Drug dealers of Rotorua beware, Mayoral candidate John Rakei-Clark has you in his sights.
Rakei-Clark has thrown his hat into the ring for the Mayoralty and tackling Rotorua's drug problem is a key plank of his somewhat unorthodox manifesto. "A Class drugs are a nationwide epidemic that is tearing apart our communities, it is stealing our young, causing crime to accelerate and causing our children to live in these environments," he said.
While the extent of Mayoral powers to tackle crime remains a moot point, Rakei-Clark said he would embark on the biggest illegal drug crackdown New Zealand has ever seen. He said convicted dealers would have all their personal property confiscated, would be deemed internal terrorists and denied residence in Rotorua. He also proposes a Hui with all gang captains, motor cycle and fishing clubs "to discuss a future without A Class drugs".
It's not all about combating drugs however. Rakei-Clark has plans for an extensive youth programme including apprenticeships, after school activities and better use of skate parks. Elderly voters are promised safer bus transport and an expanded St John's. "I am standing for Mayor because I see the dissatisfaction in the businesses. "I see the poverty in the people. I still see children walking to school in bare feet in icy conditions. "I'm appalled at how some of the local residents line up outside food banks at Churches and Maraes. "I'm tired of the crime rate that affects us locals and I'm tired of a promise of a better future."
Rakei-Clark said incumbent Mayor Steve Chadwick has failed to deliver on promises to tackle poverty and crime, and he is confident of his chances at election time. "I was groomed for this job over the last 30 years. Not only do I believe I can win, but with the skills and knowledge I have gained I know I can improve the quality of our town with the resources it already has," he said. "Due to my passion to improve Rotorua, I believe the people will vote for me. The people of Rotorua are dissatisfied and disillusioned with our present leadership. As for the other candidates, none of them are me."
24 August 2016