I am absolutely committed to working with others to build a community where everyone can reach their full potential and no one is left out.
Over the past ten years in Gisborne I have led projects and organisations that have strengthened relationships between individuals, families, neighbours, organisations and communities.
Local government must provide real leadership by working together, with the full involvement of the community, to tackle the complex problems our region faces. When people have meaningful participation in decisions that affect their lives, they also have ownership of the outcomes.
I support the development of a common vision for the region that ensures it is safe, affordable and healthy for young and old to live in this unique place we call home.
In 2001 I joined with a group of neighbours to establish KaPai Kaiti. This residents association is a bunch of volunteers who want to make their community an even better place to live and are willing to do whatever it takes to realise their goals. Through my involvement with this group I have seen the positive change that is possible when a community is involved in leading its own development.
From 2002-2005 I worked with Lytton High School to establish Te Whare Whai Hua, the school for teenage parents and an Early Childhood Education Centre for their children. The young mothers who have been through Te Whare Whai Hua inspire me with their commitment to personal development and the wellbeing of their children. Most of these students have gone on to further training, university education and/or employment – all have become better caretakers of the next generation.
Through these two simple but powerful examples of local solutions to local problems we have experienced the power of community-led sustainable growth and transformation. We have also seen how Council can actively block community attempts to move ahead.
Gisborne District Council needs inspired leadership that is connected to ALL sectors of the community. I hope to be part of making this goal our reality.