Kirstyn Barnett Announcement of Candidacy

The following is the text of Kirstyn Barnett’s announcement of her candidacy for the Woodend-Ashley Ward in this year’s Waimakariri District Council elections.

Community leader Kirstyn Barnett has put her name forward for a council role in the Woodend Ashley Ward in the upcoming Waimakariri elections.

“I have been approached by many people who would like to see their councillors being visibly proactive in their Wards, giving greater recognition to community views and creating more long term action plans at the council table,” Kirstyn Barnett says. 

“Waimakariri is experiencing major growth and the needs of its residents are outstripping the current provision of core infrastructure.  We need councillors who are able to change with the times and look ahead by implementing development strategies which maintain a high standard of service to ratepayers, without placing an undue rate burden on households.”

Her decision to announce now was motivated in part by the mayoral candidacy announcement from David Ayers.  “Having worked with David on various committees and meetings, I am comfortable with his style of chairmanship and particularly his level of community involvement.  It concerns me somewhat that there may be other mayoral candidates who have not supported our community long term as David Ayers has done and may simply have other agendas.”

Daughter of an Air Force pilot, Kirstyn Barnett learnt social responsibility at an early age.  “My father taught me that leadership was something you learned by doing and that it was important to stand up and be counted.  His attitude was “don’t complain, fix the problem.”

Kirstyn Barnett was educated at University of Canterbury, doing a BA in Japanese language.  After working in Japan to gain fluency, Kirstyn was first employed in the tourism industry, before moving into sales/marketing through experience at Air New Zealand, in the electronics industry and as an advertising account executive.  She also worked for Mainstreets Hastings in CBD promotions, fundraising and event management, before returning to Christchurch.

Now a mother of two daughters, Kirstyn is involved in a wide range of community activities and runs the monthly Woodend Market.  She is the organiser of the Woodend Mural project which was completed in March 2010 and is Vice President of the Woodend Community Association (formerly the Woodend Residents’ Association).  As Coordinator of the Woodend Action Group, she coordinated Keep NZ Beautiful Clean Up Week in Woodend, organised promotions for the Woodend Spring Flower Show, ran public information meetings and created a website on the important Woodend bypass issue.  She is also parent coordinator of the newly established Woodend Walking Bus.

She is currently a Board Member of the Woodend Ashley Ward Advisory Board and Chairperson of the Woodend Community Centre Advisory Group.

Her interests include singing, drama and tennis and she is a member of the Waikuku Song Club.  She also describes herself as an avid Crusaders supporter and armchair referee.  Her husband Edward works for Tait Electonics and has a rural background.

If elected as a councillor, Kirstyn Barnett intends to continue her involvement in community projects and believes grass roots community contact provides excellent feedback.  “People are much more likely to talk about their ideas and concerns in an informal setting,” she says, “It is amazing how much valuable information can be gathered from the community simply by making yourself available in a forum with which they feel comfortable and not daunted by procedure.”  She will however resign as a reporter for local paper The Woodpecker if elected, as she believes there is a potential conflict of interest.

“I believe it is essential that the needs of smaller towns, families and young people in Waimakariri are considered in decision-making and I would be able to provide a much higher level of representation for this demographic at the council table,” Kirstyn Barnett advised.

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For more details, please contact Kirstyn Barnett on 312 2322 or Kirstyn@xtra.co.nz

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