Mayoralty candidate making his mark

Mark Boyle, who is running for the Western BOP Mayor, has four governance pillars he’d focus on if elected. Photo: John Borren/SunLive.

Te Puke’s Mark Boyle is taking his second tilt at the Western Bay of Plenty Mayoralty in October’s Local Body Elections.

Why? “I’ve been encouraged to do so by people from Waihi Beach right down to Otamarakau,” says the 61-year-old managing director of Te Puke Economic Development Group.

Mark joins Western BOP councillor Don Thwaites in the race for the WBOP district’s top job, which will become vacant with Mayor Garry Webber’s retirement.

Both men ran for the job in 2013 but lost to former Mayor Ross Paterson. He retired ahead of the 2016 election, where Don lost his second bid to Garry Webber.

Four pillars

If elected, Mark says there’s four governance pillars he’d focus on. The first is to be strategic with a good plan. The second is good risk mitigation and compliance.

“The third is performance monitoring holding people accountable for progress that council needs to make.

“Finally, the fourth, a strong governance culture and organisational culture that’s all about enablement and excellence with focus on ratepayers and residents and their expectations of council as a service provider.

“Collaboration is key in utilising our economic, human and natural resources for the public good.”

While Mark thinks council covers all four pillars now, “the messages I’m getting from people is that they’d like to see a strong enablement culture and see progress in a number of different areas”.

Mark says Western BOP is a high-growth region with enormous opportunity “so we need to focus on economic development and provide infrastructure for generations to come”

Housing is critical

He says, like elsewhere in NZ, housing is critical for Western BOP. “We’re part of a national story and because we have a big economic driver of kiwifruit and agribusiness growth means we need more housing and other accommodation solutions.

“Councils can’t build houses but councils can have an influence over the delivery of infrastructure making it swifter and easy to get on with.”

If elected, Mark would implement a long term settlement pattern in the District Plan – “because we have to know where industry is, where the growth is and have a long-term view of where people are going to live and how they want to live. We have to be thinking 50 years out on this pattern”.

He points to Omokoroa still lagging infrastructure. “Houses came before infrastructure – it is back-to-front. That’s why you’ve got to have a long-term plan for infrastructure so people come and build houses and everything is connected. Not people build houses, now how are we going to manage it?”

Amalgamation view?

Would he support amalgamation of any of the Bay of Plenty councils? Mark says that is for democracy to decide. “If people want to merge they have a voice.”

With government pushing ahead with slightly amended Three Waters legislation, Mark says it’s a case of local councils playing with what’s in front of them. “We have to ensure our needs and sustainability, now and for further generations, is taken care of. So we need to have a strong position in whatever this new entity is...but it’s a national issue and something we’ll have to work with.”

As for a Katikati bypass, Mark says “I’d do my utmost to make it happen”. “We have to be in the face of government talking to them, being collaborative with them and making a case for this to be a national priority…roading and access to our settlement areas is critical.”

Mark hasn’t been elected to council before, but as an outsider coming in says: “I know a lot about Western BOP and how the council works as I’ve been engaged with them on all things TPEDG”.

Nominations for mayoral candidates is open July 15-August 12. The election is on October 8.

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