Councillors overcome erection problems

22:01, Apr 08 2014
Nelson City Council candidates
CLASSIC MOMENT: Nelson City councillors Matt Lawrey, left and Luke Acland with NCC customer services officer Di Lowe at the Nelson Market.

Two Nelson city councillors had a challenging start to setting up the council's meet-the-public stall at the Nelson Market.

The first step for councillors Luke Acland and Matt Lawrey was erecting a gazebo. One onlooker who videoed their efforts said it took them 45 minutes.

"We put our heads together and using some excellent team work overcame the problem and at the same time provided some entertainment for the people of Nelson," said Lawrey.

Acland called it a "classic" moment, comparing the complicated gazebo erection to council processes.

"We didn't know how to put up the gazebo, but it was quickly overcome because Matt and I are both sturdy engineers as well as being terrific councillors," he said.

"Oh, it was challenge," said Lawrey. "It wasn't just Councillor Acland and I who were finding it difficult at the start."


He was unsure how long exactly it took to put up, but "it was a long time" and estimated it at 10 minutes.

However, there was a silver lining as the problem created a buzz around the market and attracted people to the stall, said Lawrey.

He put the struggle down to design.

Struggle aside, the councillors said it was a successful day talking to the community.

"It was great, it was really good," said Acland. "We had lots and lots of people come up and I think that was partly because of the publicity before it, but I think people were really pleased to see us there in the market and being able to walk up and have a chat, which is exactly what we wanted."

He said people talked about a broad range of issues, including the annual plan and the Brook and, while residents wanted to talk about concerns, they were always respectful.

Lawrey agreed it was a great way to connect with constituents.

"It went really well, we were basically talking the whole time, yacking away from 7.30am until 1pm to a very wide range of people who wanted to talk about all sorts of things."

Lawrey said he knew it was not the first time the council had struggled with putting up the gazebo, but now he and Acland knew the mysteries of the structure they may "share the secrets of putting up the gazebo with other councillors".

New councillors have been the first to put their names forward for the monthly market presence with councillors Brian McGurk and Gaile Noonan on next month.