Susan O’Regan – On the Spot

  • What is your position about a third bridge over the Waikato River near Cambridge?

Susan O’Regan

My position on the bridge is really clear – I want a third river crossing for Cambridge – that’s what we all want. The issue is around how we pay for it. I don’t want the financial burden of a third bridge to be put on all ratepayers across our district.  And I certainly don’t expect Cambridge residents and ratepayers to pay for a multi-million dollar asset on their own. We really have to get our ducks in a row on this one so that Waka Kotahi will come to the party and I will be advocating on behalf of residents and ratepayers for central government so that they do.

  • What are your views on the possibility of a short to medium term response to the Cambridge traffic woes by adding an additional Waikato Expressway on/off ramp near Cambridge Golf Club?

I am interested in common-sense solutions to any congestion in our towns. We would need to work with Waka Kotahi to assess traffic flow and determine the costs and benefits of a northern on-ramp. I’d be interested to hear what members of the community think about that, whether there is a real demand or it is a ‘nice to have’. We all want the same thing – improved traffic flow and options, it’s just a case of making sure we make sensible and informed decisions for our communities.

  • Quarry pressure – the number of applications to expand quarry space and establish new quarries seem on the increase. Do you have views about that?

Any development activity must consider environment and community impact, and that’s why a committee is set up to consider all resource consent applications. We have to trust this process is robust and will produce the right results taking into account everyone’s interests.

13 June 2022

We are hearing very strong rumours that you intend standing for mayor of Waipā District Council despite your earlier announcement you would be standing down from the council.

  • Is it correct you intend standing for mayor of Waipā District Council?
  • If so, why?
  • If not, do you intend standing for the council?
  • What has led to your change of mind? (if indeed you have changed your mind).

Reply received 21 June 2022

I’ve been considering standing for mayor for many months. After two terms in council, there are so many reasons why the time is right for me personally. For Waipā, it is definitely time for change.

I am formally announcing my campaign to run for mayor this week. I’m really excited about the lead up to the election. Lots of conversations to have, plenty of issues to discuss, and no doubt many new people to meet.

Those who know me know that I am straightforward, open and honest. They know that I have energy. Most importantly, they know that I listen. I hope to meet many more people in the district, and I’m looking forward to hearing about their concerns and sharing ideas.

I’m standing for mayor because it’s time for change. As a district, we have a lot to be thankful for. In most areas, council is doing a reasonable job. Our direction of travel – where we are headed strategically – is good. But there are some key areas of improvement which need to be made.

We need to make it easier for people to deal with council. Council needs to communicate much more effectively – and that includes listening to our community much more actively. And we need to focus on a future Waipā which is exciting, attractive and a viable option for young people once they enter the workforce.

For all of these reasons, we need fresh leadership. I have the energy, the experience and the desire to do well for our district. That’s why I’m standing.

Earlier this year, I confirmed that I wouldn’t stand for a third term as councillor for the Kakepuku ward. After two terms, I felt that I had served my ward well, and that someone else should now have the chance to do the same. It’s super important that representation does not become stale, and I wanted to leave the seat on a high note.

I thought that it might be time for me to re-enter the private sector. I was wrong, and realised so within days. I still have a lot of energy to give, and that I want to serve the wider Waipā community. It actually took starting to step away from local government to realise that now is not the time to leave public service. I had an honest conversation with my new-found colleagues and said that my heart was still in local government.

I’m now focussed on becoming mayor of Waipā. Over the next three months, I’m hoping that a lot of people in our district will meet me and understand why I would make a great mayor. If the community chooses to vote me in, I’ll do Waipā proud. I’m ready, and I believe the district is too.

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