Franklin Local Board is mostly made up of Team Franklin affiliates which has been said will bring a new unity and clear vision to upcoming projects.
Niko Kloeten is one of the new members on the Franklin Local Board. This will be his first term, he had previously run against Bill Cashmore for the position of ward councillor in the 2013 elections.
Niko has lived in Pukekohe for most of his life, and is raising his family here, which makes him heavily invested in Franklin’s future.
“Franklin has big challenges but I also see great opportunities if we get things right and have effective leadership, including from the Local Board. When Team Franklin approached me about standing, I jumped at the chance to represent my community,” he says.
He is ready to address the issues that face Franklin. “A major focus for the entire board is Franklin’s unprecedented population growth, which will require smart planning and investment in infrastructure,” he says. “I will push for continued improvements to public transport and the roading network, not only in Pukekohe but across Franklin. With voter turnout at around 40%, there is also a big issue around public apathy and disengagement from local government that needs to be addressed.”
With this being his first term on the board, Niko is ready to bring his energy, enthusiasm, a fresh perspective and a desire to understand the issues facing all parts of the Franklin community.
“My goal is to get out in the community and meet as many different people and groups as possible, so that I can understand their diverse needs and work alongside them to achieve results,” he says.
With a background in public relations and journalism, which has seen him write for titles including National Business Review and ASSET Magazine, he believes he has the communication skills that are vital for his role on the board.
“As a 29-year-old with a young family, I represent a part of the community that needs to make its voice heard in local government.” He hopes to continue projects like the Pukekohe Skate Park and Waiuku Sports Park, as well as create upgrades for transport in the area. A keen basketballer and writer, Niko is looking forward to being an advocate for the Franklin community.