The role of mayor has four main components; Civic, Community, Communication and Chair, and I will address the role of Chair first.
The mayor chairs council meetings, guiding the team of councillors to sound, open, democratic decision making.
In the last six years, I have overseen an organisation that has balanced its budget and reduced real debt – facts that have been recognised by global rating agency Standard and Poors, resulting in an improved rating from AA- to AA/A-1+ Positive.
Along the way, with your help, GDP for the district is up 5.5 percent over the last 12 months, according to economics agency Infometrics. This compares to a national GDP growth rate of 3.6 percent. District employment, again according to Infometrics, is up 2.8 percent, ahead of a national improvement of 2.4 percent. And enough developers are attracted to do business in your district to contribute more than $5 million in development contributions.
Yes, Whangarei is working for business – and business is working for Whangarei.
The civic component of the mayoralty includes activities such as citizenship ceremonies – and it is always a joyous occasion seeing people pledge their allegiance to our country while acknowledging that Whangarei is the place they have chosen to live. Also included are attending openings that mark the progress and accomplishments of our district.
The community component includes attending school prize givings and cultural and sporting festivals, joyous occasions … but also spending time with a family in grief or stress after a traumatic incident. This is a different skill to encouraging and supporting new businesses, but I believe it’s just as vital. It does mean being available to the wider community and having the ability to listen to anyone and everyone.
And lastly – communication. As your mayor, I have fostered a vastly improved dialogue with the other territorial authorities in the region. This has led to a strong and unified Northland voice when dealing with central government and government agencies. I am also proud to have been part of a council that has begun the process of talking with and listening to tangata whenua. Developing that relationship is near and dear to my heart.
So why should you vote for me? Because I want to be given the time to capitalise on the positive strides we have made over the last six years, to make our district even better for all those who live in it.
One of the few physical features that distinguish Buddhi Wilcox is a small pigtail. But the otherwise ordinary appearance hides a compassionate being, dedicated to helping the less well off in his community.
Shifting Whangarei’s War Memorial from the Rose Street ‘triangle’ to Laurie Hall Park was a labour of love that RSA Trust president Archie Dixon is justifiably proud of.
Northland’s gains from its regional leaders working together cannot be overestimated says Far North Mayor John Carter, and he puts Whangarei Mayor Sheryl Mai as having a big role in the region’s gains.