Dan Gordon’s first month as Mayor of Waimakariri has been busy but enjoyable.
“The new Council really works well together and the three new councillors are settling in well,” he says.
Interviewing each Councillor to arrange membership of committees was his first task and attending a number of functions and speaking at some, has made for an eventful time.
Two days were spent at the Zone 5/6 Local Government Conference in Oamaru, where South Island Mayors met to share their future challenges.
The likely government changes to fresh water topped the list along with rates affordability.
“Any changes to our water supplies would be significant and if there is a central authority it would have far reaching consequences,” says Dan.
At the meeting between government ministers and Mayors of rural and provincial councils in Wellington, water was the main focus, so it’s not surprising that water again features on the list of WDC’s priorities, along with Transport. Transport is a new portfolio, to be led by Dan, broadening the former transport portfolio from just roading matters to include buses, park and ride, and the Woodend By Pass. The topic of 5G was also discussed with the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor.
Building relationships is integral to the Mayor’s work and Dan has already met with the Mayors of Selwyn, Hurunui and Christchurch, all members of the Greater Christchurch Strategy.
Another relationship he believes is important is that with Runanga Ngāi Tūāhuriri and for the first time they were involved in the opening of the new Council.
Waimakariri district’s growth is predicted to grow from its current 50,000 to 75,000 in the next ten years and planning for that is essential.
Dan’s election promise of being a Mayor who is very happy to discuss issues and be available to ratepayers will be put into practice in the New Year when he will start regular drop-in sessions.