Michael Laws leaving Whanganui

AUDREY MALONE
Last updated 05:01 04/03/2014
Michael Laws
MICHAEL LAWS: Moving to Timaru.

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Former Whanganui mayor and media personality Michael Laws is moving to Timaru for a new role at Craighead Diocesan School, and he is not ruling out a return to local government.

Laws made the decision to relocate to South Canterbury as a lifestyle change for his young family.

"I have lived my life in reverse.

"I have had 26 to 27 years in public life, now it is time they [the children] came first in my role as a solo father," Laws said.

While he would be changing his job, there may still be a possibility of him continuing in the political arena.

"I'm devoted to my children.

"That said, with all my local government and health board experience, I am happy to help if people want me to share that with them," he said.

Laws has twice been a MP and twice mayor of Whanganui. He is currently a district councillor and a district health board member in Whanganui, but intends to resign from both.

He expects to begin his new role at Craighead at the end of April.

The new position as development manager for the school will entail him fundraising for the school's new buildings, board of proprietors chairwoman Phillipa Guerin said.

"The role's sole purpose is raising funds for future-proofing the school's buildings," Guerin said.

The school has a three-phase building plan for which the money will be raised.

Part of the boarding accommodation, Shand House, which was pulled down in 2012, requires a $3 million rebuild and a new gymnasium is also proposed.

As an integrated school, Craighead is responsible for all its building costs.

Guerin said the creation of the development manager's role was a necessity in order for the school to remain current.

The position is initially a two-year fixed-term contract with the possibility to expand the tenure if it proves successful, she said.

"We had a strong field of applicants.

"With his fundraising experience, we believed Mr Laws to be the most qualified candidate," Guerin said.

Laws will visit the region next week to finalise accommodation, schools for his children, and to meet Craighead staff.

He said he was looking forward to moving to South Canterbury.

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