by Geoffrey Churchman

With the death of sitting Waikanae Ward councillor Tony Lloyd last November, a by-election is being held to fill the vacancy on the Kapiti Coast District Council and I am one of the candidates standing.

I contemplated standing in the last general council election in October 2013, but as I thought Tony Lloyd was a good councillor and deserved to be re-elected, I decided against it. Now I am standing, and this blog is intended to present commentary and provide a forum on matters that affect the 10,000+ people who make Waikanae their home.  It will continue beyond the by-election, regardless of the result.

My interest in local body affairs goes back to 1977 when I supported Tony Brunt’s bid to be Wellington Mayor.  Although he didn’t win the mayoral race (Michael Fowler was reelected), he topped the poll for the Wellington City Council.

Conservation has always been a hot issue for me, and unspoiled outdoor areas in NZ’s beautiful scenery provide everyone with the ability to escape the stress of everyday life and revitalise themselves.

On other political topics I am an independent thinker, sometimes finding myself agreeing with those on the right, at other times with those on the left.  It comes down to a question of what does the most good for the most people, and what people need to be protected from.  Nevertheless, a guiding principle is Abraham Lincoln’s adage that ‘the government which governs best is that which governs least’.  Government is all about forcing people to do things or not to do things: the less government, the more freedom there is. That does not mean minimum government, period, but the minimum government necessary to limit the negative impact on society of those who only think of themselves and no-one else.

I moved with my wife to Waikanae at the beginning of 2006 with the expectation it would soon be our place of retirement from the publishing business we have run; to enjoy a leafy town that is quiet and warmer than Wellington, but still being a short commuting distance from Wellington when things are happening there.  As a youngster, my family often came out from Wellington to enjoy Waikanae Beach on weekends.  Thus I have had a long appreciation of the distinct Waikanae character and I want to protect and nourish it.