Malcolm Macpherson
Mayor 2001 to 2010, Central Otago District

Some of these things wouldn't have happened at all
without my help

Every one of them happened with my help

Updated and refreshed 13 August 2019

Clutha Flood Recovery - About $30m of Government and Contact Energy money, applied to flood protection, property purchase, and direct compensation; pool and museum relocation; community hall refurbishment; and redevelopment of the Warehouse site in Alexandra.

As a district councillor and Alexandra community board member, I was an early champion (with many others), an outspoken public advocate, and chairman of the joint (with the ORC) operations and governance committees for the life of the project.

We take the protection for granted now, and most of us have forgotten how big a deal it was for the future of the town

And, incidentally, how touch and go finding and wrangling a solution was.

Seasonal Solutions - now a major player in the national horticulture labour market, while helping many hundreds of Vanuatu families feed, cloth and educate their kids. Began as the Central Employment Trust.
A brain child of me and QLDC mayor at the time Clive Geddes. I was the inaugural (and only) chairman, and kept the CET going through thick and thin - once paying the GST out of my own pocket

But subsequently with much more important contributions by recent Bledisloe Cup winner Basil Goodman, MSD, and the grower cooperative which now owns Seasonal Solutions

Apple Futures - A national project that had a big early boost from my office, with a team of growers, at a time when 'Apples' looked dead. Picked up by the industry, now underpins the international '100% Pure New Zealand Apples' brand. Very important for all Central's growers.

Early advocate, national working party member, champion within Otago Forward, member Apple Futures board of directors for the duration of that project

Now, in a direct line of descent, chair of Central Otago Premium Fruit Ltd

Safe Lifestyles - a Central Lakes Trust-funded project - out of my office with my leadership - that commissioned research on the lifestyle choices of young people, trialed the EZHELP phone line, assembled a reference resource, and controversially lobbied for awareness of drug use in Central's schools

Irrigation - with the late CODC Economic Development Manager Jono Gadd, assisted Central Otago irrigators make a powerful combined case for government support - that became an Irrigation NZ project.

Overtaken by a decade or more of further work by farmer groups and special-purpose committees (and by projects like Pioneer's Dairy Creek project - completed during my tenure at the Central Lakes Trust - 100% owner of Pioneer).

Warm homes Clean Air - a project that began in my office after some fairly pointed hints by then Dunedin North Labour MP Pete Hodgson, and then newly-elected MP for Otago David Parker.

Over the subsequent years this project has (and still is) improved the quality of life in thousands of Otago households, with multi-million dollar funding from EECA and others.

Now an Otago Regional Council project, with significant health and welfare benefits across all of Otago's winter-polluted airsheds.

If I had to point to just one thing that made the most difference to the well-being of my region, this would be it. For the first couple of years there was no budget (thanks Murray Washington - where did that money come from!), but we found a way to fund the project, and then found co-funders, and kept it going when it could easily have failed.

And it carries on...

Project Hayes - whether you think we won or lost, hearing the evidence in Central Otago - something the government did not support, but that as district mayor I argued for - added value to the outcome

Health camp - saved! A 300-strong march through Roxburgh, promoted by me, with the support of Roxburgh community board members, in the week the board met in Wellington to decide its fate, almost certainly 'saved' the camp. But now, years later, the camp is gone, victim to changes in fashion and in political correctness, and too small to matter to those who count. Saved? NOT!

Horticulture branding project - an Otago Forward project driven out of my office, intending to capture the premium value in international markets of Central Otago's apples, apricots and cherries. Now manifest as Central Otago Premium Fruit Ltd

China - building person-to-person relationships that will bring business to Central Otago. Perhaps, in retrospect, should say 'could have'? And now, 2019, not so clear-cut as it seemed in the mid 2000s. There's no doubt that China will be a big factor in New Zealand's future, for good or not so good. Understanding how and why is very important.

Ths event - for example - was entirely due to personal contacts between my office and senior officials in Henan Province in China, an offshoot of a sister city relationship, and my two visits to China while mayor.

But this project never came to fruition

And while that was going on, this too ...

Otago (now Southern) District Health Board
Elected board member, four terms

Committee chair, 2011 - 2013 term.

I stood down at the end of this term, was not a member of the fifth board (the 2013 board), which was sacked in 2015 - more about that elsewhere! But here's my 'exit interview', a column I wrote for the NZ Organisation for Quality magazine as I 'drove home from my last meeting' in 2013

Otago Polytechnic - co-opted board member, then full member, from March 2005 to July 2013

Now a permanent staff member, working for Capable NZ, 'unique in New Zealand' and exceptional internationally

Jolendale Park Charitable Trust - Inaugural chair, now member

Alexandra Men's Shed - inaugural chair of the trust, and with Trevor Goudie, team fundraiser