Napier resident Paul Bailey brings a fresh face to the race for the Regional Council’s Napier ward. Mr Bailey became interested in what was happening at the Regional Council due to his involvement with ‘Don’t Frack the Bay’. According to Mr Bailey, after attending council meetings, and making written and oral submissions, it become clear to him that “the leadership of the Regional Council is stuck in some sort of 19th century thinking time warp”.
Mr Bailey is concerned that the oil & gas industry is being welcomed with open arms yet there are only three lines of industry specific regulation in the Regional Resource Management Plan. “I am aware that council has passed a resolution to implement any regulations recommended by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment but the industry is not waiting for the release of her much delayed final report. Something needs to be done now.”
The dam is also of concern to Mr Bailey as he sees this election as the only opportunity for ratepayers to have a referendum on the issue. “Some current councilors have come out with opinion pieces in Hawkes Bay Today which are supportive of the dam because of the perceived economic benefits. Framing the argument in black and white terms such as either we have the dam or we don’t have growth is both disingenuous and yesterdays thinking”. He was hoping for a more rational debate but was not surprised it hadn’t been, given the way in which the process has been managed to date “I want to see all options put back on the table for consideration via genuine consultation with ratepayers because regardless of how much spin may be put on it, investing $160 million of ratepayers & taxpayers money in corporate agriculture via the dam may not be our best long term bang for buck” he said.
Mr Bailey is also a strong supporter of reopening the Napier-Gisborne railway as he sees the mothballing decision as very short sighted given the long anticipated wall of wood from the East Coast. He also supports Pure Hawkes Bay’s push for a GE Free Hawkes Bay.
What has attracted Mr Bailey to throwing his name into the ring is what he sees as a lack of leadership from elected councilors. He said that “from what I have observed over the last 2 years the direction being taken by the Regional Council has been dictated by staff rather than the elected representatives. It is time for the elected representatives to take back control of the direction in which the regional council is headed so that the region as a whole benefits and not just a select few. I believe that I have the intestinal fortitude to do this and promise to do my best to bring about positive change to council culture”.
For the last 12 years he has been a resident of Napier but before then spent time in Wairoa, Waipukurau, Hastings and Waipawa. He is married with 4 children and has had careers as a Rural Business Bank Manager, Debt Collector, and Business Owner. More information about Paul can be found at http://www.bailey4hbrc.wordpress.com