jon mitchell


Continuing the Lakes Weekly candidate guest editorial series, this week we hear from Jon Mitchell

September 28 2020 by Jon Mitchell

Continuing the Lakes Weekly candidate guest editorial series, this week we hear from Jon Mitchell, Labour Party. A born and raised Queenstowner…

What Queenstown needs from this election is effective representation in the next government.  After too many years of being taken for granted, the region needs mature, reliable, and strong leadership from someone with a deep understanding of local issues.
As your MP, I would be committed to supporting our communities and economy to get through the challenges of the COVID recovery. 

Currently we have a once in a lifetime opportunity to avoid returning to unmanaged growth and over-tourism.  I support enabling economic diversification, sustainable development, and higher-value tourism and jobs. 

I also want to lock in better quality, truly affordable housing, as well as fit-for-purpose maternity services, mental health, and aged care services for all of our communities.

Born and raised in Queenstown, when it was little more than a small rustic lakeside town with a short summer holiday season and beginnings of a ski industry, I have seen our communities go through constant waves of change. I am passionate about our people, environment, the delights of our communities, and our collective future. 

I left Queenstown in the 1980s to study geography and planning, and work in government agencies.  Queenstown was home again in the early ‘90s, with three seasons in ski industry management, a season in North America, between summers here in backcountry tourism.  I returned after the Canterbury earthquakes to emergency management at QLDC, while my wife worked as a nurse at the hospital.

We now have a rural property near Garston, within Queenstown’s expanding commuter belt, where we will soon build an off-grid home. We also have a small home in Wellington, close to my current central government disaster management day-job.  
Former mayor and MP, Warren Cooper, recently said whoever is elected here this year must be ready to hit the ground running.  I have accumulated over 25 years’ experience in local and central government, community resilience, economic development, and disaster response and recovery leadership in New Zealand and elsewhere. 

I have proven my ability to work with people from all backgrounds, achieving more equitable and sustainable outcomes for communities I serve.  I have become familiar from the inside with how Wellington and Queenstown tick, developing and improving policy and legislation, ensuring all interests are represented and listened to.  These are key skills for any new MP to get the job done for their constituents. 

My emergency leadership experience brings added value at a time it is needed most.  Over the past two decades I have been involved in developing plans, systems and leadership that our COVID response is based on, ensuring our communities and economy are safer than practically any other country.

Now is the time to put Queenstown on the political map – in a good way!

Jon Mitchell
Labour Candidate for Southland Electorate

- Jon Mitchell