Wānaka-Upper Clutha ward: Who will best represent you?

by Kim Bowden - Sep 16, 2022

What's their motivation for standing, how do they work with people they disagree with, what will be their super strength around the council table, and what do they think the Queenstown Lakes District Council can do better, especially when it comes to spending ratepayer's money? We've asked your would-be councillors, to help you choose who you think's the best fit for the job.

 

Barry Bruce

The one issue that really motivates me to stand for council is…

The challenge of dealing with the avalanche of proposed reforms being initiated by Central Government.

You’ll be one voice around the council table. Tell us something about how you manage working with people you disagree with, how you with deal with conflict, or how you work to get people on side.

Take a practical non biased voice of reason approach and be prepared to listen to alternative points of view.

You’ve got a $5-million grant to use how you want for the district. What would you do with it and why?

Downtown parking and access is an issue in both Wanaka and Queenstown. Regardless of anti-car ideologies, vehicles are here to stay, to make restrictions can lead to sectors of our community feeling isolated and a loss of independence. Good vehicle parking is important for a vibrant thriving community, $5m would be well spent on parking improvements.

What’s one thing the QLDC could do a lot better, and how will you try and make it happen?

More transparency, particularly less public excluded agenda items.

Engineer, RMA guru, nerd for numbers, sucker for details - What's a super strength you'll bring to the council table?

An open mind, empathy and a desire to constructively contribute.

Have you read Crux' series of stories on council procurement/"jobs for mates"? What's your take on what's important when spending ratepayer money?

Spending public money is a huge responsibility, correct procedures and open scrutiny is paramount.

 

Olly Burke (no photo supplied)

The one issue that really motivates me to stand for council is…

Cohesion - there are so many great volunteer groups working hard out in our community. These groups have a great deal of intelligent, innovative people that have great solutions to many of our districts problems. There input is vital for an effective council.

You’ll be one voice around the council table. Tell us something about how you manage working with people you disagree with, how you with deal with conflict, or how you work to get people on side.

First of all, I listen. I take notes and try to be empathetic. Your not always going to share the same views as others around the table. It’s not about getting people on side, it’s about being an effective listener so you can effectively challenge their rational if required.

You’ve got a $5-million grant to use how you want for the district. What would you do with it and why?

I would subsidise all literacy and numeracy programs in all our schools and make sure the kids at the bottom are getting the support they need. I would fund the basics for schooling and living for families in need. If we can empower our most vulnerable it can only lead to a better community for all.

What’s one thing the QLDC could do a lot better, and how will you try and make it happen?

We need to be less reliant on consultants and have transparency with what we are paying those consultants to do. A lot of time and money is spent going over decisions that were fit for purpose to begin with.

Engineer, RMA guru, nerd for numbers, sucker for details - What's a super strength you'll bring to the council table?

Diversity, since attending school here I have spent the last 27 years working across many of the industry's that help make up this great community. Hopso, tourism, many of the various trades, the rural sector, film and television, international marketing, I'm a business owner and work with youth on projects and relate well with most.

Have you read Crux' series of stories on council procurement/"jobs for mates"? What's your take on what's important when spending ratepayer money?

Transparency and accountability.

 

Lyal Cocks

The one issue that really motivates me to stand for council is…

The desire to get things done in a sensible and cost effective way with minimal impact on ratepayers.

You’ll be one voice around the council table. Tell us something about how you manage working with people you disagree with, how you with deal with conflict, or how you work to get people on side.

A career as an officer in the Navy living and working with 200 people on a ship for six months at a time, provided me very good people management skills and the ability to deal with conflict. Involves compromise, tolerance, listening, convincing dialogue and acting with integrity and responsibility.

You’ve got a $5-million grant to use how you want for the district. What would you do with it and why?

Pay off debt as this will benefit all ratepayers throughout the district.

What’s one thing the QLDC could do a lot better, and how will you try and make it happen?

Empowering the Wānaka-Upper Clutha Community Board to make decisions on key local issues by providing resources, honouring delegations. Will lobby and get the support other elected members to ensure it happens.

Engineer, RMA guru, nerd for numbers, sucker for details - What's a super strength you'll bring to the council table?

As a Naval officer, managed the careers of naval personnel and was responsible for the allocation of millions of dollars’ worth of assets. Lived in Wanaka for 24 years, owned and operated successful small businesses. A District Licensing Commissioner, and an RMA Commissioner, and served on Wanaka Community Board for 12 years, a Councillor for 9 years and Deputy Mayor for 6 years up until 2016 so have a significant level of local body knowledge and governance experience.

Have you read Crux' series of stories on council procurement/"jobs for mates"? What's your take on what's important when spending ratepayer money?

I like getting things done but appreciate we are in a cost-of-living crisis, so the spending of public money needs to be prudent with the essentials being prioritized in a realistic and achievable programme. We don’t need to be biting off more than we can chew. We need to set priorities and get them done within budget.

 

Ross McCarthy

The one issue that really motivates me to stand for council is…

Lack of honesty and transparency.

You’ll be one voice around the council table. Tell us something about how you manage working with people you disagree with, how you with deal with conflict, or how you work to get people on side.

Logical argument and clear, strong debate.

You’ve got a $5-million grant to use how you want for the district. What would you do with it and why?

Inspire young people to stay in the district with scholarships and grants.

What’s one thing the QLDC could do a lot better, and how will you try and make it happen?

Tell the truth - public opinion will push this result, through better information. That’s my job. 

Engineer, RMA guru, nerd for numbers, sucker for details - What's a super strength you'll bring to the council table?

Advocacy.

Have you read Crux' series of stories on council procurement/"jobs for mates"? What's your take on what's important when spending ratepayer money?

Playing by the rules - transparency, value for ratepayers and keeping key areas of knowledge within the council.

 

Daniel Shand

The one issue that really motivates me to stand for council is…

More accurate public representation.

You’ll be one voice around the council table. Tell us something about how you manage working with people you disagree with, how you with deal with conflict, or how you work to get people on side.

I'm pretty likeable.

You’ve got a $5-million grant to use how you want for the district. What would you do with it and why?

Set up infrastructure to help to find a more accurate way of finding where the public stand on specific government issues.

What’s one thing the QLDC could do a lot better, and how will you try and make it happen?

They should listen to the public more. They could talk to them more to find out what they wanted.

Engineer, RMA guru, nerd for numbers, sucker for details - What's a super strength you'll bring to the council table?

I'm a good listener.

Have you read Crux' series of stories on council procurement/"jobs for mates"? What's your take on what's important when spending ratepayer money?

Im pretty good at saving money. I can make a dollar go a long way. All my friends already have jobs.

 

Quentin Smith

The one issue that really motivates me to stand for council is…

I believe in strong local democracy where the community have a voice in their own direction and influence on important decisions.

You’ll be one voice around the council table. Tell us something about how you manage working with people you disagree with, how you with deal with conflict, or how you work to get people on side.

Democracy is often about compromise. With 12 people around the table it is essential to find some balance of views and realise not everyone gets there way. I never get offended by someone holding a different opinion provided they are respectful of others opinions. Sometimes you exercise your vote but lose but i alway stick by my conviction.

You’ve got a $5-million grant to use how you want for the district. What would you do with it and why?

Tracks and trails, this is an area with countless potential and well documented return on investment. It aligns well with climate change, economic diversity, regenerative tourism, active transport and mod shift as well as providing for physical and mental well-being.

What’s one thing the QLDC could do a lot better, and how will you try and make it happen?

It is essential that the council communicate better with its community and rebuild trust. Being transparent and authentically listening to the community will rebuild trust but it will take time.

Engineer, RMA guru, nerd for numbers, sucker for details - What's a super strength you'll bring to the council table?

I have worked in multiple sectors in and with local government including reserves management, policy development and resource management planning. I have also spent the current term as chair of infrastructure so bring a pretty broad set of skills and experience relevant to council. Student of all, master of none.

Have you read Crux' series of stories on council procurement/"jobs for mates"? What's your take on what's important when spending ratepayer money?

Having strong policy and disciplined procedures ensures impartiality and objectivity in procurement decisions. This has come along way but there is still mistrust in the council. As finances become pressed getting maximum value for money needs to be priority.

 

Cody Tucker

The one issue that really motivates me to stand for council is…

I want to make sure that young people in the region have someone who is looking out for them, who they can go to with their concerns and who will look out for them and their future.

You’ll be one voice around the council table. Tell us something about how you manage working with people you disagree with, how you with deal with conflict, or how you work to get people on side.

I often steel man arguments to ensure people feel heard and understood before making my case. I focus on providing perspective and refining the issues to its most fundamental and immovable form. I stay away from being certain and ensure curiosity drives the argument to allow all perspectives to be considered before casting judgement.

You’ve got a $5-million grant to use how you want for the district. What would you do with it and why?

Would love to build a Market Square Pavilion in Lake Hawea. Then buy a few community vans, ensure the Primary Birthing Unit in Wanaka has all it needs met then use what's left for cycle ways.

What’s one thing the QLDC could do a lot better, and how will you try and make it happen?

Communication and collaboration. I'm wanting to make regular videos that update the community on the stuff happening in our region and build momentum around positive conversations around how we can make progress together.

Engineer, RMA guru, nerd for numbers, sucker for details - What's a super strength you'll bring to the council table?

Creativity and vision. Im a professional thinker in my day job as a designer and put a lot of work into understanding peoples needs and creating innovative solutions to address them.

Have you read Crux' series of stories on council procurement/"jobs for mates"? What's your take on what's important when spending ratepayer money?

Yes, I honestly feel so lucky to have Crux holding the Council accountable on this. We're sick and tired of the nepotism, the condescending lack of communication and the loss of trust we as ratepayers have with our local governance. I wear my heart on my sleeve and am an open book. Every dollar should be held to account, it is our money, our place and our future.

 

John Wellington

The one issue that really motivates me to stand for council is…

To ensure that our community voices are heard and that council doesn't have to have a one size fits all policy for the District.

You’ll be one voice around the council table. Tell us something about how you manage working with people you disagree with, how you with deal with conflict, or how you work to get people on side.

Lay out your position, back it up with evidence and try to convince a majority, but also be open to new evidence or convincing counter arguments. Conflict does not need to be a negative in that it often opens the way to creative thing and new ways of looking an issue and maybe a new solution.

You’ve got a $5-million grant to use how you want for the district. What would you do with it and why?

Use it to support the Queenstown Lakes Community Housing Trust to provide more affordable housing to rent or a type of shared ownership model that shares the benefit beyond the first family to access it. I would also wish them to look at other models such as housing co-operatives, co-housing and not for profit housing associations.

What’s one thing the QLDC could do a lot better, and how will you try and make it happen?

Be more transparent in its community consultation and decision making process. Specifically in Wanaka Ward, I would support the re empowering of the Wanaka Community Board though council staff support and effective delegation powers.

Engineer, RMA guru, nerd for numbers, sucker for details - What's a super strength you'll bring to the council table?

Tenacity to keep working on a project or issue until we get a good result.

Have you read Crux' series of stories on council procurement/"jobs for mates"? What's your take on what's important when spending ratepayer money?

Yes, and I have some concerns. Its vitally important that council is completely transparent with its procurement policies and follows them.

 

Acting on some of the big issues - it's not always easy to agree on the best approach, so we asked each candidate where they sit on a sliding scale from zero to 10.

 

Read more:

Wānaka-Upper Clutha community board: Who will best represent you?

Arrowtown-Kawarau ward: Who will best represent you?

Queenstown-Whakatipu ward: Who will best represent you?

ORC Dunstan constituency: Who will best represent you?

Watch now:

The Crux mayoral candidates debate

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