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?”

  • To-be-decided. But polls will close October 2019

Q: “Traffic: How do you propose to fix Tauranga’s Traffic?”

Here is my list of 32 solutions for fixing Tauranga’s traffic.

Q: “Recycling: How are you going to fix Tauranga’s recycling?”

Here is my proposal for how to fix Tauranga’s recycling.

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

I predict that the referendum (which accompanies the voting documents), will show 75% disapproval of a museum on Cliff Road.

The referendum is non-binding which means that the council will take public opinion into account, but will make it’s own decision about the project.

If I’m elected onto the council on 1 May 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.

Most of all, I think what has been lacking in the conversation so far is 5-10 examples of what exactly will be in the museum so people can judge for themselves if they would be attracted to it.

Q: “How Can I Help?”

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. Endorse me when you talk with friends, family, work colleagues
  2. 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)
  3. Distribute my flyers
  4. Support my Facebook page: Add comments, share my posts, tag in your friends
  5. Donate your time to my campaign. Call me and let me know. I’ll find a project you can help with
  6. Offer your fence or grass verge to me for a 90cm x 60cm election sign

Q: “Why are you running for council?”

  • I’m fired up about traffic and recycling!
  • 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 120,000?
    • 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 would I vote for you?”

  • If you are frustrated with Tauranga traffic, vote for me
  • If you are annoyed by a lack of kerb-side recycling, vote for me
  • My 6 skills are vital for the city that I love:
    • Listening Carefully
    • Asking Questions
    • Fresh Thinking
    • Making Decisions
    • Taking Action
    • Leading Change

Q: “What are you Going To Fix?”

  1. Our traffic congestion. Find out more.
  2. Our recycling. Find out more.

I’m still in listening mode (and always will be actually), so I’m keen to hear from you what you think the issues are

Q: “What are the ‘issues’ that people have brought to your attention?”

  • Here are the issues that people have talked to me about
  • Traffic and CBD Parking
    • Several intersections around the city are getting clogged at peak times
    • It seems to be difficult to get parking spaces in the CBD at peak times
    • Could Tauranga be #1 NZ city for easy, safe, picturesque cycling? Could that help with these issues?
    • Could we have a tram down the centre of Cameron Road?
  • A lack of kerb-side glass recycling
    • We are annoyed that the council didn’t see this coming
    • We are frustrated that we might have to wait 2 years for kerb-side glass recycling
    • We are unhappy with only a handful of glass recycling depots around the city
    • We want to do the right thing and recycle glass but many of us will now put our glass in general rubbish because travelling to these depots is too much of an effort
  • 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
  • Downward pressure on rates
    • 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
  • Control over debt levels
    • We are concerned about our debt levels. $500 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 and we know that it’s us, the ratepayer that is paying that interest every week
  • The 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
  • Revitalisation of 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
    • Other 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

Q: “What Are You Doing To Prepare For The Role?”

  1. Listening to warnings from friends and family
    • I’ve been warned how frustrating some aspects of council life may be for me.  I have a reputation for being an “action man” and entrepreneur. I have an idea today and it’s done by tomorrow. I’ve been warned that council moves slowly
  2. Meeting people 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 set a goal of visiting 4000 homes, I surpassed that goal by a large margin
    • I’m setting a pattern of good communication and openness that will continue when I’m elected
  3. Attending council meetings to see how they work
    • 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
  4. Reading council documents to understand the purpose and role of council
    • I find these fascinating and learn more everyday about how the city runs. Reading and understanding these documents is a huge part of the role.
    • Have you read some of my summaries?
  5. Meeting with current and past Councillors to find out more about the highs and lows of the role
  6. Meeting with community leaders
    • To get an understanding of what’s important to the communities they represent
    • Leaders in local government, central government, environmental issues, elders, sport, arts, business, Maori culture, youth, religion, education and more