Kaipara district local body elections: how will candidates protect and restore Kaipara’s environment?

23 September 2022

Sustainable Kaipara’s mission is to protect and restore Kaipara’s environment.
The Kaipara District Local Body Elections are taking place this year, and it is a key time to think about the things we consider important to have well represented in our council leadership. Each election we ask candidates for their thoughts on environmental priorities and issues to share with the community to assist the public in their voting.

Here are the responses we received to the questionnaire. Please note, the responses received are shared here word for word, and the views held by specific candidates are not necessarily supported by us as an organisation.

This is what they had to say – click on each candidate to read (candidates are listed in no particular order).

NO DISPLAY

Jonathan Larsen

Position and/or Ward standing for:

Kaiwaka-Mangawhai General Ward

What are your priorities for protecting our environment? 

Encouraging protection of indigenous forest and wetlands through stock exclusion and predator control. I am currently protectively covenanting 360,000m2 of mature and regenerating native forest.

How would you plan to work on these priorities if elected? 

Ensuring that environmental protection is encouraged and incentivised in the provisions of the district plan so that good outcomes are achieved. Help to link ratepayers with regional council pest control assistance and programmes (they are very helpful and well resourced).

What actions do you personally take to minimise waste? 

Due to our rural location I sort and stockpile all recyclables and take them to the resort centre periodically when containers are full.

How would you contribute to making Kaipara resilient to climate change? 

Personally I am growing large areas of both indigenous and exotic forest as carbon sinks. At a Council level I would seek to ensure that assessments of impacts identified areas most affected and of most strategic importance to prioritise adaptation initiatives.

Mark Ancrum

Position and/or Ward standing for:

Wairoa General Ward

What are your priorities for protecting our environment? 

Preserving & protecting biodiversity & ecosystems
Tree planting
Improving all water sources (No 3Waters)
Support for Drainage Boards, Stop-banks
Minimising Plastic waste & plastic burning
Remove Chemicals from Council use e.g. Roundup (Glyphosates)
Lobbying DOC & others to stop 1080 usage

How would you plan to work on these priorities if elected? 

Through collaboration with local entities such as Sustainable Kaipara, Raupo Drainage Board, TK stopbank Program

What actions do you personally take to minimise waste? 

Home Worm Farm for appropriate food waste
Anything I can to reduce landfill
Make own compost, Mulch etc.
Buy unpackaged fruit/veg at supermarket
Ask local butcher to wrap meat in paper, not usual plastic bags (that he then wraps in paper!)
I buy eggs locally at Aoroa Poultry in recycled egg cartons

How would you contribute to making Kaipara resilient to climate change? 

Rewrite District Plan – to support our Rural enterprise – Farmers first
Ban GMO’s in all forms
Proceed with caution on major developments, particularly around Rivers, Foreshore
Discourage all EV’s until powered by sun + NZ Power Grid powered by something other than low-grade, dirty Indonesian coal

Dennis Emsley

Position and/or Ward standing for:

Kaiwaka-Mangawhai General Ward

What are your priorities for protecting our environment? 

Controlling growth in the Kaiwaka-Mangawhai ward to ensure minimum effect on the environment.

How would you plan to work on these priorities if elected? 

Ban or restrict urban sprawl in order to retain farmland and open spaces. Building height restrictions (2 levels maximum). Stop sand mining. Continue dredging in the Mangawhai harbour. Minimum section sizes in new developments. Increase coastal planting.

What actions do you personally take to minimise waste? 

Waste less, recycle more. Buy in bulk to reduce packaging.

How would you contribute to making Kaipara resilient to climate change? 

Not sure if “climate change” is a cyclable event which happens every x years or something more permanent? There are those for and against. Is there enough proven evidence in the Kaipara region to justify spending hundreds of millions to “defend” against it. Keep closely monitoring.

Martina Tschirky

Position and/or Ward standing for:

Kaiwaka-Mangawhai General Ward

What are your priorities for protecting our environment? 

Be an example of how to minimise waste and cut down on fossile fuels (use electric car). Help protect biodiversity by growing food and flowers organically. Compost and recycle and pick up litter. Actively protect native trees and plant them, too.

How would you plan to work on these priorities if elected? 

I would strongly advocate for legislative protection of mature native vegetation in the District Plan and make sure we have a reliable recycling system in the Kaipara that is adequately funded. Initiatives such as Sustainable Kaipara need to be strongly supported.

What actions do you personally take to minimise waste? 

We compost cardboard, paper and all green materials and recycle what ever is possible and only fill a blue rubbish bag every three to four weeks.

How would you contribute to making Kaipara resilient to climate change? 

A strong District Plan: No more building on low lying, flood prone land or steep hills that can be washed away. Retire the upper Tara from subdivision but at the same time make it easier to use that fertile soil area for crop production

Mark Vincent

Position and/or Ward standing for:

Otamatea General Ward

What are your priorities for protecting our environment? 

Continue to support community-led initiatives on habitat restoration as with the landcare group I formed (Otamatea HarbourCare), waste minimisation. weed busters etc

How would you plan to work on these priorities if elected? 

Ensure there is council resource available to engage with community groups and assist them with obtaining external funding.

What actions do you personally take to minimise waste? 

Bokashi bucket for kitchen scraps, composting for the vege garden, take recycling direct to Ruawai depot every few months rather than yellow bags

How would you contribute to making Kaipara resilient to climate change? 

I can’t answer this in 300 characters, sorry. Will send a letter separately

Rachael Williams

Position and/or Ward standing for:

Kaiwaka-Mangawhai General Ward

What are your priorities for protecting our environment? 

Monitor impacts of over development. Water Supply/water security in our area concerns me. Increases pressure on water resources during drought. Need to increase onsite storage for the future (section size). Protect & respect our environment & it’s limitations. No to sandmining

How would you plan to work on these priorities if elected? 

I’d raise my concerns during the current review of our District Plan. NRC manage water takes for Kaipara, but KDC must also be proactive & realistic in this space. We know prolonged drought will become more common for Kaipara. Recognising limitations on resources & planning for this is paramount.

What actions do you personally take to minimise waste? 

We recycle, buy local & plastic free where possible. Grow our own fruit n veg. Use a worm farm, compost green waste & supply food scraps for friends’ animals. Take items to local op shops for reuse. Belong to Mangawhai Growers NZ, we sell our overflow spray free produce locally in season.

How would you contribute to making Kaipara resilient to climate change? 

In 2021 Council committed $1.5m over 10 yrs to a climate change work programme. KDC need to continue working with Kaipara communities toward collective resilience for the future. Supporting community led initiatives is key. Working together to get the best outcomes possible is important.

Misty Sansom

Position and/or Ward standing for:

Kaiwaka-Mangawhai General Ward

What are your priorities for protecting our environment? 

Right now, the biggest risk to our environment is our water infrastructure; both the age and condition of existing infrastructure and the incoming impact that projected growth will bring. My priorities are to ensure that growth is within our infrastructural and environmental limits.

How would you plan to work on these priorities if elected? 

We need to review what growth looks like in our district; particularly in Mangawhai, where the majority of growth is projected. We also need to consider other options for sustainable wastewater solutions for future developments, and ensure that the cost is borne by the development itself.

What actions do you personally take to minimise waste? 

We recycle, compost and try to choose options that reduce single-use waste in our pantry (a work in progress!). I reduce consumption and buy second-hand where possible. When I do make purchases, I try to make it a ‘forever’ purchase; one that I won’t need to replace for the foreseeable future.

How would you contribute to making Kaipara resilient to climate change? 

As a councillor, the biggest impact I can have is within the RMA reform – councils and communities are able to create a plan to build long-term resilience. We need to understand how we mitigate the risks, adapt to the changes, and support those who will be most affected along the way.

Victoria del la Varis-Woodcock

Position and/or Ward standing for:

Mayor

What are your priorities for protecting our environment? 

1. Planning for responsible development that protects our fragile ecosystem.
2. Leading a waste minimisation culture in Kaipara.
3. Creating green spaces in Kaipara towns for healthy communities

How would you plan to work on these priorities if elected? 

1. Develop an infrastructure asset plan that will deliver services for future generations
2. Implement rates-funded recycling and extend resource recovery services at transfer stations. Supply compost bins-at cost & support community education initiatives.
3. Develop an urban green space policy

What actions do you personally take to minimise waste? 

1. Carefully consider my consumption for waste reduction
2. Repurpose and repair
3. Compost and chook bucket
4. Recycling

How would you contribute to making Kaipara resilient to climate change? 

1. Identify, avoid and mitigate risks in Coastal Erosion Hazard Zones
2. Work on funding opportunities for external investment in flood protection
3. Reduce our district-wide waste footprint through recycling and other waste reduction processes

Eryn Wilson-Collins

Position and/or Ward standing for:

Wairoa General Ward

What are your priorities for protecting our environment? 

Deliver the waste minimisation strategy delayed in our LTP.
Advocate for the return of a district wide composting system in our LTP.
Continue to advocate for healthier options for our environment. For example, improving systems instead of extending resource consents for breaches of wastewater.

How would you plan to work on these priorities if elected? 

I would use an environmental lens on all decision making to ensure protection of our environment and future generations’ needs.

What actions do you personally take to minimise waste? 

I focus on living a zero waste lifestyle and don’t have a rubbish bin in my home. I buy package free or second hand as much as possible. I compost my and my office’s food waste. My hobby is to upcycle furniture to keep it from landfill. If I do buy new I chose quality items that will last.

How would you contribute to making Kaipara resilient to climate change? 

By talking with our communities and understanding their needs in relation to adaptation options. By using a climate change/environment lens on all decisions across the Council table. Being committed to reducing Council’s climate emissions and using our Joint Climate Change Adaptation Strategy.

Mike Howard

Position and/or Ward standing for:

Kaiwaka-Mangawhai General Ward

What are your priorities for protecting our environment? 

Engage proactively in variety of initiatives and actions to achieve desired outcome(s) and encourage others to join in.

How would you plan to work on these priorities if elected? 

Already actively engaged in Mangawhai area on several fronts- including personal involvement and advocacy.

What actions do you personally take to minimise waste? 

Recycle everything we can at home and use all relevant waste in a domestic compost unit

How would you contribute to making Kaipara resilient to climate change? 

Strongly advocate greater urgency and action through the Joint Climate Action Committee of the 4 Northland Councils. This is not a project to be tackled independently so a joint Northland approach would seem to be a good way to start!!

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