Richard Young says Raumati and Paekākāriki are “the jewels of the Kāpiti Coast – but to keep those jewels shining takes hard work, so I’m committing to bring my skills and experience to Council as well as reflecting our diverse and vibrant communities”.
He is standing for the Paekākāriki-Raumati Ward council seat.
Moving to Raumati in 2018, Mr Young says he has immersed himself in the community and is proudly a volunteer train driver as well as the health and safety manager for the ever-popular Kāpiti Miniature Railway in Marine Gardens.
“Each week I see the joy on the faces of children aged two to eighty-two, it shows that well maintained local facilities are appreciated by all ages in our community. If elected I would seek to maintain and improve the level of services that residents are entitled to expect.”
Mr Young would be a new face at the council table but considers this to bring advantages.
“Sometimes it takes new people to bring the life experience needed to shine lights on well-meaning but poorly conceived policy. An example of this was the proposed changes to parking rules – rather than focus on problem areas, council looked to add an unnecessary layer of bureaucracy, requiring anyone parking on any public grass to apply for a permit. I presented a far more pragmatic alternate, which I’m pleased to see was adopted – this was my first but hopefully not last positive interaction with council”.
Mr Young has over thirty years of experience as a Chartered Civil Engineer and has worked across the world, moving from the UK to New Zealand in 2009 to lead Waka Kotahi’s Waikato Expressway project for several years.
“I’m proud that the live-saving road was delivered under budget and – had COVID not delayed final completion – only a few months late; the economic benefits it’s now delivering are huge. Now that Transmission Gully is finally open, we need to keep pressure on Waka Kotahi to finish the ‘missing link’ between Paekākāriki and MacKays Crossing so residents and cyclists have a safer road to use.”
Mr Young now runs a Raumati based transport consultancy and amongst other things, aids organisations working to improve the safety for pedestrians and cyclists.
“I would bring to Council both my commercial and technical skills to ensure that the decisions we make in the next three years are practical, efficient, and also take into account the environmental challenges we all face in the next few decades. As a local business owner, I’m well aware that Council should strive to efficiently deliver an environment that encourages innovation and growth. The same principles of ‘do it once – do it right’ that I apply in my business need to be entrenched in everything Council does.”
When not driving ‘little trains’ and running his business Mr Young is an avid cyclist, completing the recent inaugural off-road event from the Marlborough Sounds to Milford Sound.