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Some of the contributions I have made since becoming a Gisborne District Councillor in 2010…
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- Initiated the Gang Transformation Project being undertaken by Safe Tairāwhiti with support from NZ Police, GDC, Ka Pai Kaiti, Kia Kaha Mangapapa, E Tu Elgin, Tauawhi Mens Centre, etc.
- Supported various initiatives and events organised by Tauawhi Mens Centre & Tairāwhiti Men Against Violence.
- Supported a review of GDC ownership of housing and Tauwhareparae Farms.
- Initiated and supported the development of the Tairāwhiti Techxpo designed to encouraged local students and their families to see the career opportunities in IT industries.
- Founding member of the Gisborne Cycling Advisory Group that works with GDC and other stakeholders to promote a more liveable city with better transport routes for cyclists and walkers.
- Founding member and convenor of the Tairāwhiti Housing Advisory Group that advocates for affordable, safe and healthy homes for local residents.
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- Founding member of the Gisborne Rail Action Group that argued for retention of the railway line, researched the economics of the situation and encouraged businesses to look at the viability of the line – which all led to a strong business case for the line to be retained.
- Argued against $14billion of central government transport funding being skewed toward a few ‘Roads of National Significance” to the detriment of investment in regional roads, public transport and cycling infrastructure.
- Suggested and supported the development of a GDC Working Group to look into the issues around rate and Māori Land with input from the Māori Trustee, Māori Land Court, Ministry of Māori Development, iwi authorities and other stakeholders.
- Supported the establishment of a technology incubator and start-ups hub for Gisborne.
- Supported the establishment of the Tairāwhiti Computers Hubs Trust that will provide access to IT training and resources in neighbourhoods that have low access rates in homes.
- Supported the development of an Economic Development Agency as a project led by GDC, ECT and the Gisborne Chamber of Commerce.
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- Promoted the addition of the original names for Poverty Bay (Oneroa for the bay and Turanganui-a-Kiwa for the land).
- Supported the development of the HB Williams Memorial Library, War Memorial Theatre, C Company Museum and Tairāwhiti Museum & Art Gallery.
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- Promoted the importance of public input on forestry management rules.
- Promoted a review of the Combined Regional and District Plan policies and rules pertaining to mining-related activities.
- Promoted the advancement of cycling and walking infrastructure in the Ten Year Plan.
- Promoted retention of the Gisborne-Napier railway line.
- Researched and promoted energy self-sufficiency for the East Coast
- Opposed petroleum exploration in the district onshore and offshore based on environmental impacts of the industry, social impacts on communities from ‘boomtown’ experiences and economic impacts on existing industries.
- Organised public presentations in Gisborne by global experts in offshore drilling (Prof. Frank Alcock), fracking (Prof Avner Vengosh) and railways (Dr Murray King).
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- Argued for a more robust exploration of community boards, Māori seats, STV voting, ward boundaries as part of the GDC Representation Review.
- Encouraged Tairāwhiti Youth Voice to secure a seat at the Community Development Committee and to focus on the input of young people into local planning and development processes.
- Promoted the need for regular meetings between local MPs and GDC.
- Encouraged GDC to seek public input on GDC submissions on draft legislation, policy and regulations (e.g. alcohol law reform, pokies law reform, Crown Minerals Act, National Policy Statements on forestry, fresh water, etc.).