Bagge thrilled by election mandate
Four Marlborough candidates have been elected to the Nelson Marlborough District Health Board.
Incumbent Gerald Hope was re-elected, and new candidates Jessica Bagge and Brigid Forrest were elected. Jenny Black from Marlborough was a ministerial appointment to the board after the 2010 election, but she was elected to the board on Saturday.
There were two Jenny Blacks running in the health board elections, one from Marlborough and one from Nelson, and both were re-elected.
Also elected were Pat Heaphy and Judy Crowe.
Fleur Hansby, who was elected to the board in 2010, did not get re-elected in this election.
A district health board spokeswoman said the seven members elected on Saturday would be joined by up to four appointed members before the first meeting of the new board on 17 December.
The newly-elected Nelson Marlborough District Health Board members officially take office on Monday December 9, 2013. Health Minister Tony Ryall would appoint up to four additional board members before this date.
The district health board would also advertise for community members for the Hospital Advisory Committee and the Community and Public Health and Disability Services Advisory Committee. These positions will be advertised on the board's website and in newspapers in late October and early November.
Save Our Services co-leader Jessica Bagge, who campaigned to join the district health board after winning a public commitment from the board to maintain services at Wairau Hospital, said she was thrilled to have been elected with three other Marlborough people to the district health board.
"It's a definite mandate for getting some action."
Considering the low voter turnout, Ms Bagge said it showed "exactly" that Marlburians really understood which candidates were from Marlborough.
"I can't say how many votes came from Nelson, but I think it was just intelligent voting really."
However, she said that after talking to people in Collingwood, Motueka, and Nelson, it was clear that it didn't matter where people came from, the concerns were the same.
For herself personally, she said she was "so excited".
"I really, really wanted to get on the district health board, I'm really excited it worked."
The low turnout of voters and the high number of informal and blank votes were a concern, and she attributed it to Nelson City Council having first past the post in its council elections and the district health board having the single transferable vote system, and the two different systems confusing people.
Marlborough uses the STV system for both council and health board.
Ms Bagge said the council would review its voting system in 2015, and suggested the health board might do the same.
- The Marlborough Express