Former Hutt mayor eyes Kapiti job

JOEL MAXWELL
Last updated 12:16 07/05/2012
Mayoralty
FAIRFAX NZ
Local candidate: Former Hutt mayor David Ogden during the 2010 council campaign.

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Former Hutt mayor David Ogden wants to be Kapiti's next mayor.

Last week the two-term mayor, defeated in 2010, confirmed he is eyeing a run in next year's election.

Mr Ogden said there is a possibility that a super-city would be in place by the time elections are held in October.

"If not, there will be one more term in my view and I'd like to be involved in politics around the region in those three years."

Mr Ogden was dumped by Hutt voters when he stood for a third term, losing to Ray Wallace by 5000 votes in a bitter campaign.

Last week Mr Ogden took a low-key approach to sparking his run for Kapiti, saying he would not be attacking anybody.

"If I stand then it won't be as an attack on mayor Jenny Rowan, who I've sat alongside for three years when our times overlapped. It would be more along the line of 'it might be time for a change'."

The chartered accountant accepted he would be tagged as a carpetbagger in Kapiti, where he owns a home in Waikanae and has business and sporting links.

"I am what I am. I'm an experienced, achieving local politician. Everybody that comes new into a scene is a carpetbagger. You've got to start somewhere."

He said defeated mayors can get "bitter and twisted" after losing but he has been a "perfect ex" since 2010 - largely keeping out of politics.

"I've refreshed myself. I've got the passion back for it."

Meanwhile Ms Rowan welcomed interest from Mr Ogden in the Kapiti mayoralty next year but did not confirm if she was standing again.

"We live in a democracy where challenges are both expected and healthy.

"Kapiti is a very attractive district with a number of very interesting issues, so I am not surprised by this early interest in next year's mayoralty.

"I am sure there will be others who will show an interest before October next year."

Mr Ogden opposed water meters as a mayor and said any amalgamation proposals should be worked out through the regional Mayoral Forum.

He said he stood by his record in Hutt - touting the city's record on financial management with low debt and rates levels.

Mr Ogden has been on Greater Wellington Regional Council and is a Hutt Valley District Health Board member.

He said if someone else stood who he thought was better qualified as a mayor then he might think twice about standing - and was philosophical about his defeat in Hutt.

"People made their choice. They've given me a go for six years and they made their choice."

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- Kapiti Observer

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