Hamilton City, New Zealand

Russelle Knaap

I am a member of ‘Team Integrity’ – a group of individuals with a wide variety of key experiences who want to to bring fresh thinking , creative solutions and common sense to the multitude of issues the city faces. More about us on https://www.teamintegritynz.com LETS FIX IT

I am part of Team Integrity…a group of four diverse and interesting people with a range of practical skills and common sense who want to improve the well-being of all in Hamilton.

So why am I standing? Frankly there are a million things Id rather do, but I’m standing because of my concern about future direction of the City.

We carry a massive debt and increased interest on this debt is going to impact on us all .

Current Council has no appetite to tighten its belt and was one of the few Councils to increase rates after the first COVID 19 Lockdown.

Hamilton needs common sense Councillors who have the courage to prioritize spending and who will investigate innovative ways to make savings without slashing and burning. Team Integrity has made many submissions to this end.

I am also strong advocate for setting up Community Boards. The community has the wisdom to solve many of its own problems if we give them the chance. There are some clever voices out there which never get heard. I want to help change that.

Rates must be sustainable. Council must respect household and business finances

A review of Council spending must be a priority in the next term.

Transparency of contracts, procurement, and consultants; costs open to public scrutiny .

Accountability introduced for cost overuns.

Helping Communities help themselves.

Innovation; finding new and cost effective ways to achieve better results; Kiwi common sense solutions

Saving Founders.; Most Councillors voted to bowl Founders, spend $1 mill on demolition and up to $4 Mill restoring the ‘park, ‘ grounds despite an offer on the table from several leading benefactors to restore it. Council has nothing lose, other than a part of our history and an affordable hub for community use.

I have been and am associated with a minor Party for a number of years. It does not contribute to me financially in any way and I have no contractual obligations to that Party.

As an elected member of Council. I am acutely aware that my only allegiance is to the people of Hamilton and pledge to always prioritize their interests.

I personally think its theft. To pretend Councils own the infrastructure whilst having no control of the asset is a nonsense. Ownership by definition means control of your asset.

It appears that Government is considering leaving Waste Water under the control of Councils. A cynic may say that’s because you cant make money out of waste water.

Its naive to believe that there will not be a cost placed on the use of water given the Minister has refused to rule that out. It will cripple many in our community and lead to the introduction of metered water.

This is a democracy matter for the country to decide through a referendum.

You can either have co- governance or democracy . The two are incompatible. One person one vote is the heart of democracy .

It is an issue for the Country to decide through referendum.

I’m really worried about the increasing encroachment into Local Body affairs by Central Government and alarmed at how it is changing our lifestyle without our permission.

We need a brave Council ready to challenge laws that are being promoted by Government that are not beneficial to our City or our people. THREE WATERS is an example.
Councils must collate real feedback from our communities and present it to Government. Our people’s votes also determine who will form a Government. Strong feedback from them is more likely to influence Government that a polite deputation of Councillors.

The current policy of’ Staying In The Tent’ hasn’t worked.

Hamilton is a great place to live and previous Councils have made some great decisions however in the current economic climate everything should be under review..

LGNZ; The supposed benefits of paying to and belonging to this organization needs to be reviewed in light of them acting as an arm of Government rather than for the advocate of Councils.

Many tell me they feel powerless and that the elections, and new Councillors change little. Just business as usual.

They don’t believe they are listened to and are tired of ‘tick the box surveys’ which give limited options and masquerade as ‘consultation,’

Team Integrity plans to improve community communication with the introduction of Community boards where real change and ideas suited to local conditions can be implemented and which will provide a direct line of communication with Council.

Not necessarily. If they are the right people for the job and have a genuine love for the City I’m happy with that. Voters should be made aware however.

No. I think one of our most effective and thoughtful Councillors will be the longest serving Councillor after the election; There is a lot to be said for experienc..

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