Brent Cairns

My name is Brent Cairns, I currently represent you as a member of the Kaiapoi Tuahiwi Community Board. At the 2022 elections I would like to represent you also at Council.

Local government is a fundamental part of a democratic system and the performance of your council, whether a city, district or region, matters. As a mayor, councillor or board member your decisions will have a major impact on the quality of life that you and your fellow citizens get to experience.

By choosing me you will have someone who is passionate about having your voice heard. I like to get things done making a positive impact on the community. On a weekly basis I get many calls from local residents wanting help with vaious issues they are having…and I love using my contacts to help them out.

I designed and manage the Kaiapoi Food Forest am Deputy Chair for Neighbourhood Support North Canterbury, Trustee for All Together Kaiapoi, help at Art on the Quay, represent you on the Waimakariri health advisory board, GreyPower to name a few.

Require Council to buy more from local businesses
(A vibrant and healthy society depends on a strong economy. We need to think Globally and act local.)
(Council spends over $70million a year on services…instead of looking at the bottom line, contracts must consider jobs for those in the Waimak, new jobs in the Waimak and new businesses in the Waimak… Waimak companies that create the most jobs for Waimak residents would likely win contracts… Further factors which would be required to consider include the whole of life cost of a project, economic resilience and environmental sustainability. )

(Encourage local campaigns to Support, Shop and Eat Local)

I lobbied hard for change to the way ENC (Enterprise North Canterbury) market the district.
I am pleased that that advise has been taken and their website now has been improved.

Encourage more businesses to start up or move to the Waimakariri and employ locals
(Want to reverse the trend of local residents travelling into Chch to work, spending money in Chch… this is better for the local economy, plus logical from an environmental point of view… one resident said they spend $150 per week on fuel )

Reduce rates
(The district population is growing, many on fixed incomes.. 4.3% annual increases is unaffordable… will ask each Council department to reduce their budgets by 10%, if they can’t find those cost savings, get in outside analyst that can)

Council are the largest employer
(Employ more local residents)

More Local creative events – Fire and Ice – Amazing race – River carnival – Spring Festival etc
(Vibrant communities have vibrant events attracting visitors and making the district a better place to live, I am a Trustee for the community Group You Me We Us and we put on many of the events in the township and I know that successful events makes a huge difference to the local economy and township)
(Kaiapoi has the greatest potential to attract visitors, we need to leverage the river, the amount of eateries and the events around the river, and Kaiapoi’s proud history of being an important trading post for food and Pounamu… building existing events and developing new iconic events)

If I am elected, I want preschoolers to swim for free during school hours. Green Prescription holders would swim for free.
5 year average is 82 drownings per year in New Zealand. Many locals head into Chch to get free entry to Christchurch swimming pools. The minimal cost to encourage young ones to learn to swim locally is a no brainer and should be encouraged by Council.

If I am elected, I want to increase some library charges.
Waimakariri income from all libraries is only 200K. Reviewing some charges, ie out of towners can use our libraries cheaper than a rate payer. This charge is to increase along with other lending charges which in some instances are 30% of Christchurch City Council library charges.

Involve community more
(Many situations where community consultation is a tick box process, I want community to be more involved)

Creative, Vibrant Communities
(Wheelchair friendly BBQ tables in parks, food forests in parks, unique seating, think outside of the box is to be the norm)

The First Living Wage District
There are only 19 Council staff currently earning less than $22.75 as at 1st September 2021.

Providing a wage increase for this small number of people is a no brainer and sets the right example for all Waimakariri businesses.

(The Living Wage has emerged as a response to growing poverty and inequality that continues to hold back so many Kiwi workers, their families and our economy. The Living Wage concept is very simple, yet such a powerful alternative – it’s the hourly wage a worker needs to pay for the necessities of life and participate as  an active citizen in the community. It reflects the basic expenses of workers and their families such as food, transportation, housing and childcare, and is calculated independently each year by the New Zealand Family Centre Social Policy Unit. )

Brent Cairns – Council and Kaiapoi-Tuahiwi Community board

My strengths-

Connections with the community, my ability to get on with a wide range of people. In regards to the Trust I set up for the Food Forest, I chose people with far better skills than I to make this community legacy project a success. I am passionate about Kaiapoi, I am passionate about helping people and I want to see Kaiapoi as the best river town in New Zealand. Making it a town where everyone wants to visit, where everyone is proud to live and work.


Arriving in Kaiapoi 15 years ago, I became involved in the community by volunteering for two emergency services. Became a trustee for You Me We Us an organisation that puts on local events. I set up and facebook page to encourage residents to Support, Shop and Eat local. This site has over 500 businesses listed. Whilst you will see many candidates for the first time…I have been actively campaigning for Kaiapoi for years.

Married to Shirley, father of three wonderful sons and a grandad. Our photography and sculpture business exports to 15 countries.

Two years ago Council approached me to create a community Food Forest (, with a vision of Connect, Educate, Nourish and Inspire. So far 1800 trees and plants have been donated by local residents and businesses, over 600m3 of mulch moved, in less than two years, this last growing season produced around 3000 kilos of food. We are growing food sustainably and encourage schools and groups to come and visit… Growing Food – Growing Community

Kaiapoi and the Waimakariri is a great place to work and live. The district population is growing quickly, with many on fixed incomes. I am concerned with yearly rate rises, we need more local jobs, we need to be more creative and fiscally responsible.
My business acumen and record for volunteering, allow me to appreciate issues in our community.

I am a pragmatic man, I am “Less Houee and more Doeee” type of person. The district population is growing faster than other areas of NZ. Much of that growth is with people on fixed incomes. I am concerned that each year we are facing rate rises. I have seen first hand what our Council are being charged by contractors and believe that we need to take a stand to be more fiscally responsible.

Brent Cairns member Kaiapoi-Tuahiwi Community Board


I want to tell you a story….
In the last few weeks ago we started to do more and more live videos around Kaiapoi… with the idea to lift the profile of more local businesses…
We did a video in one shop…and a few days later the business owner called us to have a meeting… I was thinking yikes…I didn’t ask permission I just did it… I must be in deep trouble…
So very gingerly I went to the meeting, expecting to get a blast… but….
The business owner said her sales in the last few days have gone through the roof…and they couldnt work out why..until they started to ask why all these people were coming in and buying…it was all because of our live video…
So we want to do more videos to help Kaiapoi businesses… but we want to give Kaiapoi businesses more…
Air time on Compass FM at a super only for Kaiapoi rate for a month, FREE Time with a Mentor, FREE Time with Lesley of Eco Educate to reduce waste and costs, social media assistance with posts, live videos on Kaiapoi Information facebook page as well as Compass FM…
If you own your own business in Kaiapoi…give us a call… and we will have Sally call you and tell you about the Kaiapoi Only deal…
Support, Shop and Eat Local Kaiapoi

Council to pay living Wage

Almost 300 Council staff, 19 of them are being paid less than the living wage which is currently $22.75 I want Council to set the example and pay as minimum the living wage… the first District Council that would be doing so.


Since moving to Kaiapoi 15 in 2005, I volunteered for two of the emergency service organisations and serves for around 9 years in each.

In 2017 I created a website  and facebook page that promotes the idea of people Supporting, Shopping and Eating Local Kaiapoi – I also created a site that targets visitors to the township, in addition I set up a North Canterbury arts trail

Supporting local is heart to successful communities, when you shop locally you meet local people and start learning whats happening in the township

Combined with the facebook page its the go to place for all of whats happening in Kaiapoi.. there are over 500 Kaiapoi businesses on that site

In 2017 I was asked by Council to create the Kaiapoi Food Forest on Cass Street… from a bare piece of land 2 years ago…we have had over 3000 trees and plants donated by the community. I have created an environment where we are Growing Food – Growing community, creating a charitable trust with some out standing volunteers.

I am Chair of the Kaiapoi Food forest, Deputy Chair for Neighbourhood Support North Canterbury, trustee for All Together Kaiapoi who put on events around the district, ie Waitangi Day, lantern Festival, Pop Up Cinemas, Spring Festival, Kane Shield Swimming Comp etc etc

I assist when I can at “Art on the Quay” Kaiapoi’s premium art gallery at the library.

If you want to contact me, please use the form below… or call 027 2224767

Would love to hear your views

Thank you

Brent Cairns representing you for Council and  Community Board