“One of the most compelling reasons for standing again is the support I am getting from really diverse parts of the community – people from all walks of life have been saying I should stand again,” said Mr Caddie, whose nomination has support from a number of existing Councilors.
Craig Bauld, Chair of the Council Finance Committee, said he has a great deal of respect for Mr Caddie and believes he will make an excellent Councilor. “It is important that Council get a range of intelligent, thoughtful, hard-working, and committed people who want to make this a better community. Manu is all of those things.”
“Over the years I have been a vocal advocate for parts of the population that haven’t had a strong voice in Council” said Mr Caddie. “But I know that the young can’t succeed in isolation from the elderly, that Maori will not prosper without support from the whole community and the economy cannot thrive unless we look after the natural environment.”
Former City Councilor Michael Chrisp has also given his endorsement to Mr Caddie. “I fully support Manu in his efforts to be elected to the Gisborne District Council. Manu has shown an exceptional ability to inform himself on relevant issues and to provide strong and effective leadership. Gisborne is fortunate to have a candidate of this calibre offering his services and if his record to date is an indication, he will work hard and intelligently for the good of the region. He deserves strong support.”
Mr Caddie was born and raised in Tauranga and is 37 years old. He lives in Kaiti with his wife of 12 years, Natasha Koia and their two young children.
Since 2004 Mr Caddie has run his own research and project management company that has clients around the country and has previously undertaken work for the World Bank, Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Education.
Best known for his community work on behalf of young people and Kaiti residents, Mr Caddie is currently involved on a voluntary basis with a number of local organisations. He is Chairperson of the Board of Trustees for Waikirikiri School; Convenor of the Tairawhiti Housing Advisory Group; a Board Member of Presbyterian Support East Coast; Chairperson of the Gisborne Cycling Advisory Group; a Trustee for Te Ora Hou Te Tairawhiti Trust; an Executive Member of Gisborne Council of Social Services; Co-Founder of Tairawhiti Men Against Violence; an Executive Member of Gisborne Chamber of Commerce and Committee Member for Transition Tairawhiti.
Deputy Mayor Nona Aston believes Mr Caddie’s community involvement has made a difference to many lives in the Gisborne District. “His devotion to family and his values encompass much of what is needed in our region.”
Mr Caddie helped establish Te Whare Whai Hua, the school for teenage parents at Lytton High School. “This is one of the projects I am most proud to be associated with” said Mr Caddie. “Providing a second chance at education for young mothers and quality early childhood education experience for their kids is so important. We’ve seen many of them go on to tertiary education and employment – and all of the students have learnt new skills to help parent the next generation.” Mr Caddie said Gisborne has to improve education and employment outcomes with more focus put on early school leavers.
Geoff Thorpe, Managing Director of Riversun said “Manu has all the qualities of an entrepreneur – vision, passion, leadership, innovation, commitment and energy – essentially, the ability to ‘make great things happen’. Gisborne needs many more people like Manu Caddie. I have no doubt that Manu would make an excellent councilor and play a vital role in ensuring the GDC provides the appropriate vision and leadership required for our community to reach its full potential.”
Mr Caddie said his community involvement reflects his priorities for Gisborne District Council. “For many years I have worked on the principle that decision-making needs to be made as close as possible to the people most affected by the decision. I am committed to encouraging public to be involved in decision-making, not assuming that Councilors always know best.” His commitment to both environmental issues and economic development is reflected in how work as a cycling advocate, retention of the Gisborne-Napier rail-link, ‘buy local’ initiatives, youth employment projects and financial literacy programmes for local families.