Candidate’s Campaign Trail Leads to Shops
Nominations have opened for the 2019 Local Elections and for most that means a multitude of billboards on fences and lawns. Campaigning has changed a lot in the past few elections with social media and even augmented reality being used. But for Napier City Council candidate Jake Brookie there is one technique that never goes out of style- talking to locals. “Voter turnout in the local elections has plummeted in the past twenty years” says Brookie “and many people feel disconnected from local politics. What better way of changing this than approaching local people and talking about the issues?”
To do this, Brookie has visited over forty local shops in the Taradale Ward to hear local opinions and ideas. “Topics we’ve talked about range from the water supply to one poorly designed parking space. Everything is useful and everything is listened to. Candidates need to hear a wide range of opinions and not just about change either- many retailers have mentioned Taradale’s lovely gardens and our strong community”.
Brookie feels confident about the top issues in Taradale, the first being water “over eighty percent of people I’ve spoken with want to see improvements in our water supply. This means improving the pipes and removing chlorine from the network. People understand that it might not happen quickly but they think work should have started yesterday!” Another hot topic has been consultation “Whether it is a new pool or the cost of dog registration locals want their Council to communicate with them. I think that the Council has become so obsessed with proving it is obeying the law around consultation that they’ve forgotten consulting is about people, not just procedure”.
“Parking is also a real concern for retailers and the Council’s own parking report suggests that paid parking has negative effects on retail in Taradale. I have a plan to introduce weekly free parking days in winter using revenue gained from advertising on parking meter boxes. This idea has support, but some retailers want to go one step further and restore free parking. There’s lots of different opinions around this and I think it is worth looking at.” Anti social behaviour in Taradale has also been on retailers’ minds.
There are over two months to go before the election and Brookie has more shops to visit and meetings to attend. “It would be an honour to represent Taradale on the Napier City Council” he says “and if elected I will continue to visit shops and hear opinions. I also hope to add library visits to the ways Councillors connect with Napier”.