Mayor looks forward to greater community engagement

PHOTO: (left to right) Cr Jim Crispin, Cr Carole Isaacson, Deputy Mayor Allan Benbow, Cr Andy Thompson, Mayor Tracey Collis, Cr Peter Johns, Cr Ernie Christison, Cr Shirley Hull

Since the elections, Tararua District Mayor Tracey Collis has wasted no time in engaging with local communities, and following through with some of her goals for the future growth and development of Tararua.

Mayor Collis describes the past few weeks as "full on" but in a good way, and says she is enjoying the contact she is having with members of the public.

"I want to try and connect North and South Tararua more, so at the moment I am looking at ways to do that. I also plan to engage more with our young people, which is why going to events such as school prizegivings is important to me. It shows our youth that they have our support, and we are interested in them and their success."

Mayor Collis says she recently attended some meetings to do with broadband and telecommunication issues. As different areas have different issues, Mayor Collis says she would like to see everyone working together on those issues as a province, which she believes would be more effective and ultimately achieve more.

"I believe by working together this will carry more weight and give us more of a voice."

During her campaign, Mayor Collis spoke of two things in particular that she would do if elected; these were to introduce public forums at council meetings, and give each councillor an area in the district that they would visit on a regular basis.

"I’m keen to get engagement in the local community and one way to do this is with public forums. These are a defined period at the start of a meeting for the purpose of public input. They are designed so members of the public can bring their concerns to the attention of Council. If Council approves this, what I am looking at is allocating 30 minutes before council meetings specifically for this purpose.

"I have now spoken to each councillor and allocated each an area of their own; this is not to replace the Community Board, because the Community Board represents these towns. This is simply another avenue for people to connect with us. It will keep us aware of what is happening in the community and, if there are any issues, it will give us feedback."

The representatives for the community boards and community committees will be announced once they have been finalised.

The following councillors have been appointed as liaison representatives for the rural communities as specified:

  • Councillor Ernie Christison
    Akitio and Pongaroa
  • Councillor Allan Benbow
    Norsewood and Ormondville
  • Councillor Jim Crispin
    Weber, Wimbledon and Herbertville
  • Mayor Tracey Collis

"By liaising with these communities it will provide an opportunity for these councillors at the end of the meeting to talk about that particular community. If there is an issue or something we can help with, we will, but also if there is something working really well we want to hear about that too. We want to know about the good and the bad."

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