John MacDonald: Why I’m standing for Queenstown

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I have had the pleasure of being an elected councillor for the past three years and being an active member of the great team we have had around the council table.

Last election I campaigned as I was very frustrated with what I saw as a lack of vision, planning, and action.

We have made huge progress on all three areas in the past three years, however, there is still plenty to achieve. I want the opportunity to continue to plan and implement our approved plans for the next three years.

Our Vision Beyond 2050 needs to be embedded in all our planning and actions, as does our recently adopted climate action plan. We are currently undertaking a spatial planning exercise with central government that will define and shape the future of our district.

One of my highlights from the past three years was being asked to chair the mayoral housing affordability taskforce, an issue I am passionate about and that is a huge issue for our district. We need our workers, families and retired folks to be able to afford to live, work and play here. We don’t want a gutted community where workers commute to work every day. The taskforce developed the Secure Home concept, which the Queenstown Community Housing Trust is now using.

My passion for our community also includes leading the formation of the Queenstown Community Hub Charitable Trust, which I chair in my private capacity, to establish and build a community hub where our not-for-profit community organisations can base themselves and be able to support our community as it grows without the pressures of high rents and lack of security of premises.

I am also passionate about health services and, especially, mental health and addictions services in the district. To this end I am also standing for a seat on the Southern District Health Board, and ask that you support me in this by voting ‘1’ for John MacDonald in the SDHB election. The district needs a strong voice at the table. I have considerable personal experience in this area.

I live in old Frankton, yes near the airport. I have been in Queenstown for 33 years and I still love and value the district and its unique environment, and want to continue to make a positive contribution to the future of the district.