Most southern mayors to stand again

LAUREN HAYES
Last updated 05:00 01/02/2013
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There will be some familiar names on the ballot when local elections are held in October, with most of the southern mayors confirming they plan to stand for re-election.

Invercargill mayor Tim Shadbolt said yesterday he would stand for re-election, pursuing his seventh term in the role.

Having a young family had heightened his passion for the job, as it gave him a fresh perspective on the city, he said.

"You appreciate a lot more of the city you live in when you're seeing it through the eyes of a young child."

He believed the most pressing issue Invercargill would face during the next three years was a static population.

"This city would be far better off in terms of distribution of rates if it had 60,000 people and, of course, to achieve that you've got to have more jobs."

Gore District mayor Tracy Hicks said he hoped to retain the mayoralty to help the Gore area make the most of the opportunities presented to it.

For Gore the biggest concern of the next three years would be improving water supplies, but on a broader scale the upcoming local government reform would raise interesting questions for all Southland councils, he said.

While opposed to a single Southland-wide council, he believed there was room to readjust boundaries and enhance systems for communities.

Queenstown Lakes District mayor Vanessa van Uden said she was standing for re-election because she wanted to make sure the work the council started this term continued into the next. Water management would also be a big issue for Queenstown, she said.

Despite the Ruby scandal, Environment Southland chairwoman Ali Timms confirmed she planned to stand for re-election in October, and believed the region would back her.

"I've had a huge amount of support from people from my constituency and from Southland over the last six or seven weeks and that would be one of the reasons I want to stand again."

Clutha District mayor Bryan Cadogan said he would stand again and was proud of what his council had achieved this term, including lowering youth unemployment in the area to almost zero.

He believed during the next three years smaller communities and the southern region would continue to struggle with the poor economic climate and rising costs such as earthquake strengthening requirements.

Only Southland District mayor Frana Cardno could not confirm if she would be standing for re-election. She said the council had not yet discussed candidacy for the upcoming election and so would not comment.

Mrs Cardno was first elected mayor of the Southland district in 1992 and, if she chooses to run this year, will be seeking her eighth term in the role.

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Local elections for city, district and regional councils will be held on October 12, with voting enrolments closing on August 16.

- The Southland Times

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