A former Southland Times journalist, who won awards for reporting on Invercargill City Council shenanigans, will now stand for a vacant seat.
The position is available after the resignation of Jackie Kruger.
Karen Arnold, 42, said yesterday the time was right to put herself forward. Ratepayers needed someone who would seek answers to the questions that mattered, she said.
Ms Arnold was named Qantas junior reporter of the year in 2003, with judges praising her investigative reporting of "Invercargill City Council shenanigans".
And in 2005 she won the Westpac business and financial journalism print news award, with the judges saying her story on bond contracts was "demonstrably in the public interest".
A fourth generation Invercargill resident, Ms Arnold said she would focus on the process of council decision making if elected.
She wanted the council to concentrate on core responsibilities such as roading and infrastructure.
"Once we have got those things done then we can look at other things. Let's look at what's important for the ratepayer first."
The likes of the council contingent's trip to China this month and the Auckland to Bluff yacht race were not core council responsibilities, she said.
"I want to make sure when these things are being discussed or mooted someone's asking all the questions on behalf of the ratepayers and residents."
Ms Arnold joins Steve Broad, Charlie Te Au, Carl Heenan, Roger Ngahooro and Allan Arnold in so far confirming to The Southland Times that they will stand for the vacant seat on the council. Others are expected to follow.
Of the three city councillors who were voted out of office in 2010, Wayne Harpur said he would not be standing in the by-election, while Lindsay Thomas and Peter Kett said they were undecided.
Southland entertainer Suzanne Prentice, who unsuccessfully stood for the Invercargill mayoralty in 2010, was non-committal when asked yesterday if she would stand for the vacant council seat. "We will see."
Acting Invercargill electorate officer Pamela Gare said she had received no official nominations as of yesterday. The by-election will be decided by postal vote, with the votes to be counted on August 29.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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