Earlier this year we reported our favorable impressions of Gwynn Compton who has mounted an excellent campaign, and yesterday we had afternoon tea with Martin Halliday who is likewise committed to seeing positive economic development in Kapiti — both are members of KEDA, the Kapiti Economic Development Agency.
Martin stood for the two-seat Paraparaumu ward in 2016, but lost to Mark Benton and Fiona Vining. The latter is not seeking reelection so Martin is on the ballot paper there again, although of course, it’s second prize to the mayoralty.
Martin backs our view that Kapiti is not business-friendly and gives businesses no reasons for setting up here; in fact it gives businesses reasons for not coming here. It’s essential that changes under an enlightened council.
Like a lot of Kapiti ratepayers, he’s unimpressed with the decisions record of the present councilors. A particularly bad one, which fortunately was halted before it was too late, was the “borrow to gamble in the stock market scheme” — it offended two basic principles: don’t invest in the sharemarket what you can’t afford to lose; and don’t borrow to do that.
He and his wife moved their family to the Kapiti Coast a decade ago from Wellington as both have extended family here and wanted to be closer to them, as well as to enjoy the lifestyle that the Kapiti Coast offers.
Martin’s background is in hospitality with over 30 years experience including working through the openings of the Christchurch and Wellington Park Royal Hotels, which culminated in his appointment as Manager for the Wellington Park Royal’s Arizona Bar. He then created his own catering business supplying equipment, front of house staff and management to caterers and corporate environments around the Wellington region. He also owned the Restaurant & Bar at Circa Theatre on Wellington’s waterfront for 17 years developing it into a high quality 80 seat restaurant, bar and function venue.
In Kapiti the couple decided to convert an old pet store at the Paraparaumu Beach township into their little boutique cafe/tea-house “Over The Tea Cups” which a few years later won the first Electra Business Awards Customer Choice Award. They sold it three years ago.
Over the past 3 years he’s spent time developing an opportunity at the Lindale Café, working with the Kapiti Boating Club on options to develop their operation, and freelance work in the management of functions for corporate clients, venues and caterers.
As well as KEDA, Martin is a founding trustee of the Guardians of the Kapiti Marine Reserve, involved with low Carbon Kapiti, the Kapiti Community Housing Collective, Whirlwind’s Pictures in retirement homes, Kapiti Start up Weekend and worked with good friend Karl Webber in setting up The Kapiti Kaptchup.
They have also questioned the Council and championed issues around Te Newhanga Kapiti Community Centre (which was taken over by council last year and still being run by them),
The insight into how our elected Councillors and the unelected Council staff interacts with its community led to the conclusion that there needs to be change.
“I ask that voters to look at the skills and positive energy that new potential Councillors and Community Board Members will bring with them. We need a fresh Council that is going to be proactive and community engaged.”
That is the message of the Waikanae Watch team, too.