By Robyn Bristow
Mayoral hopefuls are starting to line up for the top jobs in the Waimakariri and Hurunui districts.
The two positions will be left vacant come October, with Waimakariri’s David Ayers and Hurunui’s Winton Dalley retiring.
However, Mr Dalley may not be finished with local government.
He confirmed to the North Canterbury News this week that he had not “discounted the possibility yet” of standing for a seat around the table of Environment Canterbury.
In the Waimakariri district four candidates have signalled their intention to run for the Mayoralty.
Sitting Waimakariri councillors Robbie Brine, Dan Gordon and Paul Williams will contest the Mayoralty with Jo Kane, a former councillor and deputy Mayor, also confirming she is giving the top job a tilt.
In the Hurunui district two sitting councillors -Julia McLean and Marie Black – have put up their hands.
All candidates in both districts have local government experience ranging from one term (three years), to 21 years around the table.
Dan Gordon, aged 43, who has served four terms as a Waimakariri District councillor says with the population projected to grow in the district by 20 per cent in the next 10 years – from 60,000 to 75,000 – an experience and energetic leader was needed to manage the growth and guide the district’s continuing prosperity.
He says its important to have empowered communities, and says his energy, extensive knowledge and involvement in many community organisations combined with his wide-ranging council experience equips him well for Mayoralty.
“Major proposals for community input right now include looking at how we implement the Waimakariri water zone plan addendum (ZIPA), funding ultraviolet treatment of water supplies, developing tennis courts in Rangiora in partnership with local clubs and investigating the provision of park and ride facilities.”
Paul Williams, a one term councillor, and a businessman, says he is standing because of his concerns about council finances which are “getting out of hand”.
He wants rates kept to an affordable level amd the council to spend more wisely and efficiently, while not slowing down progress in the district.
Robbie Brine says his 21 years around the council table gives him the experience needed for the top job.
He will encourage public-private partnership investment in the district, and provide a steady hand as the district and its towns grow.
He says there will be no major changes in governance and if elected will retire from the police force to devote his energies fulltime to the district.
Jo Kane says she has the leadership skills and the experience needed for the top job.
She is concerned continued rate rises are not sustainable and do not match communities ability to pay, and will also be focusing on drainage and roading which “post quake need sorted”. Tackling growth and the down side and benefits of it are also important, she says.
Ms Kane says more young people are needed around the council table and believes being a councillor should not be a “job for life”.
Hurunui councillor Marie Black, says as a lifetime resident of the Hurunui she has developed meaningful connections with the communities that make up our District.
She says her six years as deputy mayor and nine years as a councillor has given her the opportunity to listen, lead and learn.
“I have developed a deep understanding of the Governance role,” she says.
“This knowledge in addition to a wide range of community leadership roles over the past 35 years means I am well placed to fulfil the important role of Mayor and lead a council team into 2020 and beyond.”
One term councillor Julia McLean says she is approachable, honest and fair and has a strong desire to do what is right on behalf of people in
Her focus is on strengthening local decision making, enabling and including voices from varying backgrounds to be heard.
“My determination to see that Governance follows a fair and proper process is what people expect and deserve in the Hurunui.
“We must continue to work collaboratively to encourage people to settle in our communities, attend our schools and support and grow business. Facilitating growth is paramount to creating new opportunity and a collaborative and responsive council is crucial to achieving this,” she says.