I caught up with Puran Singh tonight in Te Puke. I met Puran some time ago at his Indian Sweets store called Novelty Te Puke. He also operates Novelty Tauranga and is integral to the Punjabi community.
As the founder of Vector Group Charitable Trust, we were approached to host a religious event and support a visiting Priest. I was present during the event and supported the organisers where I was needed. The food was prepared down the road at Puran’s Novelty Te Puke shop.The Indian community were very honourable and I was given the opportunity to approach the visiting priest who spoke wisdom into my life and over my community work.
As a WBOP Mayoral candidate, my vision is to see wider representation across the WBOP and believe that along with Maori representation, we should also be providing opportunity and invitation to our Indian community members. The Indian candidates must be given an opportunity in this coming election as I believe healthier decision making will result. Prior to my campaign submission, I had also approached some others in the WBOP Indian community and encouraged them to stand. I trust by next term, the WBOP candidacy will be bursting at the seams with diversity of worldview. I am also excited to see Kamal Yadav stand as candidate for the Katikati Community Board.
Diversity is extremely important and must be noted as a requirement for healthy community representation and decision making in the western bay of plenty.
It is a joy to see Puran Singh run as candidate for the Omokoroa Community Board and I am in full support of his contribution to great decision making, and 100% behind the opportunity to have the first ever Indian on the WBOPDC as a Community Board representative. We are in a new era and I am thrilled to walk alongside many great people, including our Indian brothers and sisters.
I was asked in a BOP Times interview today, “How am I going to make changes around diverse representation if I am to become Mayor” and my answer was, “I already do this in our community, have been active in this respect before any thoughts of running for council were considered, and will continue to do so”. I don’t promise what I don’t already do, and I am good at what I do, and that is inclusivity, healthy diverse decision making and welcoming communities.
Puran Singh’s Profile
I came to New Zealand around 30 years ago, from that time I have seen the country develop, some in good ways and some in not so good. I have been a strong voice for the Sikh community, by helping them make a place in the community. Now I would like to help Omokoroa by giving them my dedication and willingness to listen and bring ideas forward to the community board.
My engagement with the community has always been strong within Tauranga as I will later on show but now I would like to stand out of my comfort zone and put myself out there to represent Omokoroa.
Matters I will look into as a community board member will be:
– the upgrade of the Omokoroa library as I feel it is a service important for all age groups. Our children should be feeling engaged in the environment in the best possible way. I feel the library has room for improvements I would like to look into.
– advocate for rates affordability, I understand how much rates can burn your wallet, and although rates are important for the development of the city, it is important the income is invested in the right sectors, where Omokoroa would like to see the development
– Review the building consent process to ensure efficiency and effectiveness, the building consent process is complex with a pile of information to be understood to ensure correct steps are taken, which can actually be very expensive, I want to review this and analyse what steps are important and make it easier for anyone that will be part of this consent.
– Strong voice to upgrade SH2 intersection, Between 2009 and 2018, 25 people have lost their lives and 66 have been seriously injured along this stretch of rural highway. Most of these accidents were caused by people running off the road and hitting trees, poles or deep ditches, head-on collisions and crashes at intersections. There needs to be a priority of upgrade and I will be the voice of it. Each section will take between 12-18 months to complete. The project is expected to be finished in 2023, and I want to review frequently to make sure it’s sticking to the plan and is completed in the timeframe.
Most importantly, I will listen and act according to the needs of our community, It is the community that needs to have their say so let’s bring back democracy to Omokoroa and make a difference together.