City Councillor, Eastern Ward, Wellington, NZ
So far this term!
Almost nine years on Wellington City Council representing the Eastern Ward. There have been some great successes and some disappointments. The emails for assistance from many residents I regard as such an important part of the job. So many Wellingtonians just need a little daylight to shine on an issue for it to be dealt with. Often, but not always I must stress, it is a matter of connecting with the right person within council for some action.
With the big projects we could not make the film museum work, however the Convention Centre and exhibition space positioned beside Te Papa will prove to be an exciting addition to the centre of the city. An indoor arena seating 12,000 is another project Council is investigating. With the potential support of a private partner such a project takes the pressure off rates as a funding source.
Climate change is finally being placed high on the list of risks that New Zealand and Wellington must continue to plan for. Consequently our economy must identify industries that minimise the need for physical travel. The technology innovation space will be crucial and Wellington is a leader.An unsung success story in the Capital is Creative HQ, originally developed through the WCC and now under WellingtonNZ. They continue to assist startups marshall their ideas and dreams into reality.
One of my responsibilities is the small/medium business sector. One key policy for this sector I fostered was that of the Business Improvement District (BID). Suburban businesses work together as one organisation to promote and lobby for their area. This triennium Tawa has become a successful BID and Karori is working through the process. They join BIDs in Miramar, Kilbirnie and Khandallah.
State Highway 1 traffic to and from our international airport through the eastern suburbs is bad and getting worse. The Mount Victoria tunnel was built to cope with traffic 80 years ago, NZTA has said it needs to be done but it needs clear council support for this project. The tunnel is a "must have" to provide a better route for public transport, cars, trucks, cyclists and pedestrians. We are waiting for Lets Get Welly Moving an approach with partners NZTA and GWRC that promises even bigger changes.
Wellington is already recognised as one of the worlds most liveable cities, it is a pretty darn good place to live. Certainly we still grumble about a rubbish bin not being emptied or grass not being cut but Wellington is relatively safe, clean and with a stimulating culture. However our economy has not been growing fast enough in line with its liveability.
A strong economy is crucial for a successful city. It provides jobs, your income, the money from businesses available to sponsor our sports clubs, the City Mission and Westpac Chopper. Our focus needs to be on attracting more business to the city or providing an environment with minimum barriers for our smart Wellington minds to create their own industries.
The equation is simple more Business provides more jobs and that means more people paying rates so the rates burden falls across more people.
I aim to maintain the momentum behind Wellington's economy. Eight years ago council had limited focus on our economy and being a city that should be "Open for Business". Now council has focus through WellingtonNZ and we have some serious growth projects.... and they are regional, we are not just working in silos.
I realise that there are other issues and ideas that you would like to share. One thing I have learned is that council does not have a monopoly on good ideas and sensible opinions, so please email me yours at firstname.lastname@example.org
Who Is Simon "Swampy" Marsh?
Swampy has been a voice of Wellington radio for many years, he was one of the original owners of MoreFM and now together with his partner Chrissie runs the successful radio advertising business, www.radioadvertising.co.nz.
Simon and Chrissie have lived all over Miramar Peninsula and still pop up at open homes to see what's going on. Sam, their son, went to school here and their daughter Flis and family visit so Swampy can demonstrate the fine points of fishing for spotties off the Karaka Bay wharf.
They spend hours gabbing to fellow dog owners on Worser Bay beach when they have Charlie their retriever out for a walk or over a coffee in a local café. If you see him and want a chat, don't be shy!
What has he done ?
Swampy has been a communicator, using his abilities to assist both large and small Wellington businesses to grow and become more successful.
Along with his years as a voice on Wellington Radio, Swampy has given freely of his business skills and voice to the community. He has involved himself with Enterprise Miramar Peninsula, Wellington City Mission, Te Omanga Hospice, and Salvation Army Red Shield Appeal, as a board member of Autism NZ, the local school gala committee and as a Trustee on the Wellington Museums Trust Board, Wellington Zoo and now the Westpac Stadium Board.
Into his second term as Eastern Ward Councillor he knows there is always more he can do. He has a good understanding of how to get things done and how to be your voice on the Wellington City Council.
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Authorised by C.I. Drader 39 Seatoun Heights Rd.