Mark was elected to the Hamilton City Council as an East ward councillor in 2016.
Extra roles and responsibilities
Waste and Recycling taskforce for 2 tears, leading the new waste minimisation plan and completing the new domestic waste contract. Chair of Access Hamilton for the last year, working on a fully linked cycle network, free buses for youth and disabled and all transport issues and plans. I was council rep on the Waikato University animal ethics committee for a year. Deputy Chair of the Community and Services for 6 months. Parking taskforce.
Running as: Independent
If there was one thing you could change about Council, what is it and why is it important?
How we engage with our communities and hear their voices. It’s the first and major priority.
What were your priorities for the current term? What achievements are you proud of and why?
I had five priorities. Some I’ve achieved, others not yet.
1 – Market Hamilton to Hamilton. This is starting to happen with the strengthening of our community outcomes but there is still a lot to be done here.
2 – Building up not out. Central city v urban sprawl. I managed to retain the CBD DC remissions, but was unsuccessful in votes against the Peacocke HIF and more infill in the outer suburbs. I will continue this work.
3 – Hambassadors – We’re halfway there. The goal was to turn parking wardens into ‘Ambassadors’ and automate the inner city parking. We now have the technology installed but it is still reliant on Parking Wardens to monitor it. Meanwhile I have donated several professional training hours to personally training the wardens to be exceptional communicators in order to make parking a service rather than a tax.
4 – Community Gardens. Proud to have strengthened the structure around community gardens guidelines and assistance but would like to see more groups set up in Hamilton, with both land and funding assistance. This is a priority for next term. I also want to see the Gardens Arts Festival become a city wide garden festival including harvest and best street competitions. This also plays to priority #1 – marketing Hamilton to Hamilton
5 – Care for our neighbours. Council’s role is to create an infrastructure that encourages neighbours to meet each other, converse and support their own communities. I am an advocate for a ‘Kinder Kinda Hamilton’.
I am very proud of the lowered speed limit and new intersection of Thomas and Gordon Rds. No injuries or deaths since. Proud of the reshaping of Claudelands bridge as the safest cycle crossing in town. Proud to have been an active leader in the Christchurch shooting vigils. Proud to have moved the 10 million dollar Waterworld upgrade. Proud to have got unanimous council support for the new $95 million kerbside recycling scheme. Proud to have served.
Have there been Council decisions in this term that you were particularly disappointed in and why?
Taking on the HIF – we are saddling our community with huge future debt so we can sprawl. Dissolving the 9 million dollar vibrant Hamilton fund – our one chance of having a true community grants scheme. Allowing a free-for-all trial of E-scooter hire without limiting the number. Having to increase rates in year 2 by so much, although I see it was necessary to fix the parlous state the community infrastructure had been left in by the last 2 terms of council.
If re-elected, what are your priorities?
To make Hamilton the easiest and safest place to get around and by become the cycling capital of the Southern Hemisphere. To finish the five priorities listed above. Market Hamilton to Hamilton, Build Up not out, Hambassadors, Community Gardens and Care for our neighbours.
Candidate responses have been published verbatim from a Politics in the Tron survey sent to all incumbent councillors and the Mayor.