Rookie members seek improved council consultation
They may be new to the council but Karen Arnold and Rebecca Amundsen are used to temper tantrums.
The two Invercargill mothers will be the freshest faces around the council table this term - and Ms Amundsen, at 35 years old, will also be the youngest.
Both campaigned vigorously.
Ms Arnold went to rest homes and spent afternoons at the Windsor New World trolley bay, while Ms Amundsen even packed up a couch and took it around town to really "get to know people".
But the reality of their achievements is still setting in.
The past weeks had been tiring and hard work, they agreed, but both seemed to be looking forward to the challenges ahead.
Ms Arnold, who polled second highest, said Invercargill residents had sent a clear message.
"They said it's time to get rid of some of those old farts," she said.
"Although, having said that, the result wouldn't say the frustration is as big as many would believe it to be."
However, complaints about the planned inner-city upgrade resounded throughout their campaigns, they agreed. And the pair seek "robust discussions" over the lack of consultation.
The A to B Yacht Race debacle was clearly a frustration they both shared after council shenanigans last term. "It's quite terrifying to know the lack of detail that they were prepared to spend funding on," Ms Arnold said.
But before they can begin making waves in the council, there are discussions to be had about potential chairmanships and both need to be sworn in.
For Ms Amundsen the new role was a way to continue her work in the community - except on a grander scale.
As the Glengarry Community Action Group co-ordinator, she has already had a fair amount of dealings with the council but, instead of asking for funding, she will be handing it out.
As for Ms Arnold, pulling up a seat in the council chamber will nothing new after being a Southland Times council reporter for six years but, instead of grilling councillors, she will be working alongside them. "I have always been fascinated by local government since I covered it."
Their new roles begin officially at the full council meeting on October 29.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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