Anti-meter campaigner wins board seat
One of Kapiti Coast District Council's most vocal critics is now one of its elected members.
Anti-water meter campaigner Jackie Elliott has won a seat on the Otaki Community Board, beating opponents Chris Papps and Annie Bythell in yesterday's by-election.
Ms Elliott won in the second iteration of the STV election, beating Ms Papps 1223 to 1052. Mrs Bythell was eliminated in the first iteration.
Ms Elliott was still in a state of shock at the victory when she spoke to the Kapiti Observer yesterday. "I'm shocked and really, really excited."
She said her anti-water meter stance was the reason she won the by-election.
"There really isn't another issue as big as that."
The next local body election will be full council elections planned for next October.
Ms Elliott said she could work with the board over that year after becoming familiar with the processes of council.
"I'm really looking forward to a big learning curve now with them."
She said the result was a great step forward for democracy, and she had spent the last year encouraging people to take part in local body issues. Her efforts include organising a public protest against meters, and a petition calling for a referendum on the issue which gathered about 8000 signatures.
Last month councillor Ross Church challenged her to prove assertions he and other councillors broke their oath of office over water meters.
He said he would quit immediately if Ms Elliott proved what he called "lies on paper".
Ms Elliott was the first preference for most voters in the election, netting 970 votes to Ms Papps' 737 and Mrs Bythell's 711.
No candidate reached the 1209 threshold for an outright win so a second iteration was run, with Mrs Bythell eliminated and her second preference votes added to the remaining candidates. Voter turnout was about 40 per cent.