It’s coming around to that time in local politics that either enlivens people or turns them off completely.
Yes, elections loom, in fact on October 12. Most of our councillors in Kāpiti Coast District Council, and our community board and health board representatives, will have another crack in the elections, but there will be some strong contenders and nothing can ever be taken for granted.
What will be interesting to see is who puts their hand up. There might be some passionate candidates who have thought about making their mark for some time, or it might be on a whim, or maybe someone’s urged them to stand.
What motivates people to stand has always been interesting to see. You’ll always get people who lobby largely on single issues – which, if it’s topical and a key issue, can make campaigning simple and therefore effective.
Then there are the ones who fire up voters and public meeting audiences with their “anti-everything” stance. “Vote for me and I’ll sort this lot out. I’ll make sure they’re accountable and I’ll get our rates down.” Of course, they rarely succeed.
There will again be a mixed bunch in our council. Some will cruise through their duties, glance at the reports presented, attend a few meetings and vote on gut feeling or ignorane. Others will be just as passionate, but meticulous and act with integrity.
Which comes to my key point.
Now’s the time to think seriously about running in the elections yourself. I’m not suggesting you do it because you think you can “sort things out”, but rather that you feel you can genuinely contribute to help make our communities better places.
We need people who have a commitment to communities at a local level. People who can think about how best to use limited resources and harness the skills and experience that’s available in all communities. We have a wealth of talent in Ōtaki, but not all talented people have the time to commit to being a local councillor. So we need to talk to these people, listen to them and soak up the wisdom they are willing to share.
If you think you’re a listener, a doer and have a skin thick enough to shake off inevitable criticism, nominations open on July 19 and close on August 16.
Good information is at www.elections.org.nz