Race begins for Waikato mayoralty

Candidates are putting their hands up for the top spot in Waikato’s local government. October 2016 is our chance to have a say on who represents our community and the Waikato district for the next three years.

Brian Cathro is standing for change – the Ngaruawahia-born Mayoral candidate says it’s time the balance of power shifted back to the people.

Brian Cathro
Mayoral candidate Brian Cathro

“The key to achieving the communities’ potential is the people’s voice becoming strong again. I’m part of our district, I’m part of our communities, I’ve been a part of it my whole life and now I want to be the part that leads change,” he said in a statement.

Cathro describes himself as an “everyday guy” who is tired of the status quo and believes there is much untapped potential within the Waikato.

“Waikato district is moving forward, but there is much more to be done to ensure that it is a great place to live, work and raise a family. It’s time for new blood, fresh ideas and strong leadership to create a community focus.”

Cathro believes it all starts with tackling some of the districts most pressing issues.

“We need to do more to help our communities strive, to future proof our towns and retain youth in our district by bringing new companies and the jobs they create to the Waikato. Not to our neighbouring cities, to the Waikato District.”

He said it was time that the rural community had a voice within council. “I’m hard pushed to find any meaningful effort to improve conditions for farmers which is remarkable given the amount of rates they contribute.

“It’s time our communities were listened to and recognised for their individual needs. We are stronger as a district when we work together, when we celebrate our differences and unite behind our common goals of making Waikato district a wonderful place to be.”

Also bidding for the top job and campaigning on a change platform is Tamahere’s three-term district councillor Wally Hayes.

Mayoral candidate Wally Hayes
Mayoral candidate Wally Hayes

Hayes says he will put all his energy and commitment into becoming Mayor, and will stand down as councillor for the Tamahere ward.

“I have thought long and hard about what our district needs and it’s definitely time for positive change. Forward-thinking and connected leadership will take our district forward. The next three years are crucial for our district – we’ve got challenges and opportunities coming up on a range of fronts. Now, more than ever, we need good civic leaders.

“Our council’s reputation has been damaged by a string of incidents last year. Our credibility has taken a pounding and that has galvanised my resolve to stand. We need to turn that around. We need an inclusive, open and transparent Mayor. That’s what I will be if elected,” he said.

He said a lot of people wanted to see a culture change at Council. “I’m going to stand on my record of personal values, integrity, forward thinking and a strong commitment to getting things done. I know I can make a difference. The timing feels right for a change – for me and the district. I firmly believe that timing is everything.

“Our district needs to connect with its communities better – and build really strong relationships with many different sectors in a trusted, respectful and professional manner.”

Nominations for the 2016 local body elections officially open on July 15 and close a month later on August 12. Postal voting papers will go out to electors between September 16 and 21, to be returned by polling day on October 8.

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Number 8 Network - a community website for the rural areas northeast of Hamilton, NZ, is run by Gordonton journalist/editor Annette Taylor.

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