Local Elections – Queenstown Lakes District Council mayoral candidates

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As local elections draw closer The News continues its pre-election coverage with a Q and A of the three Queenstown Lakes District Council mayoral candidates — incumbent mayor Jim Boult, and challengers Al Angus and Nik Kiddle.

Queenstown Lakes mayoral candidate Al Angus. PHOTO: SUPPLIEDQueenstown Lakes mayoral candidate Al Angus 

Age: 62

Occupation: Mechanical engineering.

Council experience: disappointing – that’s why I’m standing.

Other experience: Farming, heavy machinery, construction foreman, business owner. Comforting the disturbed and disturbing the comfortable.

Interests and philosophies: Mental health, alcohol and drug abuse, reducing land and water pollution – it’s already beyond critical.

Main philosophy: It’s the gentle people that have the strength.

Q: Why are you standing for mayor?

I’m standing for mayor to review and if necessary reverse some of the decisions the incumbent and his council have made over the last three years; also to investigate who introduced the proposals and what was the motivation behind them.

Q: What attributes do you bring that make you the best candidate?

Honesty, no affiliation to any companies, agencies or charities.

Ability to maximise work output and achieve tangible results.

Q: What is your stance on jet services at Wanaka Airport in the future?

I would have Wanaka residents decide flight schedules, noise boundary and flight paths.

Q: How will you improve the major development challenges facing Wanaka?

By acting more on residents’ input; heavy fines for breach of consent; reinstatement of any damage caused by development regardless if it’s weather related, an act of God or any other imaginative deflection.

Queenstown Lakes mayoral candidate Jim Boult. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

Queenstown Lakes mayoral candidate Jim Boult

Age: 67

Occupation: Mayor

Council experience: Three years as mayor Other experience: Senior business roles, including owner of Shotover Jet Group (now Ngai Tahu Tourism) and CEO of Christchurch Airport. Company director and corporate adviser. Past deputy chair of Tourism NZ, and TIA.

Interests and philosophies: Charities and philanthropy. Past chair and current director of Child Cancer, prolific fundraiser for many charities, I was made an Officer of the NZ Order of Merit for this. Active jogger and motor racer.

Q: Why are you standing for mayor?

I have lived in the district for 37 years.
I have been fortunate to enjoy a wonderful lifestyle and watched my family thrive here.
In 2016 I decided it was time to give back, and I was elected to make change.
We have made progress on many issues, particularly the visitor levy, which a large majority of residents favour, public transport and planning.
I see the job half-done though and wish to finish what I have started.

Q: What attributes do you bring that make you the best candidate?

I have a proven history of strong leadership.
As CEO of Christchurch Airport during the period of the quakes and the new terminal build, my leadership was endorsed many times over.
I have put a lifetime into the community.
I have excellent contacts on both sides of the political spectrum in Wellington, and am able to put the region’s case at all levels.
The easy way to stay mayor is to do nothing — that way you don’t get unpopular. I speak what I think and that sometimes means that others have a different view. I stick to principals, am tenacious and see the job through.

Q: What is your stance on jet services at Wanaka Airport in the future?

I have already said that there will be no further action on re-commencing scheduled services at Wanaka Airport until we have completed the social impact and the economic impact assessments. Both these independent studies will involve significant public consultation.
Following that council will re-assess the position.
However, personally I favour a regional airport serving Wanaka traffic.
If those services include Auckland, then narrow body jets are required.

Q: How will you improve the major development challenges facing Wanaka?

Some say that we need to stop the population growth.
Well, we are largely a district that moved here.
So, should we try to stop others doing the same?
To stop population growth in Wanaka, some suggest stopping residential consents.
That would result in skyrocketing house prices making home ownership impossible for the hard working folk in the Upper Clutha, and see council spending large sums of ratepayer money in court defending indefensible actions from developers.
Instead, we need to ensure that we create the required infrastructure to ensure we continue to enjoy the lifestyle we moved here for.

 

Queenstown Lakes mayoral candidate Nik Kiddle. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

Queenstown Lakes mayoral candidate Nik Kiddle

Age: 60

Occupation: Managing director (Tourism Property Management).

Council experience: n/a

Other experience: 25 years’ NZ government service (23 years as a NZ diplomat); 2 years on the NZ Dairy Board.

Interests and philosophies: Skiing, motor sports, recreational boating, music, arts, environmental protection, sustainable development.

Q: Why are you standing for mayor?

I am standing for mayor because the community needs to be able to choose between clear alternatives for its future. And we need to have a proper public debate about issues.
The choices we face are stark. Either we continue on the path we are on — one of rampant unbridled growth, dislocation of long-standing community values, dominance of economic objectives over social and environmental ones and a deliberate disempowering of the community — or we choose to change.
I am the only candidate in a position to deliver change.

Q: What attributes do you bring that make you the best candidate?

I’m a negotiator and consensus builder by training and by trade.
I offer respect and diplomacy, open consultation and inclusiveness in decision­making.
The council needs a new leader to restore community confidence in its management of our daily lives and its impact on the future for our kids.

Q: What is your stance on jet services at Wanaka Airport in the future?

Wanaka faces a particularly stark choice — significant growth and a fundamental shift in ambience propelled by airport expansion driven by profit motives, or a community-guided outcome that should be acceptable to most residents.
Right now there is every possibility that the mayor will leave Wanaka’s fate in the hands of the airport corporation.
The corporation in turn is dominated by commercial interests. I am offering Wanaka an opportunity to come to the table to work out and agree a vision, objectives, limits and practical steps in a future plan for the airport.
Whether jet services are part of that plan or not depends on you — the Wanaka community.

Q: How will you improve the major development challenges facing Wanaka?

Safeguarding our water is the other defining development-related issue where I offer to make a difference.
I want to withdraw the council’s application for permission to dump sewage and other wastewater into our lakes for the next 35 years.
And I want to see much more effort devoted to understanding and stopping the spread of lake algae.
Other development challenges — the scale of residential housing, transport, energy and waste infrastructure — are tied to the future of our airports and waterways and will be affected by the choices voters make at this election.