Hamilton City, New Zealand

Michael West

I currently Chair the Wel Energy Trust and have shown that I will be committed to delivering what the electorate directs me to.
I’m an Engineer with 38 years business experience in Hamilton. I think logically and pragmatically giving me the skills to offer well-reasoned solutions for Hamiltonians.


I want to have an influence on the way Councillors decide how much of a burden they load onto Ratepayers. I would like to reverse the current trend of deciding what to spend first and then apportioning the cost, with a mindset of deciding what is a fair and reasonable burden for Ratepayers to be lumbered with and then prioritise spending decisions within that.

Planning and infrastructure needed to cope with growth. Stop burdening ratepayers with ever increasing rates for things that are outside of our core scope.


I can’t see a single gain to be made by the proposed reforms. It replaces one bureaucracy with a bigger bureaucracy. The provision of the three water services is something that should stay localised. People who live in an urbanised area should benefit from the economies of scale which should come with that. Water services are all very geographically relevant and not one size fits all. I am also concerned with how the reforms will be funded. Matters around the portion of Council debt that relates to its water infrastructure need to be considered. Hamilton ratepayers contribution to water services is 31% of their rates but is 31% of Council debt allocated to water services? Would the debt be taken on by the proposed new entity? How would that impact the Councils debt to revenue ratio? I suspect there would be even more burden placed on ratepayers.

The addition of a Maori ward is more in-line with our current electoral voting system than appointed Maori representatives. The Ward system for electing Local Government representatives has always been somewhat flawed as it overlooks the reality that Councillors represents all the residents of Hamilton and not just smaller localised groups. And just for clarity, anyone who is a NZ citizen, over 18 yrs old and on the NZ electoral role can stand for election in the Maori ward, as long as they are nominated by two people who are on the Maori electoral role in Hamilton. Still only one vote per elector, and only for the candidates who are standing in the ward in which the elector is registered on the NZ Electoral Role.

I can’t see a co-governance model working. Input from a Mana Whenua perspective, along with other perspectives is appropriate, but ultimately the role of governance is to make final decisions in the interests of the greater good. That governance is placed in the hands of elected representatives.

I think Central Government has allowed too much non-core activity to be taken on by local Government, quite possibly because it masks the failings of Central Government departments. We all need to stay in our lane and limit our activities to those which provide for the greater good of our residents. We should comply with relevant acts of Government but debate and resist changes to rules that impact negatively on our residents. Allow relevant govt departments to take care of their responsibilities: Health, Education, Law and Order, Social Development, Immigration, Economic Development, Business and Innovation etc. Local Government needs to be good at what it should do and stick to it.

Yes. Particularly those which are designed to promote economic development through tourism. Namely Waikato Stadium, Seddon Park, Claudelands Arena, The Zoo, The Museum, The Themed Gardens, The Regional Theatre. Whilst I personally enjoy all of those facilities and would happily pay to attend events there, I struggle to agree with the argument that they are vital assets which serve the greater good, and the burden of cost should be carried by the ratepayers.

I don’t think as many people realise that Local Government has a significant impact on their lives.

I’ve always thought Councillors should represent their constituents objectively, based on their knowledge and experiences of the issues, with outcomes intended to enhance the greater good. Whilst that could be done by persons living outside the region it is my view that those who are directly affected by their own decisions are more inclined to want them to be good ones.

No. It is up to the electors to decide. However if people are genuinely standing for council to make a difference, and they’ve been elected three times and still haven’t done so in 9 years of office, they should recognise it as a good time to step aside.

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