NZ's longest serving mayor calls it quits

06:39, Jun 27 2013
Frana Cardno
Southland District Mayor Frana Cardno enjoys a spin around the Wyndham Street race circut on a big red BMW on Saturday in 2006.
Frana Cardno
Prime Minister Helen Clark and Southland District Mayor Frana Cardno at the opening of the Rakiura National Park at Lee Bay, Stewart Island, in 2002.
Frana Cardno
Southland District Mayor Frana Cardno is happy with the days returns in the money jar. Mayor Cardno in 2001 was fining her councillors for using jargon and abbreviations.
Frana Cardno
Southland District mayor Frana Cardno and chief executive David Adamson at the local Government commission hearing on respresentation review.
Frana Cardno
Gnome folk of Fiordland (Gnuffs) from left Claire Maley-Shaw, Frana Cardno (Southland District Mayor) and Mary Hill are members of the Save Fiordland Campaign.
Frana Cardno
Southland District Mayor Frana Cardno, left, and former All Black Charlie Woods attend a reception for All Blacks Jimmy Cowan and Andrew Hore in 2011.
Frana Cardno
Southland District Council Mayor Frana Cardno in 2011 was ready for recycling in Te Anau after rubbish and recycling bins arrived.
Frana Cardno
Southland Mayor Frana Cardno waits patiently as MP Pete Hodgson takes the weight off his feet in a toilet that appeared overnight at Half Moon Bay. The pair were on the island to officially open the extension to the islands sewerage scheme in 2005.

Southland District Mayor Frana Cardno is bowing out of local politics.

Cardno, New Zealand's longest continuously serving mayor, will not contest the October elections.

In a statement released this afternoon, she said: "This decision has been one of the hardest I have ever had to make. On one hand I have loved the past 21 years, and have felt very proud to represent Southland.

Southland District mayor Frana Cardno speaking this morning at the public submissions hearing for the proposed Riverstone Holdings monorail project.
Frana Cardno

"On the other hand this will enable me to spend more time with my children and grandchildren, and hopefully other opportunities will open up to me because of the reduction in commitments."

Cardno said the Southland District was in good heart.

"I think I can pass the mantle of the district on to good hands and I wish all those who contest not only the mayoralty but also those standing for council all the very best."

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The Southland District Council had developed from an organisation coming to terms with amalgamation to a coherent and unified council that made excellent decisions on behalf its residents and ratepayers, she said.

She paid tribute to council staff and also thanked deputy mayor Jim Copland for his support.

She also acknowledged the support and love of her late husband, Murray, who died two-and-a-half years ago.

"I may have been mayor, but Murray was my unpaid assistant, answering the phone whenever I was away, educating people on the issues, driving me from appointment to appointment at all hours of the day and night, being a sounding board for ideas even though there were times when we were possibly at the opposite ends of the spectrum and most of all to be there when I returned home exhausted after long days.

"After 21 years of continuous service as mayor, I feel it's time that I hang up those chains and it's an opportune time to move on to do some other things. I still believe I have things to offer the community and I will look at other roles where I can contribute constructively to make Southland a better place for us," she said.