Gisborne Herald chief reporter to stand for council

‘CONDUIT FOR THE PEOPLE’: Gisborne Herald chief reporter Debbie Gregory is standing in the city ward in the upcoming local body elections. She says it is time to fix sewage overflows into city rivers and keep spending within budgets. Her last day after seven years as chief reporter is tomorrow. Picture by Rebecca Grunwell
Debbie Gregory
Debbie Gregory

Debbie Gregory plans to swap her pen for politics.

The Gisborne Herald chief reporter for the past seven years decided six months ago it was time for change.

“Once I had resigned and told a few people, some suggested I should stand for council,” said the 53-year-old. “So I thought about it, did some research, sought advice, then decided to stand.”

Born and bred here, Ms Gregory says her work and life has given her perfect training to be a Gisborne district councillor.

“I have a huge knowledge of this district and of the council’s past and present plans. I also know how to find out what I need to know.

“I believe I am a great conduit for the people.

“I know there are things in the council’s long term plans that have to be done and I am not going to make any promises I can’t keep.

“One thing I feel strongly about is that it is imperative for the city’s image, reputation, future tourism and health that we stop the sewage overflows and keep human waste out of the city rivers. We have tinkered with this problem for over 40 years — it needs to be sorted.”

Rate rises are a big issue for this community with so many low income families.

“We have just got to cut our cloth to suit the purse. A lot of projects have been committed to over the next few years and I want to see these completed without cost blowouts.”

It is not the first time she has been approached to stand.

“ When I was in my early 30s I was asked to be the GreyPower candidate. I nearly did go ahead at that time but a conversation with my dad (Sefton) changed my mind.

“His mother, my absolute hero and grandmother Frances Gregory, was the first woman councillor in Gisborne. She was elected in 1962 and served 18 years,15 as the only woman.

“Dad said it was hard having a busy mother and if I did go ahead I had to put my children first. I had four young children. I made the call not to stand.”

“At that time, for 12 years, I lived on a lifestyle block and ran a weekly market stall at the flea market and Farmers’ Market.

“We grew and sold all sorts of fruit and vegetables, with kumara and citrus the staples. So I have a good understanding of rural issues as well as city ones.”

She has also taken up learning te reo Maori this year and plans to continue that learning to become fluent.

She is thankful for the support from her partner Frank Parker.

Debbie Gregory plans to swap her pen for politics.

The Gisborne Herald chief reporter for the past seven years decided six months ago it was time for change.

“Once I had resigned and told a few people, some suggested I should stand for council,” said the 53-year-old. “So I thought about it, did some research, sought advice, then decided to stand.”

Born and bred here, Ms Gregory says her work and life has given her perfect training to be a Gisborne district councillor.

“I have a huge knowledge of this district and of the council’s past and present plans. I also know how to find out what I need to know.

“I believe I am a great conduit for the people.

“I know there are things in the council’s long term plans that have to be done and I am not going to make any promises I can’t keep.

“One thing I feel strongly about is that it is imperative for the city’s image, reputation, future tourism and health that we stop the sewage overflows and keep human waste out of the city rivers. We have tinkered with this problem for over 40 years — it needs to be sorted.”

Rate rises are a big issue for this community with so many low income families.

“We have just got to cut our cloth to suit the purse. A lot of projects have been committed to over the next few years and I want to see these completed without cost blowouts.”

It is not the first time she has been approached to stand.

“ When I was in my early 30s I was asked to be the GreyPower candidate. I nearly did go ahead at that time but a conversation with my dad (Sefton) changed my mind.

“His mother, my absolute hero and grandmother Frances Gregory, was the first woman councillor in Gisborne. She was elected in 1962 and served 18 years,15 as the only woman.

“Dad said it was hard having a busy mother and if I did go ahead I had to put my children first. I had four young children. I made the call not to stand.”

“At that time, for 12 years, I lived on a lifestyle block and ran a weekly market stall at the flea market and Farmers’ Market.

“We grew and sold all sorts of fruit and vegetables, with kumara and citrus the staples. So I have a good understanding of rural issues as well as city ones.”

She has also taken up learning te reo Maori this year and plans to continue that learning to become fluent.

She is thankful for the support from her partner Frank Parker.

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Brett Mead, Havelock North - 3 months ago
Perfect candidate Debbie. All the best. The Herald will be sad to see you go!

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