In 1987 I was elected National Party Member for the Bay of Islands Electorate and, despite the size of the subsequent Northland Electorate, I still enjoy travelling around to meet and assist my constituents and representing them in Parliament. I have now represented the Northland seat for seven terms.
I am a fifth generation New Zealander; born, bred and educated in the North. I was born at Te Kopuru and educated at Otamatea College. When I first stood for Parliament, I was Principal Officer of the Hokianga County Council.
Being involved in the Community has always been really satisfying for me. In the Hokianga I was chairman of the Hokianga Community Health Committee. I have been involved with the Te Kuiti and Rawene Lions’ Clubs and I served on the Rawene Primary School committee. In Te Kuiti I was actively involved in the Local Rugby Club.
My involvement in the National Party also goes back a long way. I have held various executive positions in the National Party from 1980, and chaired the Bay of Islands electorate committee from 1982-1987. I was an Auckland divisional councillor from 1985-1987; before my nomination as candidate and election to Parliament.
I am interested in tennis, athletics and rugby (and still play, though it takes longer to recover these days!). I have five children and eight grandchildren.
I was appointed New Zealand's High Commissioner to the Cook Islands in 2011 and became Mayor of the Far North District of New Zealand in October 2013.
Here's what I believe in...
Local – Let's put the "local" back into
Local government has become too distant from its people. Together, we can strengthen and empower local community boards and groups to ensure that we all have a say in the future of our respective communities.
Consultation – Talk with the people not AT them!
Consultation isn't just about telling the community what will happen; it's finding out what the people think and feel. I'll ensure that council won't just tick the boxes; I'll ensure everyone's informed, and that council listens to the community voice. That way council will make balanced and sound decisions.
Employment and the local Economy – creating opportunities,
I'll work with the community, iwi, businesses and the Government to maximise economic, environmentally sound opportunities; invigorating business and creating employment. We'll harness our opportunities to the Far North's advantage!
Unity - Working together in harmony.
I have a reputation for working in harmony with people regardless of who they are or where they live. I will always work this way. Alongside community leaders, I'll ensure Northland is unified to speak with one voice... and succeeds!
Council Staff – Taking pride in our work.
I will ensure that Council staff are provided with a positive, productive work environment and are supported and encouraged to provide an efficient and effective service to the community; a service in which they can once again take great pride.
Structure - Reorganising Local Government.
This year we will have a choice of how our local government is organised; the Local Government Commission's proposal or the status quo. I'll ensure everyone has the opportunity to be informed about what it all means, so that people can choose the Local Government structure that really is best for them. Whatever the outcome, as your Mayor, I will make it work for the Far North.