A family affair at city hall

Last updated 16:38 31/10/2013
Rebecca Amundsen
FAIRFAX NZ

New ICC councillor Rebecca Amundsen.

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OPINION: 100 days and counting...

For the next 100 days southlandtimes.co.nz will follow newly elected Invercargill City Councillor Rebecca Amundsen.

She's not an unfamiliar face to people  who live in Glengarry, or those who voted for her.

She's a mother, a landlord, a project leader and now a city councillor.

But this isn't just our project, it's yours too.

Get involved by posting comments, asking questions and answering polls each week as we follow Rebecca's first days in office.

Each week Rebecca will also write about her council musings.

 

The first meeting is over - finally!

It was a fairly drawn out afternoon having to be at the council for photos at 2.30pm then literally sitting around until 4pm.

But it was an opportunity for general chit-chat with the other councillors some of whom I have known for a while, others who I did not know at all.

I found my designated seat which as a new councillor is up the front on the media side of the horseshoe.

I was nervous of course but once the meeting was under way there wasn't much opportunity to worry about the nerves.

There are some advantages to having a surname starting with A - during the campaign this was pointed out to me because of the alphabetical listing - but it is also an advantage because I was second to read out my declaration which meant is was over pretty quick.

Speaking of my surname - people have always had trouble with pronouncing it, including His Worship the Mayor who hesitated every time before saying it during the meeting.

For the record we Amundsens pronounce it AM-IN-SIN.

Nothing like it is written and I am pretty sure nothing like our Norwegian ancestors would have said it.

I did make my family attend the first meeting - I especially wanted my two sons to see what I am in for for the next three years.

They did really well to sit through nearly two hours of meeting and were rewarded with KFC for tea.

There was some socialising after the meeting providing an opportunity to meet the partners of the other councillors.

The incumbents used it as an opportunity to give me a few tips.

Pick your battles.

Stay true to what you believe in.

Always ask questions.

It takes seven people to change anything.

I now have another big pile of reading material and some committees to get familiar with.

My husband Phil is already saying he is going to have to build me some more shelves for all this stuff that's over our dining room table and it's only in the first week.

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