“While City Council and DHB have big budgets they are also public services. It is vital to get the ‘financials right’ but this does not mean at the expense of our core values of serving our public.”
Martin has been part of and a strong advocate for the $430 million building programmes for both the Waikato and Thames hospitals. “As one of the largest hospital building projects in Australasia this has had a massive economic impact on our local economy, creating many jobs.”
Three years ago when elected to Hamilton City Council Martin states that earlier and well intentioned decisions, along with the economic downturn, meant that Hamilton was facing a future of escalating debt and hardship. That debt needed to be “reigned in.” Martin has been part of a council team that has achieved that financial control.
Martin was not on council when the V8 and Claudeland decisions were made but says “We cannot undo that which has been done, but we can learn and ensure that our future decisions are well researched, have proper financial processes and are well balanced to meet the needs of the community and to encourage economic development. Let us now work together to ensure that the Claudeland Events Centre becomes the success that we all want it to be.”
“Some city debt is essential in order to spread the cost of infrastructure over the several generations who will use them. It would be unfair for one generation to bear the total cost of very expensive infrastructure such as roads, water treatment and leisure facilities. This is the reason some debt is considered acceptable (on a low interest rate through the Local Government Funding Agency).”
“My primary concern is that we leave a good legacy for our children and grandchildren and that Hamilton becomes a better place to live work and raise a family. That means focussing on sustainable practices, looking at new ways of doing things and having the ability to communicate that effectively. We have a duty to balance the city needs of infrastructure and sustainability, with the needs and desires of communities, as well as the ability to pay.
All this requires, ongoing commitment, consultation and solid governance experience.