South Island mayors ready to go extra rounds

Last updated 09:21 16/06/2013

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Mayors of Nelson, Christchurch, Dunedin, Invercargill and Greymouth are pursuing a further term in this year's local body elections, with only Timaru's Janie Annear opting to stand down.

Invercargill mayor Tim Shadbolt is looking to become the longest serving mayor in New Zealand's history if he is awarded his seventh term this year.

The veteran leader is the country's longest serving mayor currently in office, but if he is re-elected he will be the longest serving mayor ever.

Although he acknowledged former Invercargill City councillor Lindsay Dow as his main competitor "at this stage", Shadbolt was in no way ready to take his hands off the reins.

"It's been a fantastic time, and it seems that everything is coming to fruition," he said.

"And I've heard that if you die in office, the council have to pay for your funeral."

Contrary to initial reports, Christchurch mayor Bob Parker has confirmed he will be seeking his third term leading the quake-ravaged city.

"I think it's really important to have that continuity," he said. "I'm looking forward to it. We're in an exciting period of our history."

He had no plans to stand down from his role , "health permitting", but knew he had competition this year in Lianne Dalziel - who has yet to officially announce her bid for the role.

"By all indications she's going to be my major opponent - who else will pop up, I just don't know," Parker said.

Grey District mayor Tony Kokshoorn, who has been at the helm on the West Coast for three terms, is looking for re- election after taking his seat unchallenged since he came in in 2004.

"I haven't been challenged yet - it could happen this time, you never know."

"I always said I would retire at 65, and I'm 58 now, so if I can get another two terms I'll retire like any normal person. But I can't sit around and do nothing."

Newbie Nelson mayor Aldo Miccio will be pursuing his second term, but will be ending his political career after that.

Miccio wanted to be re-elected to complete projects he had started like bids for matches in the 2015 Cricket World Cup, and installing wi-fi in downtown Nelson.

He said competition was "quite even" between mayoral hopefuls police officer Inspector Brian McGurk and city councillor Rachel Reese.

Dunedin mayor Dave Cull said he would "definitely" be standing for re- election.

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- Sunday Star Times

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