Our WBOP Campaign Together – Walking Alongside, toward a Relational, Multi Ethnic and Strategic Future

wbop mayor 2019 elections cote stephen fawcett

Some may think I enrolled as candidate for Western Bay of Plenty Mayor, Maketu/Te Puke Ward Councillor and Te Puke Community Board Member as a joke! crazy! ego! Or because I am a workaholic…

Workaholic for this district maybe, but a big fat no to the other reasons. NO, I AM FED UP!

I am discontent with the lack of representation we have had to walk through and hear of many other groups and community members reiterate the same disengagement. I hear the same overtones from the other wbop mayoral candidate also. “Disconnected” and non-relational, money counting, “apathetic disengagement” from the council to the community voiced needs. May I ask, where is the council that walks alongside those who are contributing financially? Where are the councillors at meetings? Tally the attendances up for WBOP and the Maketu/Te Puke district and you will be shocked. Do some research, look at the minutes of our representation and hunt out those stacked up apologies.

1. I stand for youth. I lead, am led and walk alongside. We should be giving opportunity for youth to grow, learn and make decisions.

2. I stand against the bully culture that we as a non-profit and as an individual have experienced from certain elected members, both prior to campaign and during.

3. I stand as a rural member of our district and protest our appalling roads, scarcity of internet, water issues, and lack of public transport. 6 days we had no water up Te Matai Rd due to power outages being reliant on power to pump bore. Our now address at 19 Bayly road can’t officially get ANY internet according to spark. I lived in Samoa and had better internet speeds with receiver nailed to coconut trees. Our daughter had no public transportation to school. We know what it is like to live rural.

4. As a Pacific Islander, I stand for diversity and inclusion and call for a reform of infrastructure around who is represent in our communities. Look at some of our previous constituents? Fifty+ shades of grey, white. I am a Kiwi by birth to my father and Australian to my mother but born and raised in rural communities in Papua New Guinea. I also have Pakistani heritage on my mums’ side, and I would love to see Asian/Indian representation across our district. I am a white man yes, but I am not your usual white man. I value our history, our context, I value Maori and yearn for a better voice. This is what I stand for.

5. I stand for the housing crisis and a quicker turnaround of resource consents and will advocate for housing for seasonal workers, and those committed to pastoral care initiatives to support Maori and WBOP residents amongst the kiwifruit and avocado export industry. I mean common WBOPDC, I know of a property here in Te Puke you refuse to look at, work with, or pass resource consent? What on actual earth! Get it together.

6. I stand for this region as a destination region with every town in the WBOP holding incredible value to eco-tourism, historical indigenous beauty and economic growth, and Te Puke/Maketu is one of those gems amongst a myriad. To those councillors who blast our region with negativity and disdain and say ill of our towns, I say remove them from office.

7. I stand because of you; I stand because your needs are my needs. I have listened, I have heard, you have seen me thoroughly engaged and invested in our community. Now it is time to radically re envision the WBOPDC as a council that is positively and relationally engaged and walking alongside communities with full support and strategic collaboration. I stand for an infrastructure change of hierarchy models, and disconnectedness and call for a relational model to become evident and embodied within the operations of the WBOPDC toward the communities it represents.

I call for change. Manageable debt is fine, it helps us all get out of bed. It will cost us as a region for sure, but better to have what we need and it cost us, than, it cost us and we are ignored and given the disinterested shoulder shrug.

Authorised by: Steve Fawcett – 19 Bayly Road, Te Puke