Hamilton City, New Zealand

Shanti Ralm

I have lived in Hamilton for over 50 years. I am Indian-born and am married to a Kiwi, Harry Ralm. I am passionate about helping people settle in new countries and find meaning in their life. I have worked with refugees, in Aged Concern and am on a number of community and neighbourhood boards.

I would like to represent those who don’t have a voice or the courage to speak out. I believe in a community where everyone is included and where everyone feels they belong. As a city councillor, I hope to bring about a change in our communities by promoting togetherness, oneness and diversity, because this is what will make our city feel like a home for people.

The way we address issues affecting our most vulnerable residents, such as our elderly population, is one of the most important issues for me. I believe we need to take more action to address issues that often go unheard and unseen. Loneliness and neglect is something I have experienced first hand working through Age Concern Waikato. More needs to be done to address this through our health and social system.
We should also be more invested in the wellbeing and nurturing of our youth. We should help them be prepared for their futures and support them in their goals.


Our water is a precious resource which needs to be managed wisely. The Three Waters Reform will be an interesting change which might improve our water service infrastructure. However, I understand why others are not supportive. From my perspective, I have mixed-feelings about this. We need to have our communities at the heart of whatever decision is made.

I am non-judgemental and I believe that we are all equal. We should all consider us as being without casts or status, we all are human and should act like one. Everyone in this position of ward, regardless of their background, should acknowledge the interests of each other. For this reason, I think there should not be wards in which only Māori can stand and vote.

It is up to the all members of the council. It is just like anything else, every nationality likes to speak their language because it matters to them. I don’t think it is necessary to have co-governance with Mana Whenua, but we need to still engage with each other and consider the viewpoints that Mana Whenua bring when making decisions.

Local governments should be in direct and open relationships with Central Government. Local governments have the responsibility to share the voices of the communities they represent to the Central Government. Central Government should acknowledge the different views of Local Governments and support their endeavours as much as possible.

No, I don’t have objections against HCC’s current involvements.

I think people are often less involved with their local communities, and often aren’t as interested in the local policies and changes. People are often more concerned about national laws and elections compared to local elections, or unfortunately they don’t think they vote will count for much.

Yes, normally all the City Councillors should stay in Hamilton.

I think there should be a limit to the number of consecutive terms in order to give other people a chance to lead their city. People should be limited to two terms (six years) to serve.

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