Rodney Joyce says he is the 'least promising” mayoral candidate out there, but it's for good reason.
He is one of eight candidates running for Mayor in the Western Bay of Plenty District Council's Local Body Elections and is standing on a platform of fiscal responsibility and council transparency.
Rodney lives in Katikati and also owns a business there, and as well as vying for Mayor he is standing for a councillor seat in the Katikati-Waihī Beach Ward.
'Things will get done, but not as quickly as they're currently planned to be done and not as extravagantly and the rates will not be as high,” says Rodney.
The 56-year-old says roads still need to be maintained and new infrastructure created, but things can be built 'responsibly not crazily”.
'It's not that these things aren't needed, it's just that they need to spread them out.
'We need to just be much more mindful that we are spending people's money.”
New Zealand-born Rodney has not been a councillor before but was a financial journalist and editor overseas before moving to Katikati six years ago.
The Weekend Sun asked Rodney his thoughts on the Three Waters reforms that would see drinking, waste and stormwater managed by four publicly owned entities rather than councils.
He says the reforms have a 'huge democratic deficit” and the council would lose its water services assets and income. 'I'm a believer in localism, decisions should be made at the most local level that's appropriate.”
The Weekend Sun is also asking mayoral candidates their thoughts on the district council amalgamating with Tauranga City Council.
Rodney says: 'Tauranga City has major problems when they haven't even got democratically-elected council.”
The city council currently has four government appointed commissioners in place because of 'significant governance issues” with the elected members of the previous council.
'My main attitude at the moment is why would we want to go near that?,” says Rodney.
'In theory, it makes sense in practice there are a lot of fish hooks, particularly from that Tauranga side.”
Roading infrastructure for the district is also important to support the Port of Tauranga, says Rodney.
'That is our most important port in New Zealand for getting exports out and getting imports in.
'We need to build in a way that meets its needs so that we can meet the economic growth and employment needs of our region.”
He says the 'real answer” to the transport issues is a tunnel under the Kaimai Ranges near Thompsons Track in Aongatete.
The father-of-three's plan, if he were to be elected, is to 'wind back spending plans and make them more reasonable” and keep the rates low.
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