Candidate throws his hat in the ring

Published date22 June 2022
Publication titleWhanganui Midweek
A large white board fills one wall, and it’s an artwork of black bullet points and expanded ideas

“I want to engage with the community to see where we go,” he says.

He wants his mayoralty to be guided by the people he represents, to a large degree.

“What I’m keen to do is create a cross-governance forum to solve deep social problems ... and a people’s forum, ratepayers, where we can sit round and have a chat about what’s going on on the ground. Where are your pain points? Things like that. These are just some ideas.”

Andrew has a diverse background and has “done some stuff”, taking him to this point. He says future focus is important.

“I believe I’ve got the skills that are needed to take Whanganui forward.

“I’ve had some reasonably chunky roles around the world and in New Zealand as well,” he says.

Andrew was the first ever Pākehā student at Kauangaroa Primary School and began his working life on the family farm.

“I think that transition from farm boy, scrub cutting and sheep shearing, to working on the largest change programme in Europe at the time with IBM, to making massive infrastructure decisions with New Zealand Refining at the executive table, to having to roll out a global strategy with National Australia Bank across 40,000 employees and four continents, including the BNZ; through that has given me this unique ability to go from the hand piece to the whiteboard.”

Better living; climate resilience; connecting Whanganui to the world; differentiation through design — “arts, design, the awa and heritage, these are our points of difference, so to be able to accentuate those ... ” — safety in our streets; local government reforms — The bullet points on the board have a lot to say.

Andrew has spoken with all sitting district councillors to gauge support, of which there is plenty.

Mind you, he can pretty much communicate with anyone and feels comfortable doing so.

“Everyone’s got a story; everyone’s got beating hearts; we’re all trying to get on with life the best we can.”

He has done a lot of work...

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