Stephen Cope For Matamata-Piako District Council

Vote Stephen Cope for Matamata Ward.


I spend time to help youth in Matamata, teaching the next generation and giving them new experiences


Improved cycling trails and public transport including trains

Predator Free

Removal of introduced predators and pest plants will allow our native wildlife to flourish and improve yields for farmers

Tēnā koutou katoa

Tēnā koutou katoa, ko Ingarangi te whakapaparanga mai, engari, ko Matamata te kāinga inaianei. Nō Tāmakimakaurau ahau. Ko Stephen Cope au.

Hello, my name is Stephen Cope. I live in Matamata. I was born in Tāmaki Makaurau. I moved to Matamata after working in education in Auckland and in the finance sector overseas.

You may know me from my volunteering, including tutoring Code Club at Matamata District Library and as Cub Leader at Matamata Scouts.

My aim is to keep Matamata-Piako beautiful and our rivers swimmable with the continued removal of introduced predators and pest plants. I support cycling trails, public transport, and increasing opportunities for youth.

See some more details on

Opportunities for youth

Our youth are important to our future and they need skills and opportunities here in Matamata-Piako.

That's why I volunteer my time and experience to teach Code Club at the local library, and why -- with the help of other parents -- have been a Cub Leader with Matamata Scouts.

Stephen Cope for Matamata ward council

Remember to cast your vote in time for the 8 October deadline.

Sustainability and Natural Beauty

Matamata-Piako is an amazing part of Aotearoa New Zealand where highly productive agriculture and farming takes place, as well as the natural beauty of the Kaimai Ranges, Te Tapui Scenic Reserve, the rivers and streams, and our own backyards. My goal is that in ten years and beyond this region will be as green, as beautiful, and as teeming with native bird (and bat) life as it currently is, or more so. With the uncertainty in weather due to climate change this will require our District Council to take a lead in making that happen.

Our current Sustainability Policy looks good, contains the right words and actions, and only runs for the ten years up to 2022. It's in need of an update.

Yes, if I am elected, I will work to update and implement the Sustainability Policy.

Prioritising is an interesting challenge as the rewards and costs vary greatly between each item. To reduce the amount of Council documents that are printed is not hugely rewarding by itself as over the past decade it has become far more commonplace to read documents on a tablet or phone instead of distributing them on paper. So the cost/benefit of each would need to be recalculated.

Vehicle fleet policy is a good one to start on. The most recent Long Term Plan identified converting the fleet of council-provided cars from fossil fuel to battery electric. Due to the size of the district and the infrequent amount of public transport, providing staff vehicles will still continue and minimising emissions is a good second best alternative. As I started on my reply there were only three public fast charging stations available in Matamata-Piako (Matamata New World, Morrinsville New World, Manawarū). There are now five (Redberry Market and Te Poi Supermarket). Whilst the Council fleet will use dedicated destination chargers at home and offices, I will look at putting out to tender the provision of additional public fast chargers in areas without sufficient coverage starting with Te Aroha.

With my involvement in Predator Free Matamata you may already know I'm passionate about reducing predators, removing weeds and pest plants, and germinated natives to encourage bird life. My hobbies and interests work together very nicely with other parts of the Sustainability Policy: drought tolerant plantings in parks and reserves, developing a Climate Change Policy, and supporting local environmental organisations are symbiotic policies: a climate change policy will prepare for heavier rain requiring swales and rain gardens in our reserves, and supporting local environment organisations removing predators from the Kaimai Ranges will allow the bush to store more carbon.

One additional item that I'm still working on is how best to incentivise and recognise riparian planting that farmers are already undertaking across the district. Riparian planting has many benefits for water quality, reducing sediment and run off, decreasing weeds, providing a habitat for tuna (eels), kōura, etc, etc, that are not always adequately recognised in the short term. Any feedback on how best to implement that is welcomed!

I want Matamata-Piako to still be green and productive in 2122 and we'll get there through sustainability.

Getting around the District

Heading into town for a cuppa? Walking the kids to school? Yes we can!

Matamata is flat, easy to walk around, and doesn't need a car - currently.

Whether you're old or young, running or needing a walker, we still want to keep that community feel.


Whether you're biking to school or touring up to Manawarū for a cuppa, cycling trails are brilliant. Whether you're a tourist or a local, bike trails are a space to let us move around the district and take in its beauty at our own pace.

Introduction of the bus routes from Matamata to Hamilton is a good step. Let's see some more connections, including the return of passenger trains to Matamata Train station, connecting up to Frankton and allowing for transfers on to Te Huia. Tourist just arrived at Auckland Airport? Climb aboard the train, destination: Middle Earth.

Our friendly community and wide footpaths make it easy to walk, scoot, or bike to school or take a stroll to the shops. If we want to go to the park or pick up some milk from town it should be possible, no matter if we have a car or if we are having personal struggles with mobility, Matamata-Piako should be easy to get around.

I am proud to be listed amongst the pro-train candidates on the Rail Coalition's website.

Vote for Stephen Cope!

Remember to cast your vote in time for the 8 October deadline.