Hello… I’m Stephen Barrett
I was born in Christchurch, educated in Lower Hutt and Wellington.
I have lived in Manaia and Hawera for 30 years.
My wife Claire and I have raised four great children in South Taranaki.
I understand the priorities of families, work, schooling and health
I’m an Economics graduate from Victoria Uni, with many years of high school teaching mostly in mathematics, but also economics and physics. I also worked at Fonterra Whareroa for nine years doing optical instrument calibration, data analysis and spreadsheet software. I now work online
Why Am I Standing For the STDC?
- I can work with people of all backgrounds and I look for solutions that deliver long-term benefits
- I understand the issues, I understand numbers, and I understand that we must get this region growing
- I’m up to date with economic developments, I’m prepared to lead discussion and planning groups to identify and bring the best ideas forward.
- I have the focus and ideas required to help build the region
So, What Are the Issues?
We Should Be Investing In OUR Region
Why have a long-term investment fund if it invests in other people in other business in other countries? We shouldn’t! This is the major issue
- The Council has returned something $75million in rates rebates from the long-tern investment fund over the last 17 years.
- STDC needs to develop innovation and flair for intelligent local investment to create jobs, rather than invest in property, minerals, banking, retail and manufacturing in other countries. Why not invest in our community, our businesses, our local talent?
For too long we have raised and educated our children, only to see most of them leave the district for further education and training… never to return.
- I believe that the STDC should be investing in research and new industries to complement our already strong dairy and oil industries. We cannot afford to have too many eggs in too few baskets.One serious disease outbreak will spell major trouble for dairy farmers and their income. One significant environmental disaster in the oil and gas industry will cause serious long-term problems. Both would cause a major downturn in our economy.So let’s diversify and build industries that use local knowledge and ability. Added to that, we should invite the universities to send science graduates here to continue their research into specific projects that will benefit our region.
- I foresee a Technology & Innovation Centre as a springboard for scientific and business ideas.
- This would undertake scientific research for the region, based on our natural resources and abundant ‘can do’ ability. It will attract long-term graduates and scientists to the region and will create good quality jobs for locals. Let’s do it…Some examples might be:
- a honey-bee production facility to export bees to the rest of the world where there is a major decline in bee populations.
- biofuels plants to investigate home-grown and clean-burning fuels for farm
- investigation into what horticulture is best suited to our soils and climate, and specialise in those crops to supply other North Island centres.
- forestry and shelter research to develop varieties we can use to build a better ecosystem, and which supplies other regions
- wind and solar power. Has anyone noticed that the world has changed and these are major trends? Why is that? It’s because they are sustainable and they create jobs, as well as addressing climate change concerns.
- biogrow and organic systems to reap the premium for organic products
- fertiliser research to develop alternatives to phosphate which has cadmium contamination worries. Alongside this would be investigations into water quality. Let’s develop/define best practice.
All of the above are environmentally sensible and sustainable, and will develop expertise we can utilise to turn good ideas into goods and services that are in demand.
We must plan for population growth – it won’t happen by itself!
If we boost diversity in industry to create jobs, we’ll provide significant opportunities to encourage school leavers to stay in Taranaki. The sooner they see real opportunities on their doorstep, the sooner they’ll make plans to stay here, to settle, and to prosper.
This innovation centre would also serve the needs of local businesses by investigating new products, new methods, and new thinking. This would improve business competitiveness and would reassure business owners that the STDC was offering more than a pat on the back. It would be offering to undertake research to build their businesses with the goal of increasing employment.
Let’s invest with iwi and other major groups to make a difference. People will stay if we create the jobs – it’s that simple!
Council must reduce long-term debt.
12% (=$300) of my rates is interest on money the Council has borrowed on my behalf. Yours will be similar. In return, the LTIF rebate was less than $160. Let’s reduce debt faster and find better ways to work because the present plan isn’t working!
With proper investment we will create a thriving business and scientific region which will pay an excellent return in job creation, population growth and a broader rates base. We can reduce each ratepayer’s rates simply by doing better things
Let’s Oppose Council Amalgamation
We are more than capable of developing great solutions without see jobs and expertise
and control moving to New Plymouth, just like we’ve seen with health services.
We Need a Decent Recycling Centre
We need a fully-functional recycling programme that employs locals and leads in responsible waste management. Recyclable materials shouldn’t go to landfill, as at present. Let’s borrow or adapt or develop best practice solutions and promote them
Let’s Improve Our Record On Alcohol
Council should tighten up on alcohol availability and trading hours. Let’s drive people to work, not to drink and drugs. This will save young lives…and help people to see life positively.
We Need a Proper Debate on Fluoridation
The ‘consultation’ held by the STDC in Patea/Waverley earlier this year was a farce.
Why do I say that?
1. Over 80% of people polled were opposed to fluoridation. STDC took no notice. Why? Does the Council think so little of citizens’ opinions? How ironic that we have elections…
2. The ‘fact sheet’ put out by medical and dental authorities was innacurate and misleading. Why was that allowed?
3. No-one at STDC was qualified to make a decision on medical grounds, so they took a lot of notice of a local doctor who was not neutral and a dentist who conducted an unscientific survey. And, of course, the STDC took a lot of notice of many health authorities around the world who, at least in my opinion, have a fixed agenda and are not about to listen to recent research. The very basis of the STDC decision was flawed.
4. Dentists agree that nutrition, then regular brushing with fluoride toothpaste, then water fluoridation are the most effective means of protecting teeth… in that order! What they are happy to ignore is that water-borne fluoride affects the whole body and many recent studies bear this out. Let’s deal with nutrition first and get that right.
5. Fluoridation is about whole-body forced medication, not just about dental care.
6. The UN recently agreed to begin the phase-out of amalgam fillings because of their toxicity and the potential for severe health damage: “The final mercury treaty session took place in Geneva, Switzerland in January 2013. There the mercury treaty was finalized, and included important provisions to reduce and eliminate mercury pollution, one of them being a requirement for countries to phase down the use of dental amalgam (mercury fillings).”
It has taken the dental profession decades to understand what many have long suspected: mercury-based fillings are dangerous. Let’s hope they come to the same realisation about fluoride sooner rather than later.
So, if you would like to see positive changes in our district, and would like to live in a region that encourages talent to stay and work, then…
Vote Stephen Barrett for South Taranaki District Council
Please Discuss This With Friends & Neighbours… ask them what they think.