Standing again in 2016
Please see Standing for Mayor of Kaikoura in the 2016 Local body elections.
The rest of this page is from my 2004 campaign - I leave it here for history if anyone is interested.
2004 Election over
The reality is that only about 120 people thought I would be best for the job, and over 900 thought Kevin Heays would do a better job.
Several questions came up during the campaign that I didn't clearly answer.
One was why did I stand for the Mayoralty only?
The biggest consideration I had was timing, as I put it recently in an email to some supporters:
I don't see there being enough time for me to do another 3 years on council, then 3 years as mayor, and still make the 2020 deadline for achieving my vision for humanity www.solnx.org.
If I am to use the political route, then I need to be close to government by 2008 at the latest. So as far as making a contribution to this community via the Mayoralty, this term is my only option. For me the Mayoralty is a training ground for the project, that gives me experience of governance, and grows my credibility. A win-win outcome for all involved - if it happens.
I have learned so much about governance from both the training and my mistakes at both council and BOT.
I am acutely aware that every year I delay 6 Million people die from starvation or
disease that is preventable by simple hygiene.
I am also acutely aware that the probability of major war goes up substantially as time goes on and the cost of power increases.
The only possibility for a peaceful future for humanity that I see involves cheap
and plentiful power (solar is the only real option).
Global warming is only a side issue, compared to warfare from the competition for dwindling resources - if we stay locked with oil as a power source.
Living a very long time appeals to me also - as 50 approaches rapidly my mortality becomes a major issue.
So - either I am mayor this time, or I focus on making money, and achieving the project
via that route, and maybe being mayor in 30 years or so, once the project is behind me.
Whatever the outcome on Saturday 9th I will be happy, and have a plan forward.
The other major question was about the ACT party, and how could I belong the "that lot"?
The answer to that one has two parts.
The first part is that what attracted me to the Act party is the principals of maximising wealth for all and of personal responsibility. Those are the things I stand for, not what is reported in the papers.
The other part of the answer relates to how I relate to News Papers generally. I have been reported in newspapers often and from that personal experience I judge that what is printed in them is inaccurate more than half the time. I have found them so inaccurate that (with the exception of the Kaikoura Star) I don't read them any more. I keep forgetting that most people relate to what is printed in newspapers as factual. I don't.
Election is over, my commitments stand, on with life (www.solnx.org).
Whats is below is what was on this site prior to the election.
2004 Election time again.
I am standing for Mayor because I believe I have the skill, knowledge and commitment to make a real contribution to this community.
What skills? Why vote for me? How will I make a difference?
I am a good listener, with a wide background of experience from being raised on farms, to fishing, to training as a scientist and philosopher, to work as teacher, engineer and technical advisor, to politics. I have been a volunteer in community groups for over 30 years, and have some skills at finding commonality and bringing understanding and consensus to decision making.
I am invovled in many community groups. I am an Honorary Fisheries Officer, and Civil Defence warden for the area from Lyall creek to the Kowhai.
I can be a very quick thinker, and am in the habit of asking questions when I am uncertain about what someone has said. I have had a lot of training at communicating through JayCees, then through Landmark Education. I have some idea how much I don't know, which keeps me listening to what others have to say.
I am one of Kaikoura's greatest fans. I love the place, the people and its natural beauty. This town has everything for me. I grew up with farmers, and have some understanding of their needs, and the times of the year when they have no time for anything but the needs of the farm. Similarly with fishermen, I spent 16 years as a commercial fisherman. We have a strong community of scientists here, in marine and geophysical sciences (both areas I am trained and interested in). We have a town, with all the trades and interests that entails, and we have tourism. Tourism offers much, and can take much. People come for the natural beauty and we must find that path that both protects what they seek, and offers them access, and provides benefit to those that are here for other purposes.
One idea that I believe has much to offer is to promote Kaikoura as a center of excellence for tourism and hospitality. This would build upon the work already done by Whale Watch, & Dolphin Encounter in establishing Kaikoura with an international reputation for eco-tourism, and the Council's initiatives in "Green Globe". It would encourage educational institutions to set up specialist training centers here in support of these industries. Such concepts are well established internationally, and work particularly well in places like USA and Ireland. Training already employs many in town, and could employ many more.
I will investigate ways to meet the cost of infrastructure required by expanding tourism, other than from rates. Ratepayers (many on fixed incomes) cannot be expected to meet these costs. There are huge costs to tourism, as well as huge benefits. The funding model for councils (which is rates) works reasonably well when dealing with land-using activities. However, where the activities use little land, but lots of services (roads, water, planning, sewerage, and waste) then the model breaks down. Over half the people hours spent in Kaikoura are non-resident (tourists). That means that resident based funding is being stressed. Previous councils and local businesses have made some significant initiatives, and there is room for much more to be done. Tourism has shifted focus from numbers to quality, which brings its own set of problems and pressures.
I will encourage opportunities for youth to play, grow and work here, to sustain a healthy community. A healthy community requires a broad range of people. We are a family oriented species. We are happiest when our families are nearby (even if we do fight with them occasionally). We need to provide our children with some amenities, and with the attitudes, abilities, willingness and opportunity to succeed here in Kaikoura. There will always be some who choose to leave, I want to see that all have a real choice to come back. I work in the area of technology. I design and support computer systems. I can do it from almost anywhere on the planet, and I choose to do it from here. This place has everything I want.
We have a wealth of older, talented people; let's make it easy for them to share their knowledge and experience. While we do have a magnificent physical environment (in the mountains coasts and oceans), the real wealth and opportunity of any community is it's people, and their attitude to each other and their future. Kaikoura has great people. We also have some real problems, racial and social, some of which go back generations. The first step in addressing any problem is acknowledging it. Once it is in full view, it can be dealt with, and worked through. If we pretend it isn't there, we cannot do anything about it. I am involved in many areas of the community, and sense a real willingness by most people in all of those areas, to face up to the realities, and to take the steps to create a great future. I'm sure it will be an interesting road, with many problems to occupy us, and I am also certain that we can get there if we focus on that future, and see everything as a necessary step along the path to getting it. I am excited by the prospect.
Innovation is needed to enhance the ocean, coastal and mountain environments, as well as the water, roads and sewerage systems. I have a long history of environmental activism. I am trained in environmental sciences - marine and terrestrial ecology, biochemistry, and geology. I am also a businessman, and understand the needs of business. I know that both can and must work together to be successful. Kaikoura has more incentive than most to make this happen. Our focus and reliance on eco-tourism makes it critical, and immediate.
I have also had some training an experience in engineering. We are a small community. We cannot afford to take huge financial risks. Yet we can and must look widely for solutions to our problems that are proven in other places, perhaps other countries. Water supply, waste and sewerage disposal are major costs. Flood and earthquake protection need some significant thought also - we are very high risk for both. (They come with the beauty - everything has a cost.)
The coastal and lowland environment has been heavily modified by humans, and most of it needs to remain so. However, I believe that returning some areas to native bush and native wildlife will have huge benefits for tourists and locals alike. I see the proposed Marine Reserve as a major part of that - a win for everyone - and will be promoting it.
Finally, I promote clear rights with responsibilities, openness and accountability. I believe that every right carries with it a responsibility. To claim the right to life, you have a responsibility to ensure the lives of others. To claim the right to property, you must respect the property of others. Rights and responsibilities are two sides of the same coin - one without the other makes no sense. I believe in the fundamental human rights to life, liberty and property. Those rights carry the responsibilities above. At the next level, I believe that people work best when what they are expected to achieve, and what they must respect in doing so, are clearly known.
Openness and accountability are key. I believe that communication is the key to success in any group endeavour. Information must be able to flow between all people. Not just top down, but also bottom up. Modern technology - particularly the internet, allows ease of access to communication that was previously available to very few, to be available to all. Learning how to use it effectively is something else, and can be taught quite quickly, yet like all things takes practice to master. Like all powerful tools, it is a two edged sword. It is possible to spend too much time communicating, and too little time doing. Balance is essential. I am committed to seeing this Council make much better use of modern technologies to effectively and efficiently assist the members of our community to achieve their objectives.
If you've got this far - well done.
Thank you for taking the time, and making the effort.
My Standing for Mayor of Kaikoura in the 2016 Local body elections.
Ted Howard, 1 Maui St, Kaikoura, NEW ZEALAND