Introducing Olive Webb, an independent Rural Women NZ member from Hororata, Canterbury who is standing for the Mayoralty of Selwyn.
Has being a Rural Women NZ member influenced your decision to stand?
Absolutely. I live in rural Canterbury. I have been a member of the Canterbury District Health Board for 13 years and was a board member of Rural Women NZ’s company, Access Homehealth Ltd for six years. I am a rural woman. It is a natural progression to move from the Health Board to the mayoralty, where I can be more focused on wider rural issues than just health.
What do you see as the most important qualities for the mayor?
The people of Selwyn need a champion and leader to ensure that they can enjoy the quality of life that they should have. They need someone who loves Selwyn, who understands rural issues, and who also understands the diverse challenges facing the fastest growing district in New Zealand.
What are the top three rural issues facing the Selwyn community?
- Intensification of land use challenges us to manage our water so that it is plentiful and clean and sustainably managed.
- Rural roads are fast and deadly if not well maintained. The intensification of land use means that hundreds of milk tankers, logging trucks as well as increased numbers of cars are thrashing the roads. We must have a comprehensive plan for maintaining and repairing roads.
- The mayor and Council must engage with ratepayers and stakeholders across the whole district. Those working the land must be positively supported to apply best land use practices that the environment can sustain.
If you could change one thing affecting the rural community during your term in office, what would it be?
Closer engagement of the mayor and Council with the people of Selwyn, so that the Selwyn District Council is positive and innovative in assisting people’s developments and productivity. It should be easy to do well in a beautiful place like Selwyn. As Mayor, I will be the ratepayers’ biggest champion.
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