Vote 2019: Candidate statements


It’s local body election time, and we have given candidates 150 words each to make their case for your vote.

Meleane Burgess
Hamilton East Ward

I am passionate about our growing city and know that with growth there needs to be innovative planning and support for all aspects of community life.

Our strong growth is the reflection of more people recognising our city as a place to live, work and do business.  It is important that we embrace this growth to provide opportunities to both residents and businesses.

My key priorities are: prudent financial management and accountability for your rates, commitment to the development and maintenance of community spaces, ensuring key infrastructure projects are responsibly managed and initiatives aimed at making our community and city a safer place for all.

My vision for Hamilton is to build a more resilient, inclusive, well connected and vibrant community that everyone can thrive in.  I stand for fair and balanced Council decision making.  I will make sensible decisions, listen, work hard, be approachable and engage with the community.

Matthew Small
Hamilton West Ward

A future city council needs to find ways to save money and invest in areas of need, rather than want. Improving the management of city assets and housing will be two of my key priorities I will work hard and advocate for if elected to council.

Improving the management of city assets:
– Independent review of Claudelands Arena
– Make a final decision on the future of Founders Theatre.
– Invite private investors to bring more big events to FMG Stadium Waikato when rugby isn’t being played. NRL/ A-League games, music concerts etc
– Encourage more private-public-partnership with future council projects.

– Give incentives to developers that can show they can redevelop high quality infill housing on existing land.
– Review planning rules and work with central government to come up with plans to cut red tape to speed up the process of building houses.
– Advocate central government to help pay for new infrastructure. 

Tim Young
Hamilton East

I’m rolling for council to bring scientific literacy, accessibility for our increasing ageing population, and to bring ‘A Young Perspective’. I’m a tech entrepreneur that wants to prepare the city for and encourage the introduction of ‘disruptive technologies’.

I started my own business, and led a team to develop an educational video game, which is now achieving sales in schools.

As a low income earner and entrepreneur, I’m experienced at working creatively and effectively with a limited budget.

As a tetraplegic (14 months in hospital), I developed high levels of resilience and determination.

With a Master of Science in Psychology and PGCert EdPsych, I developed an educational video game, youth innovation challenge, TEDx talk, and have given motivational speeches to schools.

– Prepare Hamilton for disruptive technologies
– Transition to green technologies
– Increase accessibility for aging population
– Grow up and in, maintain biodiversity when growing out

Maxine van Oosten
Hamilton East Ward Candidate

Affordable housing, better transport that reduces carbon emissions and booming businesses offering great jobs – that’s my vision for Hamilton.  We’re growing fast and we must have a plan that halts climate change, takes care of business and delivers the best lifestyles to Hamiltonians.  We’re a university town, have a successful technical institute, Innovation Park and science research facilities.  That makes us rich with knowledge and talent.

I work as an advocate for teachers and education staff at NZEI Te Riu Roa and I have 20 years’ experience in the finance sector. My husband is a business consultant specialising in commercial financial services. He has been in business in Hamilton for 25 years.

I offer fresh ideas and a wise head.  We need to change the makeup of our Council to better reflect our diverse city.  Let’s start with more women representatives.  I would value your vote.

Paula Southgate
Hamilton Mayoralty

I love our city.

I’ve passionately represented you at local, regional and national level for over 20 years. I’m not afraid to speak out, and stand up, for what’s important.

Our future is exciting. We must seize opportunities for success, working with others, to support affordable housing, strong economic development, better transport options (not just cars) and a thriving city centre.

We must also take better care of the wonderful community assets we already have like pools, playgrounds, walkways, water services and our environment.

Strong control of finances and costs, fair and affordable rates are a must!

I know we can, and must, do better to involve YOU in the decisions that shape our city. We all deserve a say in how our hard-earned rates money is spent. I listen. I care about your views.

Please support positive, hardworking leadership. I am standing only for Mayor. I value your vote.

Andrew MacPherson
Waikato Regional Council

Cambridge is my birthplace, I grew up and was educated in Te Awamutu. My wife and I live in Te Awamutu. I am an experienced businessman, board director and well-known former Te Awamutu vet. The Waipā-King Country electorate needs regional councillors who have the proven skills and experiences to represent both rural and urban communities and develop sensible policies. I have both.

A vote for me is a vote for:

  • Development of evidence-based policies which protect and enhance our environment
  • Promotion of sound economic development
  • Building of vibrant communities

There is growing inequality in our community, the WRC has a role in fixing this. My focus will be on genuinely listening to and enacting the views of urban ratepayers and real farmers. Cambridge, Te Awamutu Otorohanga and Te Kuiti deserve a strong voice at the WRC. I support less politics and more action for Waipā-King Country’s benefit.

Angela O’Leary
Hamilton Mayoralty and Hamilton West

I am the most experienced Mayoral candidate with 12 years working for you. 

Our city needs responsible and visionary leadership and as Mayor I have new ideas for partnerships. I will put you and our city above all else.

To be successful businesses large and small need a Mayor who will focus on making it easier for you to do business, and get the basics right.  

I will work with you to create a more business friendly environment.  

I understand rates increases also affect businesses, and I have a plan for sensible money management.

As Mayor, I need you to build the homes we love to live in, and the businesses we want to work in.  

With ideas like my Small Business Strategy I will ensure Council and businesses prosper from a much stronger working relationship.  I am asking you to trust me with your vote.

Ryan Hamilton
Hamilton East

I am standing for re-election to Hamilton City Council after winning the by-election only 18 months ago.  I’m proud to have achieved so much in such short time.

I’m married to Marie and we have three teenagers.  Together we employ 10 staff across our property cleaning business and flower shop in Hamilton East. I recently became chair of the Hamilton Christian Night Shelter Trust supporting our vulnerable, as well as supporting local community leaders and business entrepreneurship through the Inspire group which I have run for the last 12 years and now more recently in partnership with the Waikato Chamber of Commerce.

We are a growing city and can become an even more attractive city for the young working populations, families and our retiring.  Maintaining growth has to be sustainable, putting infrastructure, community amenities and our environment first and collaborating more with the business, community and government is essential.

Anna Smart
Hamilton East

When you start to scratch the surface of our business community we are home to an incredible number of world class businesses and innovations. From robotics to manufacturing to packaging and hydraulic automation, we just don’t shout enough about our accomplishments. And we should because it’s important for economic growth in the region.
We also need to promote Hamilton on a national and international level as an economically viable option for business.
I am standing for a balanced approach to growth, fiscal responsibility and sustainable decisions for our children, and theirs.
My promise to Hamilton is to keep listening, to put people at the heart of every decision and to maintain integrity and process without compromise.
I am a proud Hamiltonian, business owner and am actively involved in the community through the school board, business networks and charity initiatives and bring with me to the role of Councillor a combination of this experience and a willingness to learn.

Martin Gallagher
Hamilton West

Martin has lived in Hamilton all of his life. He is married to Gillian. They have raised four children together. Martin is standing for council because he is committed to Hamilton and believes Hamilton is a great place to live, work and raise a family.

Martin has wide experience in business, education and local government, serving Hamilton as a Councillor, Deputy Mayor and Member of Parliament. Martin has extensive experience as an advocate for communities and residents, to represent their interests, with comprehensive knowledge of governance processes.

In the current climate of challenging times for households and businesses it is essential to maintain sound financial management of the city. This should be balanced with providing the long term vision to create the conditions for the city and communities to flourish in sustainable ways. These demands require experience and an understanding of what makes communities. Martin seeks your support.

Rob Pascoe
Hamilton East

Council is a complex business with revenues of $377 million, over 1000 staff, and capital spending of $288 million next year. This requires an in-depth business understanding, which I offer voters as a professional accountant.

Elected twice, I have served as chair and deputy chair of Council’s Finance Committee. I’ve also chaired the financial strategy taskforce, setting targets for future city growth. You can rest assured, if re-elected I will continue to ask the tough questions and demand the answers. For me, rates affordability continues as a key issue more than ever before, as is living within our means.

A Fellow Chartered Accountant, and former partner in the global accounting firm PwC, I bring my lifetime business experience to council. A past chair of Sacred Heart Girls’ College, I‘m a director of First Credit Union, chair the national professional accountants conduct committee, and Law Society standards committee.


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