Fifteen candidates have been nominated for six positions on the Wairoa District Council with three people in the running for the Mayoralty.
The nominations for Wairoa Mayor are two-term Mayor Craig Little who is seeking re-election along with Jennifer Takuta-Moses and Waipatu Winitana, who are both also standing for Council.
The 2019 election will see six candidates standing for the three General Ward seats and nine candidates standing for the three Maori Ward seats
In the General Ward, three incumbent councillors are seeking re-election, Denise Eaglesome-Karekare, Hine Flood and Jeremy Harker, along with newcomers Dave Evans, Murray Olsen and Waipatu Winitana.
In the Maori Ward candidates are Kuini Beattie, Danika Goldsack, Carol Grant, Melissa Kaimoana, Kurawari Panere, Jennifer Takuta-Moses , Wayne Taylor, Hinenui Tipoki-Lawton and Chaans Tumataroa-Clarke.
Wairoa District Council chief executive Steven May is thrilled with the diversity of this year’s candidates.
“This demonstrates that Wairoa is a leader with its community actively participating in the elections process.
“Our candidate range features 75 percent of candidates who are Māori, 56 percent of candidates are female, and we have drawn a lot of younger candidates.
“Elections are important to all of us, our whole community, and it’s awesome to see these candidates put their hands up to represent their community.
“I think it’s going to be a great election season.”
Mr May said the Council also acknowledged the three incumbent councillors who will not be re-standing for the Wairoa District Council.
“I wish to extend the appreciation of a grateful community to outgoing Councillors Min Johansen, Mike Bird and Charlie Lambert for their service to our community while they were on Council.
“After nine years as a Councillor, Min Johansen has decided to call it a day and two-term Councillor Mike Bird has also decided not to re-stand.”
Councillor Charlie Lambert will not be re-standing, but instead will make a run for the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council.
Mr Lambert and incumbent Wairoa councillor for the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council Fenton Wilson will contest the vacancy.
“The three councillors who are not seeking re-election have all worked hard for the benefit of the Wairoa district, and they leave an important legacy for our community.”
Min Johansen said after 29 years of serving on committees, boards and Council it is time for a break.
Reflecting on his last nine years as a Councillor Mr Johansen said his highlight is definitely the halt of Wairoa’s population decline and turning that into population growth.
“You just have to walk down the main street and see people you don’t recognise to know that more people are living here.
“People are coming home and moving here, and that is evidenced by the fact it is so difficult to buy or rent a house.
“National researchers BERL have also indicated Wairoa’s population is growing.”
Mr Johansen’s advice to new councillors is to take a year to listen and learn what you can’t do.
“Don’t think you can go in and change the world because that can’t happen, there are too many Central Government rules.
“You don’t do anything on Council by yourself, and all Council can do is put the direction in place, the rest is up to the community.”
He said it was great to see a range of candidates, but disappointing that some of the people who have the most to say did not put their best foot forward.
“Good luck to all the candidates, Wairoa’s a great town, and I look forward to it continuing to grow.”
Voting papers for the local elections will be delivered to households between 20 and 25 September.
Anyone who does not receive their voting papers should call into the Wairoa District Council office to carry out a special vote.
Voting papers must be returned by midday, Saturday 12 October.
The candidate list and other elections information can be viewed on our 2019 elections pages.
19 August 2019
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