Paula Southgate

mayoral Candidate

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Introduction

Paula Southgate - Mayoral Candidate Hamilton (Independent)
 
I love our city.

I've passionately represented you at a local, regional and national level for 20 years. I'm not afraid to speak out, and stand up, for what's important.

Our future is exciting. We must seize opportunities for success, working with others, to support affordable housing, strong economic development, better transport options (not just cars) and a thriving city centre.

We must also take better care of wonderful community assets we already have like pools, playgrounds, walkways, water services and our environment.

Strong control of finances and costs, fair and affordable rates are a must!

I know we can, and must, do better to involve YOU in the decisions that shape our city. We all deserve a say in how our hard-earned rates money is spent. I listen. I care about your views.

Please support positive, hardworking leadership. I am standing only for Mayor. I value your vote.

What’s your vision for Hamilton?

My vision is a strong, resilient and vibrant city. A city that supports, and invests in, people to improve the everyday lives of ALL Hamiltonians. A city where our people, our economy, and our environment thrive. A city that Hamiltonians are proud to call their home.

This means a city that offers affordable homes, is business friendly, has strong local communities and a healthy environment.

I want to shape a Mayor’s Office that will listen carefully, that will value other’s opinions and that will reflect the needs and the diversity of all our residents and communities.

What do you think is key for managing our city’s growth?

  • Retain focus on inner-city high-density living to meet the needs of first home buyers, renters, urban professionals and those wanting smaller, high-quality apartments and a city lifestyle.
  • Provide the resources to streamline the building and resource consent process of the Peacocke development and other high growth areas.
  • Look for public/private partnerships to unlock potential development in other areas (Rotokauri, and Ruakura)
  • Maintain robust engagement with Government to ensure Hamilton gets the tools and resources (including financial) to assist growth while not unfairly placing the burden on today's ratepayers. Lobbying for greater funding tools (infrastructure bonds and off-the-book loans), tapping into government’s collective buying power through collaborative contracts.

What’s the one thing you’d do differently that would make Hamilton an even better place to live?

If elected Mayor, one of my priorities will be to restore effective forums for regularly hearing what the community wants. I will work with you to re-create the best forums for your issues to be shared AND for you to shape the future of your city. Presently levels of public participation and community engagement are low. Many opportunities are not user friendly. More needs to be done.
I’d like to see the council do more to use strong social media networks to listen to community concerns and ideas. In this age of technology we must embrace modern apps and online forums for this purpose.

What’s the biggest technology opportunity Hamilton is missing and how can we make it happen?

I’d like to see great Council achieve greater levels of efficiency through better use of IT and automated services. This does not mean replacing staff expertise, but it does mean that routine applications, enquiries and requests could be dealt with more quickly and remotely, leaving staff to add greater value to the customer experience and innovate. I also think the website can be simplified and easier to use. I know Council activities quite well and sometimes find website navigation difficult at times.

How do you think we can get more people interested and engaged in Council?

I am passionate about better public participation and focused my professional development on this over the past 3 years. I know that there are many more tools that we could use to connect with the community that we don’t currently use.

I am a big fan of community-led development which enables people to get involved at the early stages of a challenge or opportunity. The consultation around the Rototuna Village Hub and the open days in the South-West and North-East of Hamilton were great.

I believe Council should be going out to the community not relying on “formal” submissions and online surveys.

 

Where can voters go to learn more about you?

Find out more about me and my policies here:

Website: https://www.paulasouthgate.co.nz/ 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Hamiltoncity/

 

*All words were supplied by candidates and copied verbatim