INDEPENDENT NEWS

Livingston says independence key

Published: Fri 16 Aug 2013 11:39 AM
Livingston says independence key
August 16 2013
Waipa mayor Alan Livingston believes the Waipa-King Country electorate needs much stronger representation on the Waikato Regional Council.
That, plus the emergence of two tickets last week, has promoted the long-time Waipa mayor to throw his hat in the ring for a regional council seat.
“Frankly, the Waipa-King Country electorate needs Councillors who go into bat for their constituents – not councillors whose loyalty is to a ticket,” he said.
“Our districts deserve experienced councillors who think independently and consider what’s in the best interests of ratepayers and of the region.”
“If tickets get voted in, there will be absolutely no progress made – that’s a given.”
Mr Livingston said he had been approached to stand for regional council almost immediately following his announcement that he would stand down after 12 years as Waipa’s mayor.
“This isn’t a decision I’ve taken lightly. Being Mayor was, for me, a 24/7 job and I have no regrets about moving on.”
“But the next three years will be critical for local government in the Waikato region. If we don’t have strong, independent people at a regional level, who can also work well with other councils and at a national level, we’ll go backwards.”
Mr Livingston said he had some concerns around the way regional council water rules were being applied and about a “leadership vacuum” at a regional level. And he said the regional council had a lot of work to do “sort out some relationships”.
“I’ve got a track record and plenty of experience in being able to work in a wide range of sectors and across boundaries. I think there needs to be a much more collaborative way of working with smaller towns and rural communities like ours. Just waving a very large rule book is not the way to make progress.”
He also believed there should be a greater sharing of services including shared civil defence responsibilities between Waipa, Otorohanga and Waitomo.
“We do need to have very strong local representation. My role, if elected would be to represent Waipa-King Country interests at a regional level. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t collaborate when its makes sense to do so.”
Mr Livingston is a Life Member of the Q E 11 Trust and was reappointed by the government last year to the Board of the Waikato River Authority. He farms at Te Pahu on the slopes of Mount Pirongia and has lived in the electorate for 30 years.
ENDS

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