BRADEN FASTER / Stuff
Local Government elections are back – so far most Tasman District Councilors are throwing their hats in the ring to be re-elected, and half of Nelson Town Councilors have confirmed their intentions.
There could be new mayors heading Nelson City and Tasman District councils in October.
In Tasman District, Richmond Ward councilor Mark Greening has said he intends to run for the top job, and although no one has declared his intentions for Nelson town hall, two councilors leavers said they were considering the position.
Candidate nominations are to be open from July 15 to August 12 with mail-in voting beginning September 16. Election day is October 8.
Tasman District Council elections will be held under the first past the post system. Nelson’s elections will be held under the single transferable vote system.
*Nelson ward voting system confirmed after call
* New councilors are excited to get to work on a joint council
* Rachel Reese won the race for mayor of Nelson
* New Tasman District Mayor Tim King eyes better rural engagement and revamped committee
* Most incumbents stand for re-election to Tasman District Council
“A lot of people push me to stay up,” Greening said. “The removal of debt rates and caps…relieved the pressure on the board to rein in spending. It’s been a circus. Voters need to mandate a new broom.
He has repeatedly raised concerns about the level of council spending, calling for a tightening of the council’s tax caps.
Greening has been criticized for having the lowest attendance record at meetings of the full council and its three standing committees in 2020-21. His presence has also been in the spotlight before.
Incumbent Mayor Tim King said he was undecided at this point whether he would run again.
“July is far away,” he said.
Richmond Ward Councilor Trevor Tuffnell said he has no plans to put his name forward again.
“It’s rover everywhere,” Tuffnell said. “For a number of reasons, including age, I will become an interested viewer.”
Among other Richmond ward councilors, Kit Maling said he intended to run again for the ward as councilor ‘at this point’, while Dana Wensley did not respond in time .
Two of the three Moutere-Waimea ward councilors, Anne Turley and Dean McNamara, said they were undecided. Christeen Mackenzie said she would raise her hand again for the same role “at this point”.
The three Motueka ward councilors – Barry Dowler, Trindi Walker and David Ogilvie – have said they intend to re-run in the same roles, although Ogilvie added the caveat that it was “too early in the year – with so much going on with the board – to make a definitive statement”.
Above Tākaka Hill, the two outgoing Golden Bay ward councilors – Celia Butler and Chris Hill – said they both intend to run for the same council roles.
Deputy Mayor of Lakes-Murchison Ward Councilor Stuart Bryant said he, too, intended to rest “at this point.”
In Nelson, councilors Matt Lawrey and Rohan O’Neill-Stevens have both said they plan to throw their hats in the ring for mayor.
O’Neill-Stevens said he would definitely run for council, most likely at-large rather than Stoke/Tāhunanui Ward or Central Headquarters.
“Following suggestions from a number of community leaders, I am seriously considering running for mayor, but I want to continue talking to the community before making a final decision,” he said.
Lawrey said he plans to run in the Central District and “is also considering running for mayor.”
Councilor Tim Skinner said it was still ‘rather early’ for considerations and there was a lot of work to focus on ahead of the election, but said he intended to run again in the elections.
Councilor Mel Courtney said he was still considering ward options, but planned to run again.
Councilor Rachel Sanson did not say which ward she would run in, but said she planned to run again and wanted to thank the supporters who had helped her through “a very difficult two and a half years”.
Councilor Trudie Brand said she intended to run for council again and at this stage intended to run in the Stoke/Tāhunanui ward.
Councilor Kate Fulton said she was not yet ready to announce her intentions and Councilor Gaile Noonan was unable to respond due to illness. Mayor Rachel Reese was absent and unavailable for comment.
Deputy Mayor Judene Edgar said she had “not given any thought to these machinations yet”. Councilors Pete Rainey, Yvonne Bowater and Brian McGurk also said they were still considering.
At a Glance – Tasman
CANDIDATE FOR MAYOR
- Maling kit
- Christen Mackenzie
- Barry Dowler
- Trindi Walker
- David Ogilvie
- Celia Butler
- Chris Hill
- Stuart Bryant
- Tim King
- Dana Wensley (did not respond in time)
- Anne Turley
- Dean McNamara
In Brief – Nelson
CONSIDERING THE TOWN HALL
- Matt Lawrey
- Rohan O’Neill Stevens
- Brand Trudie
- Mel Courtney
- Rachel Sanson
- Tim Skinner
- Yvonne Bowater
- Judene Edgar
- Pete Rainey
NOT DECLARED / UNABLE TO RESPOND
- Rachel Reese
- Gaile Noonan
- Kate Fulton