Kapiti Vote19: Waikanae candidate Michael Scott
Michael Scott is the current Kapiti Councillor for the Waikanae Ward and is standing for re-election
"I am a long-term resident and Waikanae ratepayer. I operate a successful legal practice where I am proud to employ local people, while supporting the local business community.
My Local Government experience initially was with the Waikanae Community Board which I chaired for 7.5 years before taking up the Waikanae Ward seat at a by-election. I therefore bring experience, enthusiasm and understanding to the role of an elected member.
I am proud to have championed the Waikanae Community, whether that be standing up to NZTA who proposed to narrow the Waikanae river road bridge; fighting for safe cycling throughout the community; prompting at its instigation and support until its conclusion the Waikanae Beach Outcomes process or fighting for the initial Town Centre developments and latterly the temporary replacement library.
As chair of KCDCs principal committee, Operations and Finance, my vision of "the Green line" has changed the face of council's spending processes. We have gone from a council on negative watch with the international rating agency Standard and Poors to a spectacular two step increase in rating earlier this month to AA. Rethinking project delivery and carefully making sure we only rate for what we can actually deliver has been my legacy for the entire Kapiti community. Have a look at the projects actually completed over the last couple of years as against previous council performance to see what can actually be achieved.
Most people get the mantra of "spend less, pay back for and close the depreciation gap". Our community certainly understand this, as we finally have debt under control, internally at council; we are closing rapidly the water account deficit while declaring for a second year in a row an operating rate surplus – all previously unheard of in Kapiti. And importantly still providing upgrade park and recreation facilities and being able to be responsive to community's needs.
I have been a champion for Waikanae and ensuring it gets its share of the council funding pie. Just have a look at the nearly completed current stage of the Waikanae Town centre upgrade or the newly fitted out temporary library or the plans for the revamped Mahara Gallery, or the newly completed emergency rail crossing, or my support for financial initiative in Reikorangi, for proof of my effectiveness.
There are challenges, many inherited, that we face both as a district and as a region, but they are being dealt with. I will continue to be a fearless advocate for the Waikanae community and won't be deterred from "saying it as it is".
The long-term plan provides for things such as improvements at the Waikanae pool in the coming years for example to ensure this iconic facility gets the upgrade it needs to remain a focal point in the summer in Waikanae.
Waikanae needs a representative with influence around the table to make sure its voice is heard.
Focus on core council activities is my aim, all while maintaining the uniqueness of Waikanae. Protecting our environment is vital, hence my pushing the regional council to come up with river management options that protect Waikanae from the potential for flooding, while protecting the ecology of the Waikanae River.
Waste management and sustainability are going to be important in the coming years. Carbon neutrality is something I have continued to support with my vote around the table. While council has recently won an award in this area, more can be done. More electric vehicles in our council fleet is an immediate priority.
Spending control on deliverable projects has been my aim thus stopping the past hemorrhaging of ratepayer's money on poorly costed, badly thought activities. My pledge has always been that I will only vote to spend ratepayer's money when the project is properly costed, robustly researched and environmentally sound.
I have worked hard for Waikanae and have been highly visible and available for my community. That continues to be my pledge."
Waikanae Ward Candidate