Council nominations off to a slow start

Nominations for the Tauranga City Council elections close on May 24. Photo: John Borren.

Only seven people have put their nominations in so far to stand in the Tauranga City Council elections.

With a week to go until nominations close for the July 20 Election Day, there are two candidates who have nominations in for mayor and five as councillors as of May 16.

Seven other candidates have announced they will be running but are yet to put in their nominations.

Those with nominations for mayor are singer Ria Hall and former deputy mayor Tina Salisbury.

Businessman and former Bay of Plenty Regional councillor Doug Owens announced his candidacy for mayor this week.

Former councillor John Robson told the Bay of Plenty Times he planned to run for mayor and in the Bethlehem ward.

Ward councillors with nominations in are Gerry Hodgson in the Bethlehem Ward, Jim McKinlay in the Matua-Otūmoetai ward, Rod Taylor in the Te Papa ward, Marten Rozeboom in the Tauriko ward and Ethan Brinkman is standing in the Welcome Bay ward.

There are not yet any candidate nominations for the Arataki, Mount Maunganui, Pāpāmoa wards or the Te Awanui Māori ward.

Former councillor Larry Baldock announced his intention to stand in the Pyes Pa ward in March.

Entrepreneur Cameron Templer told The Weekend Sun in March that he planned to run in the Welcome Bay ward in March as well.

Tauranga barrister and Solicitor Jim Smith told Local Democracy Reporting on Monday that he planned to run as a councillor.

Former councillors Heidi Hughes and Steve Morris also told the Bay of Plenty Times they planned to run in the election.

Hughes will stand in the Mount Maunganui Ward.

This year’s election will be under a new governance model with a mayor and nine councillors to be elected.

It will also be the first time the city has had a Māori ward.

Those elected will replace the four-person Commission led by Anne Tolley that’s been in place since February 2021.

The previous council was sacked by former Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta because of infighting and significant governance issues.

Salisbury, Baldock, Hughes, Morris and Robson were part of the council elected in 2019 that was deposed by Mahuta.

TCC strategy, growth and governance general manager Christine Jones says council encourages anyone who would like to stand to allow enough time to complete and send in their nomination form and get it checked to ensure it’s valid.

Asked if the council was concerned about the number of nominations so far, Jones replied: “We anticipate a number of nominations will come in just before the closing date.”

Nominations close at midday on Friday, May 24.

LDR is local body journalism co-funded by RNZ and NZ On Air.

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