructure right (water supply, waste water / sewage, public transport and traffic) before we spend money on nice-to-haves like a museum
  • That the cliff road site is the wrong location because it doesn’t have public transport access and a better choice would be in the heart of the city in conjunction with a new library to save millions of dollars

If I’m elected onto the council I will need to quickly consume all the available information that councillors have access to (including reports, financial details, referendum results etc), before forming my own opinion and contributing to the decision making process.