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Meet your Mayor

November 11, 2019 November 2019 No Comments

Alex grew up in Christchurch, the youngest of five children. His father, a pilot, died in a helicopter crash when Alex was only two. Bringing up the family of five was difficult for his Mum, “ I know the ups and downs of a childhood under these circumstances” he comments.

He attended Christ’s College and from there was employed by Lion Breweries as a trainee manager. Deciding to further his education he left Lion to study for his Bachelor of  Commerce at Lincoln University, this included a year studying in America. On graduating he was employed by Xerox . 

While at University he met his future wife Julie Colton who was also studying in  Christchurch , in her case Canterbury University. They married married in 1994 at St Andrews Church Martinborough, Reception held at Fernside Tauheranikau and then went to live in South Africa, where they stayed for two years. 

Julie did not want to bring up children in a city so on returning to New Zealand thy decided to live in Julie’s home town, Martinborough. Alex knew Martinborough well enough having be ‘bought home’ to meet the family on numerous occasions . 

Alex initially took up the position at Go Wairarapa as Manager of Wairarapa’s Information Centres. He later commuted to Wellington to a position in an on-line research company. The company did quite a lot of research for the Wellington City Council. He eventually joined the Council’s Research Dept. as a full time researcher where he worked for two years until the Christchurch earthquake bought a changed of plans.

A very good friend’s business was badly disrupted by the quake and Alex agreed to help out, he went down and took the position of GM of tech engineering in the company. He commuted, flying down on Monday mornings and home again of Friday nights.  This continued for five years when he decided that was enough 

Julie is now the family commuter travelling to Wellington where she is the Corporate Manager at IPCA. 

Alex and Julie have three now fast growing up children ; John who is studying Mandarin at a Chinese university India who is studying for her B. Com. at Massey University and Charles who is on a ‘gap year’ before joining the army. 

Alex’s recreational interests include gardening and  Classic cars. He can see that he will now have limited time to enjoy these.   

Alex is clear on his initial focus of more transparency in Council. He intends to have council meetings videoed with these then being available to be viewed on-line.  Noting the number of items being covered ‘public excluded’ he plans appoint somebody the community trust with a governance background to check that there is good reason for the council’s voting to hear the item in committee. 

Another definite is his intention to make himself readily available to the  residents by spending  time in each of the three towns, being somewhere where locals can come and discuss local issues, “ the mayor has to be visible and relevant ” he said. 

Alex also intends to empower the Community Boards to make them a more effective conduit between the community and council. Improving the council’s culture is also high on his list. “This has to come from the top down – example led” he explains.

Highlight: Alex is clear on his initial focus of more transparency in Council. His intention to make himself readily available to the residents by spending time in each of the three towns, “ the mayor has to be visible and relevant ” he said. 

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