Tasman District Councillor
My involvement with the Kiyosato Friendship Committee and a visit to Japan in 1997, was the start of my interest in local government. I stood and was elected to the Motueka Community Board in 1998 as I wanted to have input into issues facing Motueka at the time. During my second term I was Community Board chairperson.
Following the two terms on the Community Board, I served as a Motueka Wand Councillor on the Tasman District Council from 2004-2013. The first term was a real learning curve, but I soon became familiar with Council policies and procedures. The Tasman District Council covers a vast area and a wide range of challenges with the growth it has experienced over the last two decades. It was vital that growth was managed with a balance between income and expenditure. My focus was to ensure that people could afford to live in the district and enjoy the lifestyle it offers, especially the older generation.
Recreation facilities, infrastructure, protecting the environment and careful planning were high priorities during my term. Climate change was a relatively new concept and caused much debate in the Council Chambers. Many regulations were passed to us from central government which were often time-consuming and costly to our ratepayers.
On reflection, Council was a part of my life I really enjoyed. I met a wide range of people in the community that I might not otherwise have met. In the Council Chambers there was much debate from a wide range of perspectives but at the end of the day we worked together well and always respected others' opinions.
This was published in: Women Decision-Makers Nelson and Tasman 1944 -2018, p. 31. Compiled by Dr Shelley Richardson, Elaine Henry, Gail Collingwood, Hilary Mitchell.
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