Current and former councillors have put up their hand to get back at the table in this year’s local government elections.
Current councillors Gaile Noonan and Bill Dahlberg have announced they will stand again for council while Pete Rainey, who unsuccessfully stood in the last elections, has signalled his intention to stand.
Gaile is currently chair of community services and she says that role has enabled her to make a difference to the well-being of the people of Nelson.
She says she is keen to offer her six years’ experience to mentor newly elected councillors in the same way she was mentored by the current deputy mayor Paul Matheson.
“It’s a fairly daunting role at times and you do need to be able to pick up the phone and talk it through with someone who is experienced in the role.”
One of the challenges this term was the Greenmeadows project which was handed to Community Services part way through.
“My focus was on finishing the project to the high standard we have resulted in.”
“I’ve had quite a number of people asking if I would stand for another term and it’s time for me to make the decision public.
“I do find the whole election process distracting from the job and there is still work to be done right up to election day. I want to thank the people who continue to support me.”
First term councillor Bill Dahlberg says that he had held back announcing as he was concentrated on the task at hand.
He says he is worried about some of the ways that decisions have been pushed through council without the proper consultation, particularly the recent funding for climate change initiatives.
“We are short circuiting some of the processes.”
Bill says it is very satisfying when council gets it right “but very disappointing and frustrating when the process or outcomes are not what we wanted”.
He says over the last three years he I have gained an insight into what makes a good council work well.
“I have also found that the vast majority of our residents really appreciate what our city councillors do, and I will be putting my hand up for a second term on our council.”
He counts helping select the new chief executive, creating a new city bylaw to keep Lewis Stanton off the main street, drafting a freedom camping bylaw, the school of music upgrade and the movement towards a Maitai mountain bike hub as some of the projects that are making a difference to the region.
Nelson businessman Pete Rainey is also to stand for another term on council.
Rainey, who co-owns a nationwide events business, served three terms on council from 2007. In 2016 he unsuccessfully stood for the mayoralty and not council, but says his commitment to his hometown has not wavered.
“For a few years now, Nelson’s had the handbrake on in a way that’s been no good for anyone,” he says.
“I’m keen to be part of a council that gets this town cracking – starting by livening up the waterfront with the development of the buildings council already owns, as well as immediate progress on the stalled cycle-pedestrian project.”
Pete co-owns Rockquest Promotions, which produces over 60 youth music and performance events around the country every year. He says youth will continue to be a focus for him, alongside the arts.
“Young people want to perform and to go to shows – we need to foster this interest with better facilities. We must also support the older demographic who are also keen to attend shows,” he says.