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2015, Reporting back

January 1, 2016

It’s now the end of the second full year of my Council term and time to reflect on what has been achieved, and what still needs to be done.

My first reflection would be that there are certainly a lot of meetings to attend, more than most people might realise! Since delegations were changed mid term, all Councillors now attend all Committee meetings as well as Council meetings and briefings. I try to attend a good selection of community meetings. and also meet one-on-one with residents experiencing issues.

I’ve had the responsibility of being a director on the board of Capacity during the changeover to becoming Wellington Water; and I am currently serving as a trustee on the Wellington Zoo Trust Board. I’ve taken the opportunity to upskill myself for these roles by joining the Institute of Directors and completing several of their training papers and have also completed the training to become a RMA commissioner.

One thing I quickly realised, is that you don’t get anywhere in politics without building some degree of consensus. This means being clear about the case for and against a proposal; and being able to explain this to others, while understanding their point of view and being prepared to compromise if necessary.

Examples of initiatives I have bought to the table and won a majority for over the last two years include:
WCC joining with other Councils to pass a resolution expressing potential concerns around the TPPA
More money ( $100,000 annually) to operate our community centres. This has enabled us to support the St Christopher’s Community Hall when it was saved for the community, and to pay for a specialised person to staff our drop in centre at the Kilbirnie Community Centre once the DHB closed theirs.
Moving an amendment to tighten up on the allowable increase in pokie machines in various areas of Wellington. I was on a subcommittee listening to submissions and heard many heartbreaking stories. It seems to me we already have more than enough pokie machines in some parts of our community, and I am loath to see more.
More money ($ 200,000 annually) to be spent on pedestrian safety, with much of that money going to eastern suburbs safety improvements. I am well aware that pedestrian safety is a major concern for many in our communities.

I’m also very proud of having seen the need for the Leonie Gill Pathway, and convincing other colleagues to bring the funding for it forward to the 2014/2015 annual plan. It was a highlight of the year for me when it opened in April 2015. I really enjoy going there and seeing all sorts of people (and dogs!) using it. The latest feedback from the community is that it is such a great resource, it would be even more used if it had lights to make it safer at night…

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I’m also pleased we still had the budget to do some further upgrades in the Kilbirnie shopping centre, and I enjoyed networking with the business community and residents to make sure we delivered what they wanted. The new seats, flags, murals, bike maintenance kit and vastly improved footpath have been well received. I am also proud to have met with walking and disability advocates and to have lobbied for easier kerb crossings for our Rita Angus residents and for the new disability carpark which has gone in outside the Westpac in Onepu Road.

I’ve been a strong advocate for more affordable and user-friendly public transport, and I’ve consistently asked Greater Wellington to consider cheaper off peak fares for everyone, not just Gold Card holders, and to bring forward their integrated ticketing proposals. Public transport is a difficult issue with the responsibilities for it spread across WCC, GW and NZTA.
In the meantime, I did succeed in my request for a bus shelter outside the ANZ, ( people previously had to wait in all weathers), and it is extremely well used. There are at least three more bus shelters for the Eastern Suburbs currently in the pipeline. I don’t quite understand why they are taking so long, but I have come to realise persistence is a must- have quality in a Councillor!

These are some of the things that I  have been involved with; others include the planning for the new Johnsonville library, lobbying for an innovation/activation space  in the Central library, more drinking fountains near our beaches and waterfront, and  making sure we are doing sufficient planning and have the funding for our roading and water infrastructure and coastal resilience. And of course, the vexed question  of the airport runway extension and how best  to spend the Eastern suburbs $6million share of the cycling budget.

I’ll sign off for now, but as always  happy to be contacted, either through this site, or my contact details are on the WCC website.

 

 

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One Comment
  1. Ian Apperley permalink

    Ah election year. So much fun.

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