Eight fresh faces feature in new-look Tasman District Council
New faces outnumber the incumbents eight to six in a new-look Tasman District Council.
The loss of many senior councillors through retirement or the election is likely to present a challenge for re-elected mayor Richard Kempthorne as he considers who to appoint as chairman or chairwoman of the council's four standing committees. Its engineering services, and environment and planning committees in particular have heavy workloads.
Incumbent deputy mayor Tim King, who's been in the role since 2001, has been re-elected and looks likely to take up the responsibility again. Kempthorne said he would "almost certainly" be recommending King for the job.
King, who was also chairman of the corporate services committee for the past three years, said he would be happy to take on the role of deputy mayor again. He would accept further responsibility, too such as chairman of one of the committees.
"I'm happy to do whatever best suits," he said.
Lakes-Murchison Ward councillor Stuart Bryant, who was declared elected unopposed, is an experienced representative who was chairman of the environment and planning committee for the past three years but his deputy, Brian Ensor, missed out on re-election.
Engineering services committee chairman Trevor Norriss did not stand again while his deputy, Barry Dowler, was not re-elected, according to the preliminary results.
Neither community development committee chairwoman, Judene Edgar, nor deputy chairwoman, Martine Bouillir, sought re-election to TDC.
Kempthorne acknowledged the challenge.
"There's a gap," he said. "I haven't given that any detailed thought yet."
The loss of long-serving councillor Michael Higgins was likely to increase that gap. The preliminary results had the Richmond Ward candidate in fifth place for the four councillor positions required with 2482 votes, 150 shy of his nearest elected rival, fellow incumbent Mark Greening.
Of the new councillors, four have experience with local body politics: Kit Maling, Trevor Tuffnell, Paul Hawkes and David Ogilvie. The others are: Dana Wensley, Sue Brown, Dean McNamara and Anne Turley.
The other re-elected councillors are Peter Canton and Paul Sangster.
Election of three women welcomed
Three of the four women who stood for TDC were elected – all newcomers to council.
Dana Wensley got 3420 votes, according the preliminary results, making her the top-polling Richmond Ward candidate.
Anne Turley with 2439 votes was second in the Moutere-Waimea Ward after incumbent deputy mayor Tim King on 2667 votes.
In the Golden Bay Ward where two councillors are required, Sue Brown received 1075 votes, according to the preliminary results, just ahead of incumbent councillor Paul Sangster with 1063 votes. The only other woman to run was Bryony Pearson, who also stood in the Golden Bay Ward and received 662 votes.
Re-elected Tasman mayor Richard Kempthorne said it was good to have women around the council table.
"It does modify behaviour," Kempthorne said. "It's a different mix."