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 at Council.
My name is Brent Cairns, married to Shirley for 36 years, and a Joiner by trade. Have successfully managed a number of businesses in the plumbing and building industry. Self employed for 20+ years running our photography and sculpture business, with exporting experience to 15 different countries.
We moved to Kaiapoi 17 years ago as we had outgrown our Christchurch home and studio and we quickly fell in love with Kaiapoi and the district.
We became more involved in the community by both volunteering for St John and I also joined the local Volunteer Fire Brigade. Where I learned some great life skills and met wonderful people along the way.
Everyone wants to live in a community that is safe and friendly and that’s why I joined North Canterbury Neighbourhood Support and am the Chair.
We have seen that active neighbourhood support groups have proven to reduce crime in an area, making them more connected and resilient. I encourage everyone to visit www.ncns.org.nz and sign up for information and alerts and have a look at the number of resources that are available to make you and your property safe.
Vibrant, fun communities come from groups running awesome fun events and that’s why we joined All Together Kaiapoi as Trustees. Waitangi Day, lantern festival, Spring Festival and Party in the Park to name just a few, are just some of the events we are involved with.
With being part of GreyPower, I have found talking to members who have a wealth of knowledge and getting their perspective on issues that effect them, I can make more informed decisions which in turn will benefit them.
The cost of food is becoming increasingly difficult for some families to afford. Five years ago Council came to me and asked if I would start a community Food Forest in Kaiapoi. It’s a place where people come and picnic, children play and I have had people tell me that they love to visit the Food Forest also to learn about how to grow food sustainably and enjoy awesome events and they really enjoy foraging for seasonal foods, especially the raspberries and strawberries.
The latest food forest development is at Gladstone Park, near the Woodend Menzshed. We planted the first fruit trees there on the 11th September. As Chair of the Kaiapoi Food Forest I have 23 food forests on the go from Hanmer Springs to Timaru.… By building Food Forests we are Growing Food – Growing Community
I would like to see more food forests in and around the district. Activating and revitalising our parks and reserves, enabling local residents to forage for fresh seasonal produce. With the aim of helping people with their food budgets and through educational workshops at the Kaiapoi Food Forest, along with the added bonus of walking around a food forest is great for ones wellbeing.
Successful local businesses will employ more people and we know that local businesses and staff then spend money locally. ie Support, Shop and Eat Local.
Six years ago I created an online business directory called https://kaiapoi.info. The website is supported by a Facebook page where I constantly promote what local businesses and clubs are doing. Hundreds of people each day use our site to support and buy local.
I am currently an elected member of the Kaiapoi Tuahiwi Community Board, however will not be standing for re-election. I have learnt a great deal from being elected to the board and have formed good working relationships with Council staff and feel that its been my apprenticeship to step up to stand for Council.
The issues ahead:
In August Medium Density Residential Standards came into effect. Kaiapoi, Woodend (including Ravenswood) and Pegasus will permit up to 3 houses up to 3 storeys high (11m plus 1m for pitched roof) per site in relevant residential areas. Whilst I am in favour of intensification, I am deeply concerned about the proposed height of buildings and the negative impact on neighbouring properties.
I would like to see walking and cycling tracks connecting Kaiapoi and Pegasus and Woodend. We have around 6000 cyclists travelling over the Waimakariri bridge each month. Woodend, Ravenswood and Pegasus businesses are missing out on these cyclists visiting and spending money. We should insist on a safe way for students who want to bike from Pegasus/Woodend/Ravenswood to Kaiapoi High School by providing a safe cycling track.
The recent rain events in July showed how our climate may change and with that comes additional expenditure to fix roads, streams and infrastructure. This is going to put pressure on Council to focus on priorities and look for creative solutions as opposed to always imposing rates increases.
The current Three Waters legislation that is going through Parliament will see the control of assets that you and I have paid for, being taken over by a co-governance model. We all want great drinking water and waste water not polluting our water ways. But the issue is local people know best and what is needed is a model where we can call on central government to provide funding and not place the burden of paying for services solely on ratepayers.
Our district is awesome, I would like to see a better, more affordable model for how we promote the district. Bringing visitors to the district will give more jobs to locals, put more money in local business owners hands, bring more businesses to the district and increase the opportunity for locals to work local, as opposed to taking the lengthy and expensive commute into Christchurch.
If you were to ask yourself what qualities do you want to see in a candidate? Someone that can lead, someone that knows how to chair meetings and be part of committees, be a good listener, someone that builds relationships, someone that is active and makes a positive difference in our community.
I would hope to hear that I tick all those boxes.
Vote Brent Cairns
Authorised by B Cairns – visit https://BrentCairns.com
Vote for Brent Cairns, someone who makes things happen.
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 various issues they are having…and I love using my contacts to help them out.
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 )
(The district population is growing, many on fixed incomes.. 4-5% 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 – Strawberry Fair, Matariki events 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 Living Wage District
There are only 19 Council staff currently earning less than $23.65 like to see all staff earning at the very least the living wage.
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
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.