Architect and Urban designer, Andrew knows the growth of new suburbs needs to be done right.
POSITIVE CHANGE for HAMILTON
My principal place of residence is Hamilton East
If rents and rates rise faster than your income, you have to cut back somewhere else. That means less money for family, food, health, and recreation. It means less money for businesses and employment. We need a better balance. Council needs to control costs.
I have spent 25 years literally building a better Hamilton as an architect. I have concentrated on affordable housing because I am committed to our community. My CV includes teaching at WINTEC, president of the Hamilton CBD Lions Club, careers advice for schools, treasurer for Business Networking International, and writing articles for the Waikato Times.
As a project manager, I am a professional problem solver. There are smart solutions to get better value for our money. Team Integrity will control spending and debt with a focus on looking after our residents. That’s why the Hamilton Residents and Ratepayers Association support us.
MY VISION for HAMILTON
What’s your vision for Hamilton?
Our city is a great place for families. It is a great place for students. It is a great place for a career. It is a great place for food, sport and recreation. It is affordable for most of us, but as rates, debt, and uncontrolled spending rise at an alarming pace, I am worried we will lose ourselves. We have seen what this has done to Auckland. My vision is to protect what we have.
What do you think is key for managing our city’s growth?
Council’s own projections show a growth in population of 11% by 2028, a growth in rates of 54%, and a growth in debt of 97%. That does not seem like a good deal. It is clear that financial management is the key. One councilor said publicly that council projects appear to always add another zero on the budget figure. From my professional experience, the population growth can be serviced without raising rates.
What’s the one thing you’d do differently that would make Hamilton an even better place to live?
Team Integrity members have been chosen for their specialist skills, ranging from law and finance to technology and community. My skill is in property, affordable housing, and project management. The big expense over the next decade is on infrastructure for growth. I will keep a close eye on council’s project management to ensure costs are controlled fairly.
What’s the biggest technology opportunity Hamilton is missing and how can we make it happen?
The internet has revolutionised communication. Yet somehow the council repeatedly fails to listen to the people. There must be greater transparency in decision making, and elected members must be able to discuss issues widely within our community before making decisions.
How do you think we can get more people interested and engaged in Council?
People are not engaging because they do not believe council is working for the people. This is a problem caused by both councillors and staff. Management and bureaucrats appear to dictate rules and ignore complaints. There needs to be a fundamental culture shift at every level to remind council that residents are their customers, and more importantly, the ones paying the bills. They must be listened to.
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