19 July 2024

Hamilton Elections: Know your Mayoral candidates before you vote

Voting papers for Hamilton City Council elections will be delivered to your mail box latest by Wednesday, 21 September 2022.

Alongside the 14 councillors, you will also be voting for electing the mayor whose role is of immense significance in shaping (y)our city.

There are eight candidates running for the mayoral position, the same number as 2019.

It is for you to decide if you are willing to re-elect the tried and tested present incumbent, Paula Southgate based upon her performance in the past three years, or Geoff Taylor with his experience as a Deputy Mayor, or are you inclined to give opportunity to an entirely new candidate to take over this leadership role.

Mayoral candidates
(Top row: L to R): Paula, Donna, Horiana, Geoff (Bottom): Lee, Riki, Jack & Lachlan

You can make an informed decision by knowing and comparing the candidates and what they stand for before you rank them. This can be done either by attending one of the upcoming events where you get an opportunity to listen to the candidates, or by knowing them more from their listed profiles.

Here is a brief profile of each mayoral candidate(in alphabetical order):

Donna Pokere-Phillips, affiliated to the NZ Outdoors & Freedom Party, Is standing to “fight to keep local assets in local hands”, “push for a social housing program” and believes she is the “fearless leader Hamilton needs.”

Pokere-Phillips is “passionate” about community and will “push for a social housing program.” To solve “housing crisis”, she would “sell civic building” and “rehouse homeless families.”

Geoff Taylor, the former journalist and current Deputy Mayor is a “doer, not a talker” and claims achieving 2 hours free parking and city jetty. He is keen to “restore Hamilton’s independence as a city,” has “big plans to transform our water front” and wants to “stop uncontrolled subdivision going on across the city”.

Amongst his other priorities are to “find local solutions to crime; rein in council’s discretionary spending and build more houses.”

Taylor “won’t be reluctant to take a stand when the city’s best interests are threatened” and regarding “3 waters, stand up for what is best for our residents at all costs.”

Horiana Henderson: As a ratepayer and Mum, will “provide real representation on Council for ordinary families and ratepayers” as “council decisions and rates impact our lives and household budgets.”

Henderson believes an “effective Council should also be connected to the many communities which make up our city and ensure their voices are included in decision making… As a journalist I have enjoyed listening to and doing my best to accurately represent, Hamiltonians from diverse backgrounds.”

Jack Gielen, affiliated to the Peoples Voice has a “dream to be elected to the council” and supports cycle-ways, youth council affordable housing and business development and opposes the 3 waters.

Gielen’s main concern’ is the council’s “huge debt and overspending.” He believes in “the power of the people” and “in compulsory voting and the voting age lowered.” His priority is also to be the “voice of the people.”

He claims to “know how to defend the truth standing up for what is right and proper in each situation.”

Lachlan Coleman: This 20-years-old contender is contesting to “bring an entirely new skillset, views, energy, insight, and an image to a council (that) generations would be proud to live in.”

He believes “previous councils have not delivered on what all people require, have overspent, under-delivered and kept increasing rates at an alarming pace.”

Amongst Coleman’s priorities are, to “increase efficiency”, “intelligently manage traffic lights” and “protect the control and ownership of our assets.”

Lee Bloor: An advocate for citizens rights and the LGBT community, wants to “create a dynamic, inclusive city…that includes all and cares about its citizens.”

Bloor aims to bring “more transparency in local government and lowering of costs for citizens of services such as dumping rubbish and parking.”

Paula Southgate: She is seeking re-election as mayor, as “things are improving but some challenges remain. In her words, “Hamilton needs a positive leader” with a “positive voice for our city.” She believes she is the one such leader with “with proven results.” She has “over 25 years of community and local government experience,” and when it comes to challenges, Southgate claims “I don’t shy away from hard issues or difficult decisions. I look for solutions.”

Having “lived in Hamilton for 45 years”, ensuring “city safety” remains Southgate’s top priority alongside “delivering affordable housing options, but not at the expense of good neighbourhoods, and making sure Hamiltonians have transport choices that are safe, efficient, convenient and affordable for all users.”

Southgate believes she has the ability to “get the best results for Hamilton,” by ensuring “people are at the heart of our decision making.”

Riki Manarangi: He believes current “political system is broken, much of your money can be better spent around the city and you often feel like you’re not being heard.”

Manarangi  contends it is “true democracy “ only when “you are empowered’. Therefore, his “elected role will be to make sure good information is accessible, from experts and staff, to you electronically” and is proposing that community will have the “opportunity to vote electronically online with me on every significant council issue that comes up.”

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Also Read: www.newsviews.co.nz/explained-how-voting-under-stv-will-help-your-preferred-candidate-win/ www.newsviews.co.nz/elections-2022-limited-public-events-in-hamilton-to-meet-wrc-nominees/ www.newsviews.co.nz/mayoral-councillor-candidates-aspiring-to-shape-your-city/

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