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Stephen Fawcett for WBOP Mayor

My overarching vision is to see a community where diversity is celebrated, and every person feels included.


  1. Establish a relational infrastructure where community engagement is priority.
  2. Establish infrastructure where youth and ethnic diversity within our region’s decision making is a priority.

Our family are among the residents that make up almost 70% of the population that reside outside of WBOP community board areas. There are definite issues with water supply, roading, internet scarcity and public transportation.

I see a need to break down the walls between Council Staff and Community, and place priority on minimising areas of disengagement from council, and negative opinion of elected members toward individuals, organisations, and community needs.

Priorities such as climate change, environmental sustainability and concern for the future are at the forefront of our future’s minds. Youth participation and a more diverse representation of people groups around decision making is key.

A Call to Be Different, Be Nice, 2019 WBOP Elections

I am no stranger to being on the receiving end of nastiness, despite my utter commitment to the Te Puke community. Some time ago an elected member had a flat car battery, I gave them a jump start and they were appreciative. Wind the clock forward a few weeks and I was sitting in a cafe just over from this very same elected member who proceeded to run our charity down and me personally. For what reasons I have no idea, just to be negative as they are toward other community feelings?

A few days ago, I received a message from someone who had been called by another elected member who had mentioned my name in a negative way (during the 2019 election). I find this kind of attitude and deliberate attempts at division within our community as thoroughly inappropriate and disgraceful. Such is the bully culture that I have experienced as a community member from some elected members and now as a candidate.

This is another reason I stand. Te Puke and Maketu are sick and tired of poor representation, negativity spewed out across social, news portals and via rumour mills. Vote me for Mayor and I will eradicate all councillors who speak ill of the communities, spread rumours about individuals and who continue with a mindset of bullying, intimidation and rivalry.
I call for replacements of members of the WBOPDC who are disingenuous to the culture of unity and sustainability. I call for the de-establishment of a bully culture. And I call for those elected member who dont turn up to meetings, to be removed from their paid positions, due to self serving interests and lack of decent engagement. It is about time honourable people stood and give their communities the best of themselves.

WBOP – A bright future! and why I stand…

Kia ora whanau, our region has an incredibly bright future represented among our Taiohi (youth). For this reason, I am standing as a candidate in the Western Bay of Plenty 2019 elections and am committed (as I am every other day) to seeing youth valued, encouraged, supported and given credit. I stand for Taiohi. I also stand beside another teen Larissa Hika who we are mentoring as a candidate for the Te Puke community board. I stand to show the way, to lead by example and to help youth realise that, if I can, they can also. Decision making in our communities should be diverse and collaborative, and my passion is to see inclusion of a wider representation of age (youth) and building a more inclusive and ethnic diverse leadership in the area of decision making for our districts and WBOP region. We, as Western Bay of Plenty have an opportunity to lead the way.

If I can ignite intrigue and dialogue around youth opportunity, leadership and value, then I have succeeded. Regardless of the process of democracy and outcome in votes, I will always continue as I was, thoroughly invested in the youth of our future. I want to exemplify, that being professional is not enough in our day and age, and CV’s aside, creativity and most importantly “relationship” is key to us moving forward. I want to see a more wholesome blend of professionalism and relational investedness flourish in our communities. May the voices of our youth and diverse needs of our community’s be heard, comprehended and actioned upon.

Teens nominated in 5 categories in BOP regional 48hours National film festival 2018

Nominated for:

  • Outstanding Female Filmmaker – Supported by WIFT
  • Best Script
  • Best Production Design
  • Best Sound Design


Short Film based on “real life” stories of desire and youth/individuals, wanting what the other has, and wanting to be the other.

I stand for youth opportunities like the above.

If you want boring, then DO NOT VOTE FOR ME.

Script indirectly influenced by Rene Girard’s theory of Mimetic Desire. We don’t just desire what the other has, but we want to become the other. This short film is about a teen who desires to have her friend’s brother, mum, boyfriend and friends , as her own.

None of the youth (camera operators or actors) had former experience.

The “Experience” Argument – Meet Grace: Google’s Digital Detective

Grace’s love for complex code has taken her across the ditch to work for one of the biggest companies in the digital world: Google. Now working as their security engineer, she is making a world of difference by helping keep the internet a safe place.

Whilst youth are looked upon as not having any experience, I would argue that some youth have far more capability than many who call themselves experienced, and use such, as an argument to validate their continued role as elected members. Robust leadership must be constantly refreshed and everyone should get a chance at representation and governance, without age prejudice, without racial slurs, and without gender exclusion.

Youth are our future, and this is the reason I stand as a WBOP candidate. I want to make a difference to the infrastructure of council decision making and I certainly want to address the systemic negative perceptions and judgements, that youth are discriminatingly labelled with.

Youth win Bay of Plenty regional Best Cinematography Award and BOP Runner Up in HP48hours National Film competition

Youth with no previous experience took out the regional award for Best Cinematography and came in 2nd place overall with Runner Up on HP48Hours awards night (2017). We also got the the National finals, how’s that for some randomly thrown together youth from the Te Puke/Maketu region!

I am passionate about film and the creatives. Digital media is our future and to have youth with “zero” previous experience take out regional awards like this, is why I stand for youth. Youth need opportunities but too many are frightened by their own assumptions that youth are incapable of achieving anything of significance. That is where I am different and why I stand in the local body elections. I see the needs, hear their stories and gather around youth with action. Tracey and I are very passionate about creating opportunities for growth, inclusion and leadership.

Despite the Western Bay of Plenty long term plan and community engagement plans containing youth directives, youth opportunities are lacking within the WBOPDC and for some reason, such focus, training and opportunities are ignored within their own infrastructure. My priority is for this ill feeling toward youth, be quashed, and some checks and balances (diversity and inclusion) are envisioned within WBOP council operations for the sustainability of our future.