Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Candidate wants to be part of new vision

I've copied this story from Hawke's Bay Today because it's the only candidate's story from the paper that didn't make it online, an oversight I suspect. I've re-published it here so as to complete the list of candidates' online information I've listed in my blog post here: 2017 Hastings District Council councillor by-election

Candidate wants to be part of new vision
Hawke's Bay Today 10/10/2017

Seven candidates are running in the upcoming Hastings District Council Hastings-Havelock North ward by-election. Hawke's Bay Today is profiling each candidate, starting today with Jason Whaitiri.

By Nicki Harper

WHAKATU resident and keen community man Jason Whaitiri, undeterred by his narrow loss when he ran for council last October, says he thought long and hard before deciding to stand again this time.

Not least because he is standing in a different ward and one in which "I can't even vote for myself".
He stood in the Heretaunga ward in last year's triennial local body election and was narrowly defeated by Ann Redstone's 2075 votes to his 2071.

With the election of a new mayor next month, he felt encouraged to give it another go.

"There's been a lot of missed opportunities by our council and hopefully the new mayor comes with a vision and councillors share that vision with new ideas that benefit everyone."

A lack of engagement with local communities was one area where he believed the council had been lacking, and where he felt his strong community background could be of benefit.

The youngest of five, Mr Whaitiri went to Mangateretere School, Havelock North Intermediate and Te Aute College before going on to work in the meat industry, currently as a beef boner with Silver Fern Farms.

Married to Shirlene, he had three children and two grandchildren and politics ran in his family, including his sister Meka Whaitiri, recently re-elected Ikaroa-Rawhiti Labour MP.

Mr Whaitiri's involvement in the community included being a two-term trustee on the board of Clive School, a volunteer for the Cape Coastal Community Patrol, chair of KiwiCove Oscar trust, volunteering with Nourished for Nil, and being a Twin City Ministries youth leader, working with young people from Whakatu.

Part of his workplace's emergency response team, he had also been a long-time referee with the Hawke's Bay Rugby Referee Association, and wanted to bring the skills gained from all these activities to the table.

"I'm very community focused, I know how to make tough decisions and be accountable for them, and I have learned about governance and policies."

A primary focus for the council should be to stick to its core role in infrastructure - roads, water, waste management, he said, but also address affordable housing and streamlining consents for building.

"There's wealth in Hawke's Bay and it can be shared - we should not have homelessness.

"I love Hastings but it can be better - there's heaps of potential with a mayor that will bring everyone together."

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