Voting for regional rouncil is super important. It is where the government’s broad national policy statements such as for freshwater, transport, urban development, soil quality and others, are managed. Regional councils are responsible for the integrated management of the natural and physical resources of a region. This means working with local councils and communities to ‘give effect’ or implement those policies. After 2 terms on the Queenstown Lakes District Council, I am standing for Otago Regional Council because:
- Our economy in this region is based on two industries which are both really heavy emitters – tourism and farming. These industries have had dire consequences on our environment and change is far from easy.
- I want to work on the change that’s needed to solve some of the intense issues we face around pollution and climate change.
- ORC is where the responsibility and opportunity lies to resolve issues of water quality and quantity, particularly as the new National Policy Statement for Fresh Water Management comes into being.
- Limitations to public transport in Queenstown needs change at ORC level. We need to consider the future connectivity of our entire region in terms of drastically cutting our carbon footprint.
- Air quality is inexcusably poor in many of the towns in our district, particularly in winter. This needs serious attention.
- Pest control. Wallabies in the east, wilding pines mainly in the west, lake and river weed and diatom infestations,and rabbits everywhere.
- We need now a collective approach, to all of these issues, bottom up and top down, to get fast results. This will come from investing in science, measuring and monitoring our rivers and land and importantly, empowering community and catchment groups with funds and expertise.
Apart from governance experience on QLDC, I bring expertise in communication (I have worked as a journalist and as a PR company director in past careers – I still have an interest in Scope Media), I have studied change and work as a facilitator in sustainable practice and leadership for change programmes and I am a 33 year resident of the headwaters of our district.
You can check out all the candidates here. And please, fill in your voting form and post it in.