Tonight my friend and your leading New Plymouth community advocate Michael Riley confirmed he will be running for the New Plymouth District Council in the City ward in the New Zealand local elections in 2016. There’s no doubt in my mind Michael is the right man for the job.
One of the main criticisms Michael will face as he campaigns for your vote will be his age. At the age of 17 he is, to my mind, the youngest candidate to confirm a run for council as he will have been 18 for only a few months by the time of the election. But here’s the thing, Michael doesn’t see age as a barrier – and nor should you. He led the successful campaign to bring Jetstar to New Plymouth which will ultimately decrease the airfares and bring competition to the Taranaki region. He was an influential force as a Youth councilor and lead an inspiring condemnation of the council’s woeful decision to end youth representation.
I’ve known Michael for little over a year now and his passion for his home town is both inspiring and encouraging. He’s spoken to the council on a wide number of issues in the chambers and isn’t afraid to raise his voice where and when he sees injustice – even if his opinion is, initially, unpopular. He stands his ground, and tackles the issues with his strong sense of local values.
Walking around New Plymouth with him is such a pleasure, as he has an opinion on everything and anything council and an endless stream of ideas to make things better and improve the lives of New Plymouth’s 50,000 residents.
He has the proven track record: advocating for economic growth, social development and the continued vibrancy of the New Plymouth district. His vision and policies, which he will set out before you in the coming months, prove for an exciting and fresh vision which is so badly needed in a region which is yet to claim its full potential.
New Plymouth can stay in the past with its false idea that young people simply don’t have what it takes to enact change; or they can choose Michael Riley. A young man with a proven track record who is totally committed to the future of the district. The council is in desperate need to reconnect with youth and Michael will achieve this, but its important to note that he will be a voice for everyone; young, old and in between. On the streets he’s keen to speak to anyone from any background, and will make for a great communicator on the council table
It is my honour to endorse my friend, our community advocate, and with your help our next New Plymouth City ward councilor Michael Riley. I hope you will join me.
Spread the word.
Riley at the TPPA: Walk Away march in New Plymouth.
Bennett Morgan – Insiders editor.