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Campaigning Across the Coromandel Peninsula

Warren Maher is standing for Thames-Coromandel representative on the Waikato Regional Council (WRC). He stands against Dennis Tegg already on WRC.

I have lived in Tairua for 28 years and run an Electrical Contracting business operating throughout the Peninsula. I am currently in my 9th year as President of the Tairua Pauanui Sports Fishing Club and Vice President on the Board of the NZ Sports Fishing Council; also chairing their Youth Fishing Committee.

With my governance experience and knowledge gained from 30 years fishing and diving on both sides of the Peninsula, I have a lot of local knowledge and common sense to offer the ongoing Waikato Regional Council Coastal Plan process, as well as their policies around harbour use and access, navigation and safety, river and flood management and aquaculture. Continued access is critical to our coastal and marine environment for those who derive social, cultural, and personal wellbeing from being able to gather seafood from the intertidal zone, fishing from the shore, in local waters or around our many islands, and for our future generations.

I love being in the bush, and pest control, both animal and plant are important to me for our ongoing enjoyment of our backyard. Community input is critical; community-based solutions have more potential for success due to local support and monitoring. Councils and community must have a strong working relationship with a good level of trust and a great deal of communication. I feel this is something which can be improved on, and with the large number of small towns and spread-out communities, as well as the number of bach owners in our district, I will be a Councillor you can engage with and feel your opinion is valued and heard. I will work hard to repair and strengthen relationships with key stakeholders including TCDC, Iwi and our local communities.

With the upcoming elections on 8th October, relationships will need to be forged with our Regional and District Councils to put in place policy that will create economic growth, jobs and provide services that will make the Thames-Coromandel a better place to live while also preparing

John Freer and Warren Maher spoke briefly last Thursday evening at the Mercury Bay Game Fishing Club. They were introduced by John Grant of Coromandel FM who is also standing for TCDC.

7.00pm on a weeknight may not be the most opportunistic time for political speeches, but people were listening.

John Freer: He is standing for Mayor amd promises leadership, financial competence and experience in empowering communities. He is convinced that bureaucracy and lack of consultation has disempowered communities and wasted resources, saying people don’t see results for their rates or outcomes of endless promises. John referenced some of his previous roles as Editor of Thames Star, Head of Communications for Air New Zealand, CEO of New Zealand Academy of Sport. Presently, he manages Thames Shopping Centre. John spoke with confidence that a thriving future was possible with the right leadership. He concluded urging people to vote for him for Mayor.

Warren Maher: He stated that Regional Council had their plan for two years to close large areas and make them marine reserves, but no consultation occurred over those two years with the people who use these areas. The Environment Court requested Regional Council to protect those areas and so WRC shut the areas down - for ten years - no anchoring, no fishing. That is what is proposed for our area.

The people making these decisions don’t realise what our communities thrive on, or the amount of industry and life that they bring into our economies. We have to be really sure we get in behind common sense and ensure that our activities amd practises manage sustainability well.

Regional Council is almost broken. There is an attitude and culture in TCDC that needs renewing. We have a new CEO and TCDC will have an almost new team after the election. There is regional overlap of the many projects so consultation by Waikato Regional Council is a must. We need cohesion and no more extra levels of bureaucracy. We have a Fisheries Act which can do the work needed. We need to re-empower our Community Boards. So put good people in place on your Community Board, on TCDC and on Regional Council. Get out and vote. He concluded, Vote for me, Warren Maher, Waikato Regional Council.

Caption: Warren Maher speaking.


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