Council and You

I spent 100 days up to the 26th of July posting a photo a day of things council does that effect you – all of you – home owners or renters – anyone living in Invercargill.

So what about a day in the life of council and you? How many times in the following do you bump into council.

20160507_135914You wake in the morning – get and up and go to the toilet. With breakfast you have a drink of water. You feed the dog and head outside to go to work.

You drive out the driveway and down the road. You give way at some traffic lights and a roundabout. You park in an all day car p20160406_150133ark and follow the footpath to your favourite cafe. It starts to rain and the run off flows off the roads into the gutters and down the storm water. You get a text reminder from your hairdresser about your appointment the next day.
You finish drinking your coffee before you get to work and put the empty cup in the rubbish bin on the footpath. Along the way you walk past some public art.

At lunch time you pop to the library to return some books. You answer a call from your builder who is20160413_125937 doing some renovations to your house and has a few questions. On your way back to work you dodge some road works.
After work you stop into the pub for a drink and while you are there you arrange to go for a run with friends in the morning through the Park.

On the way home you grab some takeaways and as you get close to your20160522_141636 house the streetlights turn on.

Finally you get changed to go out to a show at the Civic.

Busy day – and a lot of bumping into council don’t you think?

And hopefully this helps you see just how much council touches your life and therefore the importance of voting – so you can help determine who represents you and your community.



Museum Snapshot

The Southland Museum and Art Gallery has some amazing strengths and some huge issues. The strengths include passionate staff and an amazing collection with a surprising value. The issues are too complex to write about in a few sentences but include governance, finance, under-resourcing, lack of understanding, community buy in, regional support, funding structures, past management failures and more. There is no simple way to resolve any of this.

I believe we need to tell Invercargill’s story. As a first step this will help develop community buy in for the museum. Right now there is no place that tells Invercargill’s story and this is a mistake. This story should be told in our inner city while the pyramid retains the nature focused exhibitions and information.

Inner City

Inner City Snapshot

The Inner City was a talking point in the 2013 election and its a talking point again this year. This is not really a surprise – inner city issues are complex and the points of view on the issues and the solutions are varied.

I have commented on this in previous blog posts but some thoughts from me are – we need some attractions in the inner city (like an Art Gallery or Museum); we need to work out who is responsible for what – the question for me is what is really council responsibility and what is not??; we need events and activities regularly in the inner city; we need our community to shop local; and we need some kind of plan around our empty buildings, earthquake proofing and resource consents.

Most importantly we need to acknowledge that the ways people behave and the expectations people have have changed and we need to figure out what that means for the inner city – and for that matter – Invercargill as a whole.



Democracy Snapshot

People often comment that they don’t vote in local government elections because it doesn’t effect them. It does effect you!! And it is through local government that you can have the most influence on the community in which you live. This is why I do my best to be accessible to the community and provide information. I also try to find ways for the council to engage more with the community.

People also say they don’t vote because they do not know enough about the candidates. Because of this I provided an opportunity on Monday 15 August at 5.30pm for candidates to speak to the public. Over 80 people attended and 24 candidates spoke for 3 min each. It was great to see a diverse audience and lots of chatting between the candidates and audience afterwards.

In the lead up to the election I have also been proactive in providing information for people interested in running for council. Both these meetings had about 12-14 people attend and a number of the candidates we now have were amongst those people.

I firmly believe local government is where we have the best opportunity to influence our community and make it a place where we want to live. Please vote in 2016.


Candidate Opportunities

It is so great to see so many candidate opportunities popping up this election. In 2013 there were just 4 (and one of those was for women only). This year we have one nearly every week day for the next 2 weeks!

Here is a list of them all:

Mon 5th Sept – Greypower Meet the Mayoral Candidates; 1.30pm at Ascot Park Hotel

Tues 6th Sept – NRG Invercargill Candidate Encounter; 5.45pm Kelvin Hotel

Wed 7th Sept – Youth Council – Paint your future Candidate Event; 5.30pm, Sarah Ulmer Lounge, Velodrome

(Wed 7th Sept 7,30pm at the Wool Bar Community Space, Amazing Orange Campaign FUNdraiser (not a candidate opportunity) $20 per person).

Thur 8th Sept – IYP & SYNP Present ICC Candidates Meet and Greet; 5.30pm Preston Russell Law

Mon 12th Sept – Bluff Meet the Candidates – Vote 2016; 6pm, Te Rau Aroha Marae – Wharekai; cnrs Henderson & Elizabeth Streets; Bluff

Tues 13th Sept – NCW Meet the Women Candidates (women candidates only); 7.30pm, PIACT, Bowmont St

Wed 14th Sept – Chamber of Commerce Meet the ICC Mayoral Candidates; 7.30pm, SIT, Centrestage

Thurs 15th Sept – Otatara Candidate Event; 7pm, Otatara Community Hall, Dunns Rd

Mon 19th Sept – I 3 – ES and ILT Candidate Night; 5.30pm, Wool Bar Community Space, ground floor Grand Hotel, entry from the alleyway

Great list isn’t it! Hope to see you at one of these. And make sure you tell your friends!


Impact Snapshot

My first term in council included a lot of time learning the ropes. I have really enjoyed it and am pleased with the decisions I have made whether they were part of the majority or minority. I have also been able to do a number of things alongside council like the monthly Innov8 events and Heritage Week.

If I get reelected then I aim to have an even bigger impact. As a new councillor in this term I was not given a lot of significant responsibility but hope that this will change in 2016 if I get re-elected. I believe with more responsibility I will be able to do more and have a bigger and more effective impact.