Is Waikanae a place you really love living in?
If so, I’ve got a few questions for you…
Do you drive? Visit the library? Wander around the neighbourhood from time to time? How about take a shower? No, I’m not a nosy neighbour – there’s an important reason I’m asking you this.
You might not be thinking about voting; perhaps you feel your vote won’t matter or there’s no point, or perhaps the whole system is a tad confusing and hard to understand.
Firstly – if you’ve voted, thank you and well done. Now we need your help to make sure your friends, family and neighbours follow suit.
If you haven’t voted yet, we’re encouraging you to take a closer look — here’s why:
Did you know that local government has control over:
* The pavements you walk on
* The roads where you drive
* The outdoor spaces, libraries, skate-parks, and swimming pool where you take the kids
* The water in your shower
* The rubbish and recycling collection
* The many community activities in your neighbourhood
Local government elections only happen every three years. These elections are for city, district and regional councils. The responsibility for selecting leaders and decision makers for your area is in your hands.
Will you help lift the number of voters in the local elections to over 50 percent for the first time since the 1980s? Be part of the 50 percent that had their say, not the other way round.
Now is the time to find that envelope, open up your voting papers, and vote.
Encourage your neighbours, family, and friends to do the same.
Your vote does count; we are lucky in New Zealand to have such a direct
influence on what happens in our neighbourhoods. Let’s not take it for
Chief Executive, Local Government New Zealand
Fortunately, voter participation in the Kapiti Coast District was a relatively high 51% last time, and Waikanae was 59%.
On TV we saw a program about the American Presidential election where someone in West Virginia said he wasn’t going to vote this time, giving the often expressed cynical view, “If voting was going to change anything, they’d have made it illegal by now.”
But this is wrong. Sure, ideological differences often give way to the tyranny of circumstance, and when it comes to providing the services of local government — many of which are required by statute — there isn’t a lot of scope for variation.
However, there are some candidates standing who aren’t ego trippers seeking personal prestige, who want sensible consideration of what will exist beyond the next three years, and who want what will do the greatest good for the community within reasonable financial requirements — we’ve mentioned some, there are more.