Hutt City Council
The Hutt, my home
I was proud to be editor of The Hutt News for nearly 27 years, and to help give voice to scores of community groups and thousands of residents. I know what makes this city tick.
In my first term on council, representing the Central Ward, I’ve worked hard to thoroughly understand the issues and keep residents informed and involved. I’ve been the only councillor to serve on all four main standing committees and I’m one of only a handful with Resource Management Act qualifications. I helped formulate the city’s Local Alcohol Plan to limit health harm and social issues from too many liquor outlets and I’ve stood up for heritage, the environment, expanding housing options and the Living Wage.
I put out a regular E-Newsletter to interested local residents to let them know what’s being debated during each current round of meetings, so that they can have their say and indicate to me their preferences and priorities as I vote.
I’m 56, and Lee-Anne and I have been married for 35 years. We’ve raised three kids and our favourite weekend activity is to get out in the Hutt ’s parks and trails to walk our dogs Lily and Albus.
We love the Hutt and want the very best for its families.
Asking the hard questions
I’ll continue to ask the hard questions around the city council table…
I covered local authority meetings as a journalist for more than 30 years and now I’ve served my apprenticeship as a first-termer on council.
I’m not aligned to any political group, and I believe strongly in independent thinking based on the merits of an argument, not bloc voting.
I’d be honoured if you made me one of your picks for the six councillors to be elected ‘at large’ across the city.
If elected I’ll continue the approach I’ve taken as Hutt News editor and first term councillor:
- I will listen to and encourage people from all walks to life to have their say. I’ll continue to use social media and regular emailed newsletters to anyone who wants them so that locals know what council is up to, and can get real input on key decisions.
- I will ask questions to get to the heart of issues. Hutt City Council spends other people’s hard-earned money. Every item of expenditure has to be closely scrutinised for delivering value.
- I will strive for fairness for all parts of our city and for practical solutions.
These are my priorities –
- A new Naenae pool. Building a new pool is better long term value than trying to refurbish the old one, and construction periods are similar for either option. We need to get on with it. On the Naenae hub, I want to hear from people whether we co-locate it with the pool or find a better way to integrate it with Hillary Court and the original/heritage Plischke outdoor mall.
- We have a rates rise and debt limit strategy that should be adhered to. The Naenae pool shock may require temporary breaches (the costs of a building that will serve us 75-plus years should be spread across more than just the current generation), but we need to get back on track with financial and spending discipline as soon as possible.
- I believe climate change is a real threat, and that we should be doing our bit with the global community to limit greenhouse gases. Council can show leadership by switching council building heating from gas to electricity; creating safe cycleways and bike parking to encourage school children and commuters to reduce car trips; composting green waste and working with the regional council to have a much better central city bus hub than exists in Bunny St.
- We need lidded wheelie bins for recycling, to stop wind-blown littering. Re-negotiation of council’s rubbish & recycling contract will allow this. There are also options for future refuse collection that could be lower cost than currently.
- The Riverlink floodway, promenade and Melling rail improvements project will transform the central city. We must maintain relentless pressure on the government to commit to a new Melling bridge/interchange and save tax/ratepayers money by doing joint resource consents. By creating the right environment, developers will build the inner city apartments that will bring new life to central Lower Hutt, with more cafes, restaurants and boutique shops – just as we’ve seen in Wellington and Petone.
- We need more investment in smoother, even and pothole-free footpaths. They’re an over-looked piece of infrastructure but they’re vital, especially for the young, the old, those with disabilities, mobility scooters and other micro-transport options. Falls from tripping on cracked pavements can have a devastating impact on an older person’s health and mobility
A bit more about me:
- Trustee Hutt Hospital Foundation Trust
- Member of the NZ Order of Merit for services to journalism
- Rotary Club of Hutt Valley member
- Enthusiastic (but pretty slow) Saturday morning Park Run participant
- Cycling and rail commuter
- Belmont resident since 1988
What others say about Simon Edwards
During my time as chair of the Eastbourne Community Board I have seen Simon in action. As a councillor he has been a strong advocate for the city to face up to the challenging environmental and social issues ahead of us. He cares about individuals, their neighbourhoods and the city. At Council meetings Simon has read and considered the vast reams of council papers and his vote is based on understanding and principle. Hutt City would be lucky to have Simon on our Council.
- Virginia Horrocks, Eastbourne Community Board
I have enjoyed working alongside Simon for the betterment of Lower Hutt. He brings a wealth of knowledge, integrity, an eye for detail and has the city’s best interests at heart. He is always listening to the community and trying to find the best solutions. Simon will continue to serve us all well as a City Wide Councillor, he has my full support.
- Josh Briggs, City Councillor
In his role as editor of the widely read and very community focused (Hutt News), Simon has been a significant and very vital part of this city. He had led us in times of despair and lifted us in celebration. He has been a great supporter of the rejuvenation of the city.
- Mayor Ray Wallace
If you have feedback, or need help with a Council issue, I’d love to hear from you:
Phone 027 484 8892
Facebook: search Cr Simon Edwards