Nelson Mayor Aldo Miccio has begun his election campaign with an event for his supporters, who heard he was a leader who did "away with the rules when they are getting in the way".
About 100 of his supporters, including several councillors, turned out at the McCashin's Brewery in Stoke for the launch yesterday.
The crowd heard speeches from several councillors and watched as boys from Victory Boxing performed a haka in recognition of Mr Miccio's recent donation towards that organisation.
The event was attended by councillors Pete Rainey, Mike Ward, Kate Fulton and Ruth Copeland, along with deputy mayor Ali Boswijk.
Mr Rainey gave a short speech, saying Nelson did not deserve three mayors in three terms, and Mr Miccio should be chosen regardless of who else had their hat into the ring.
Mr Miccio had the leadership and ability to pull a team together, which he had demonstrated in the current council, he said.
Deputy mayor Ali Boswijk then gave an introduction for Mr Miccio, saying small communities needed cheer-leaders.
Mr Miccio was a person "who does away with the rules when they are getting in the way", she said.
"He's very good at apologising later. I think that's a very important attribute to have, I don't say that glibly."
There were enough people employed by the council to make sure the rules were followed, she said.
Mr Miccio said his mayoral campaign was about future generations.
When beginning his campaign three years ago, he had said it was a six-year job.
The majority of council worked collegially, collaboratively and toward a common goal of making Nelson a better place, and he wanted those elected to the council this term to put politics aside.
"You have got to be able to leave the job knowing that you haven't compromised your personal beliefs, but be willing to compromise to achieve that common goal."
Speaking afterwards, Mr Miccio said he did not believe the launch was early, as it was effectively three months out from the election.
The event was not about promoting his mayoralty or gaining votes, but a way to recognise his supporters and for councillors to show collegiality.
His current campaign differed from his previous campaign in that he could point to a track record and group of councillors who had "a similar mind to keep things progressing".
Mr Miccio said he agreed with Ms Boswijk's comments, and his philosophy was to test pre-established ideas because there were better ways of doing things.
"A mayor's job is to be an advocate and community leader as well as someone that sets policies." He would not say how much he planned to spend, but said his campaign team had a plan mapped out and he expected it to be well within the $30,000 cap determined by law.
Mayoral candidate Rachel Reese said today she would be making campaign announcements but was currently focused on the council's annual plan, as all councillors should be.
Her focus in the past six months had been on making sure that the council and community understood the implications of the financial situation.
Recently she had also been meeting with people affected by the April storm event.
"If you're after parties and balloons, I have other priorities."
Brian McGurk, who is standing for mayor and for a seat on the council, is launching his campaign on Friday, July 12 at the Victory Community Centre. He said he would outline his campaign platforms at the launch.
Mr McGurk said he still believed that many in the community felt the current council was not listening to them.
"I am seeking the bridge that gap, providing a much greater level of engagement between the council and the community," he said.
Fellow candidate Richard Osmaston is understood to be overseas.
To keep up with the latest developments, check our online Election Notebook at tiny.cc/2hmjyw, and our Election 2013 section online at stuff.co.nz/nelson-mail/news/elections-2013
- © Fairfax NZ News
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