Kāpiti’s New Mayoral Candidate Says Gateway Waste Must Be Cut Back

Kāpiti Councillor Rob McCann has entered the Mayoral race in the upcoming elections by promising to ‘keep budgets in check by cutting back projects, like the Te Uruhi Gateway, that are not being careful with the public’s money.’

Cr Rob McCann

“I’m standing on a record of tackling big issues and getting work done,” says District Councillor McCann.

“I’ve been honoured that my fellow councillors elected me to represent them on the Major Events panel, elected me as the District Licensing Chair and nominated me to represent Council on multiple Select Committees and supported my call to re-evaluate The Gateway (Te Uruhi).

Te Uruhi

(Te Uruhi, previously known as the Kāpiti Gateway, will be a development on the south bank of Tikotu Stream in Maclean Park, Paraparaumu, says the KCDC. It will include displays telling local stories and history, improvements to the Tikotu Stream, a new accessible bridge over the stream, and a small biosecurity facility for visitors to Kāpiti Island.)

Te Uruhi (artist’s impression)

Cr McCann continues: “I’ve worked in the private sector, in Parliament and the civil service, so I know how to influence change in Wellington. What motivates me is getting a job done and doing it well.

“As Mayor I will ensure we do things differently – we can’t afford the same status quo thinking.

“Our community wants a more open and transparent council. As Mayor, I will make sure I’m available to you, both online and in person. I want to bring my communication skills to the role and ensure council is accessible for everyone. That means drastically reducing the number of public excluded briefings and workshops. These need to be the exception to the rule.

“The public will see a very different style of council if I’m elected – we’ll be open and inclusive, with a range of new initiatives and more focused planning.

“During my nearly three years on the council, we have had a massive focus on fixing the housing crisis in our region: we have implemented a Housing Strategy, purchased land and worked with private developers to create new social housing (more on that later).

We’ve put in the hard yards to plan for growth and we’re continuing to make substantial updates to the District Plan to take Kāpiti into the 21st Century.

“Taking a leading role and pushing the organisation to act quickly has required significant team building round the Council table. That’s why I decided not to seek an endorsement from a political party (Labour) . At council I have not found party politics useful.

For me it’s about reaching out and working with your fellow councillors to get things done. I’ve heard this message loud and clear from our Kāpiti residents. They want a Mayor who represents everyone, and they want party politics kept out of the debating chamber.

Zero emissions target

“My focus will include planning for growth, with councillors responsible for their own portfolio of projects. A priority is to embed sustainability and environmental values in our work programme and set an ambitious districtwide net zero emissions target to tackle the climate crisis.

“To be more sustainable we need to take a long hard look at how we can bring rubbish collection back into council responsibility and lobby for better public transport and health services.

“To ensure we support our communities we’ll have Community Board items on the council agenda. We also need to ensure our long-term support for the Economic Development Kotahitanga Board and to continue to build our iwi partnership.

Waikanae Library and Paraparaumu Community Centrer

“The Waikanae Library and Paraparaumu Community Centre need to move on with haste and we’ll get serious about the new town centre planning and the private developers that can help make this happen. I hope to introduce a new community events fund, and it’s imperative that a Council I lead will keep budgets in check by cutting back projects, like the Gateway, that are not being careful with the public’s money.

Our region is growing. That’s inevitable. Change either happens to us, or in a council I lead, we will plan for everyone’s benefit.”

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