New councillor Manu Caddie said he is looking forward to progressing the social, environmental and economic priorities for Gisborne that his election campaign was based on.
Mr Caddie said he was humbled by the mandate he received as the third highest polling candidate, attributing his success to the quality of ideas put forward and a desire amongst city voters to see positive change.
“I especially want to thank my family and the many generous supporters who contributed in a wide variety of practical ways to our campaign” said Mr Caddie.
“The challenge now is to make sure the new Council is accessible and voters keep in regular contact with us. I campaigned on increasing participation and public involvement so I will be pushing that kaupapa hard over the next three years.”
Mr Caddie is encouraged that most of the successful city candidates said during campaigning they shared his interest in saving the Gisborne-Napier railway, opposing deep sea drilling off East Cape and making it easier and safer to cycle in the city.
Mr Caddie said his use of new media such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube helped him interact with potential voters and people with connections to Gisborne who may not live locally but have family and friends here. “The internet allows a lot more information to be shared with voters and for two way interaction on a daily basis with a large number of people” said Mr Caddie. “While a lot of people do not have internet access at home I was surprised how many young people and families from Kaiti, Elgin and Mangapapa use Facebook and Twitter.” Mr Caddie said he hopes to encourage Gisborne District Council to increase the use of social networks to engage with local residents and to follow Whanganui by providing privately sponsored free wireless broadband to whole neighbourhoods.
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Full results here.