Central Otago residents are being reminded to consider standing for election in this year’s local body elections, as the date for the opening of nominations gets closer.
Nominations open on July 19 and close at noon on August 16.
Central Otago District Council chief executive Sanchia Jacobs said in a recent video on the council website the elections were a chance to vote but, “better yet”, a chance to stand for local government.
As well as providing an opportunity to “make a difference about what happens in our community”, serving in local government also provided opportunities to grow one’s governance and leadership skills, Ms Jacobs said.
She said people from a range of ages, ethnicities and backgrounds were encouraged to stand and bring “diversity to the council table”.
The elections are for the mayor, five councillors for the Vincent ward, four for the Cromwell ward, one for the Maniototo ward and one for the Teviot Valley ward.
As well, four members will be voted on to each of the Cromwell, Maniototo, Teviot Valley and Vincent community boards.
Some ward councillors are then also appointed back on to their respective community boards.
This election is the first since changes to the number of elected representatives in some district council wards were made during last year’s Central Otago representation review.
One of the main changes was the creation of an extra Cromwell councillor position. Previously there were three Cromwell ward councillors.
Sitting Cromwell councillor Nigel McKinlay is the latest to announce his intention to stand for re-election.
Mr McKinlay said the “significant” infrastructure, environmental and waste issues and projects council was involved with at present would require “continuity of experience when a new council is elected”.
“In particular, the Cromwell master plan will start to be implemented during the next term. It will be vital to have voices around the council table that have knowledge of and can represent the Cromwell ward on what is a financially significant project and one that is a ‘once in a generation’ opportunity for Cromwell and Central Otago.”
Fellow Cromwell ward councillors Neil Gillespie, who is also deputy mayor, and Shirley Calvert have already announced they will be seeking re-election.