Friday, 19 March 2010

Local body elections

By Olive McRae


I will be standing in the October local body elections for a position on Council (Central Ward), and on the Waikouaiti Coast Community Board. I believe that I would be a competent representative for Dunedin people, and that I more accurately represent the diverse nature of our community. I am currently looking for members of the community who would be willing to assist me in my campaign to represent our people. If you are interested in being involved or for further information about my vision for Dunedin, please feel free to contact me at 0272579218 or I look forward to hearing from people who are as keen to see a new positive direction for our local governance as I am!



Diane Yeldon said...

Hi, Olive, I am still checking out your intenet presence to see if you are the sort of person I would like to vote for.
So far we have in common strong dislike for fluoride in drinking water! I wonder if you were on Council you would be able to get the fluoride removed from city water. Or is a done deal?
Best wishes
Diane Yeldon
(keen Council Watcher)

Anonymous said...

Hi Olive,

Good on you for putting yourself forward as a candidate. I have two questions for you. what was your opinion of the stadium about a year ago, were you 'for or against' it. What will be your tactics if you are elected as far as paying the stadium debt? and finally what is your opinion on privatetised water?

Thanks and all the best

Amanda Kennedy

Anonymous said...

Hi Diane,
In 2008 we (fluoride Action Network Dunedin) had a large campaign to educate the public about the dangers of water fluoridation. I work with Fluoride Action Network across the country advocating for safe, pure water, and we have had and continue to have success on a national level. Dunedin is an interesting city in regard to fluoridation due to the strong dental lobby. Internationally artificial water fluoridation is getting more and more scientifically unacceptable, and that is slowly starting to penetrate the NZ scientific community. I believe that nothings a 'done deal', and that there is a current shift in understanding, that given a new more representative council, drugging the water will end. :-)

Dear Anonymous,
Thank you for your questions.
Q. 1) I believe that being a councillor means being a representative of the people. If the people that you represent give you a clear indication of what they want, then its your responsibility to advocate for that, unless for some reason it goes against your own morals or ethics. I would have voted against the stadium because I witnessed a huge proportion of Dunedin citizens express in many ways that they did not agree with the proposal, and low income earners can not afford the increase in rates. People who do not struggle to put food on their table, do not understand what its like to not have enough money to fed your family. If we had surplus money to spend on projects, and it did not require rates increase I may have voted for it. The truth is we did not have excess money, and we had to use debt. It is not the role of council to create debt for it's citizens to that degree that this council has, for projects that are not core business.

2.)As far as paying the current debt back, we can start be making sure that all new councillors understand the functions of council. It is councils role to provide key infrastructure, etc. not jump into projects like the stadium. Drive it home that their is limited money to use for core projects because of the poor decisions of the previous (current) council. I believe that sustainable tourism is a really positive way of generating extra revenue for our fine city. For example, if we linked the central Otago rail-trial with a cycle friendly way of traveling down the Northern coast,then around Dunedin, we could have eco-friendly tourism package deals including already established attractions like the Orokonui eco-sanctuary and local Iwi may also wish to incorporate Maori cultural experiences.
Im sure there will be other ways of cutting costs, that I won't know about till we get there. It may sound miniscule, but things like Councillors packing their own lunch and dinners would safe on catering. All small things help. :-)

3.)Im am completely opposed to water privatisation! I was a speaker at the recent anti-water privatisation rally arranged by current Councillor Fliss Butcher.
Water is a necessity of life, not a corporate asset. We can not trust multinational water corporations to have the best interest of the people at heart, because they are driven by money.

Thank you for your interest, and Im sorry it has taken me so long to get back to you both.

Diane Yeldon said...

Hi, Olive, congratulations on both your website and your Facebook page Vote for Olive McRae.

I am totally fed up with local body elections here where voters are given virtually NO information on which to make a good decision. I hope other candidates will follow your good example. Voters should not have to choose only from candidates with stacks of money to spend on campaigning. Or have to put up with the press slanting things. Well done!