Craig Jepson — ‘Community first’

by Craig Jepson

Ratepayers like to know simple truths from their prospective councillors — I don’t see any point in fence-sitting.

The Otamatea ward has generated more than $200,000 in reserve contributions from development. Only half of this has been spent back in Maungaturoto, Paparoa and Tinopai. The Dargaville-dominated council where little development occurs has been busy spending up while Otamatea does not receive its share. If elected, I will ensure that it is spent where it should offset the effects of growth.

Climate change? Seems to be a frequently asked question of candidates. Here’s my take. I will not be supporting any so-called climate emergency when there isn’t one. The empirical evidence does not support the hysteria.

New Zealand, as a whole, is the most efficient farming nation in the world.

Our farmers, particularly in the North, have enough hurdles without the added burden of being penalised for being our most productive sector.

Roading. Have an approach where every year a realistic target for new seal is progressed. Tourism. The economic benefits to our district are ongoing and can be further developed to provide high value with low environmental impact. I ask for support to construct a coast to coast cycle/tourist trail from Mangawhai through to Matakohe and Ruawai. I have experienced the Otago Rail Trail and The Opua to Horeke Trail, which has increased exponentially the revenue in these more off-the-track locations and we will reap the same benefits.

We are weighed down by bureaucracy. For example, currently, KDC is going ahead with spending seven million dollars for the next district plan. We could have reviewed and rolled over the previous five million dollar plan for a fraction of this cost.

This plan like the last will further add rule upon rule, which will only be of benefit to those that wrote them, lawyers and consultants. A plan should be a simple document we can all read, and understand. Your choice is simple.

Support the failed history of former councillors and staff or a councillor who does not accept the status quo. I will take a no-nonsense, practical and effective approach to support and further the interests of ratepayers and residents of the Otamatea Ward.

Vote Craig Jepson number one for Otamatea Ward.