Re-elected Mallett sure of his direction
After 12 years away from city council politics, newly re-elected Hamilton city councillor Garry Mallett is confident he and fellow newcomer and New Council New Direction candidate Karina Green will have influence.
Mr Mallett said despite having two rather than five candidates elected, the pair would be "100 per cent better" than the independent councillors.
The ticket offered voters the chance to install a near-majority of five votes if all candidates got in, but Mr Mallett said he was satisfied with the result.
"It would be a lot easier if we got five, obviously, the plan of having a team was having 5/7ths of a majority, so we're starting further back," he said.
"But we're still 100 per cent better than the one-man bands. I have been talking to a lot of guys, Margaret Forsyth, Rob Pascoe, Andrew King, and there's quite a bit we have in common. It's going to be politics, really."
It would still be about convincing others of the merits of their position.
Mr Mallett said he was surprised only one incumbent was unseated.
Fellow newcomer and chartered accountant Rob Pascoe said he too could see some natural alliances among more fiscally-focused new councillors.
"I feel like I'm on the same wavelength as Julie Hardaker, and people ike Andrew King, Garry Mallett, Karina Green; I could see there are some things we could probably work together quite well on," said Mr Pascoe.
Freshly-elected city councillor Philip Yeung, Hamilton's first Chinese-born councillor best known for his work with city ethnic groups, said he intended to represent the entire community.
"I'm very pleased, the support from the community and the people I know has been so positive, that's what I'm really happy about.
"My work in the past 12 years has been mainly with ethnic communities, but also with community groups, and organisations at grassroots level, so I will stand up for and represent the whole community," Mr Yeung said.
He will have to resign as a community adviser for the city, a job he has held since 2001.
Retired Waikato road safety cop Leo Tooman also romped on to council, the third-highest polling West ward candidate, and said he would be looking to play to his strengths in transport, community safety and alcohol policy.
Departing four-term councillor Roger Hennebry was philosophical about his rejection, saying he had enjoyed 12 years on council and it was "my time".
"We've set up a really good platform going forward," said Mr Hennebry.
"But we can't do anything drastic at the moment, we need to stick to our knitting. I'm looking forward to the $600 a year that Garry Mallett has promised everybody off their rates," he added, in a final, parting shot.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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