Candidates were asked by the Pipipwharauroa newspaper to answer three questions in approximately 200 words…
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Q1: What is your position on Māori Land and its development in Gisborne District Council region?
I pushed for Council to formally review the issues specific to Māori land, one of the positives to come out of this is a new position dedicated to supporting Māori land owners with options for their land. The massive deficit of unpaid rates and penalties should be addressed by central government and we need to work with iwi and other councils to get traction in Wellington on this.
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Q2: Do you have a particular way you see the Council working with local Iwi Runanga and trust entities to seek better economic and social outcomes for Māori communities and people?
I really want to see the Turanga Local Leadership Body established. As a Statutory Standing Committee of Council that is comprised of councilors and mana whenua representatives this committee will ensure Council will cooperate a lot better than they have to date with local Māori on not only environmental but social, cultural and economic development issues.
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Q3: What is your opinion on raw sewage being released into our rivers as happened in mid August and what would you think should be done to prevent this situation happening again?
This is completely unacceptable and while it makes me feel ill on a number of levels, it is likely to have made some whānau physically sick. I put the heat on Council staff when Ian Ruru brought this to my attention in early July. Since then we have got a lot of traction with staff now working on options for (a) bringing forward the planned upgrades of the system; and/or (b) emergency measures to contain the sewage temporarily so it can be put back into the system once water-levels revert to normal. The health of all our waterways is a priority and I fully support the Turanganui-a-Kiwa Water Quality Enhancement Project that has wide scope and potential to make some real progress.
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