Pete Rainey to stand for mayor


Nelson City councillor and Nelson businessman Pete Rainey on Tuesday announced that he will contest the Nelson mayoralty at this year’s local body elections in October.

Pete, who is in his third term on the council and is the chair of Community Services Committee says he has the experience and the financial skills for the city’s top job, and a leadership style that will bring people together to help make Nelson the country’s best regional city.

Pete will be running only for the mayoralty and not standing for the city council. He is running on a platform of financial responsibility, inclusiveness, and putting substance behind Nelson’s reputation as a great place to live.

Councillor Pete Rainey.

“First of all I want people to know I want to keep rates at a responsible level. I have been running Smokefreerockquest, a highly successful nationwide events business for the past 28 years, and I’ve developed a whole raft of skills around making the most of what we have, without spending a bomb.

“We must make our current assets such as the Trafalgar Centre and Saxton Field work for us. I want to say right now that building a performing arts centre is not on my agenda currently.

“We need to give the revamped Trafalgar Centre a chance to deliver, which it can do with the flexibility I have recommended for the reconfigured auditorium.”

Pete wants to see council working with the private sector to complete two projects he says have been on the drawing board for too long. The first is the completion of the link between the waterfront and the city: “I pushed in the last term of council for the purchase of properties that are strategically vital to Nelson unlocking the potential of its waterfront,” he says.

“Completing the Haven Precinct project hinges, like the gondola project, on igniting private investment. Both these projects add amenities for locals and enhance Nelson as a tourism destination for cyclists and others, and help to smooth out the seasonality that is a major issue for the retail and hospitality sector.”

On the Southern Link, Pete suggests a new road is not the only option: “This is being seen as the solution to traffic congestion – but there may be achievable solutions to traffic delays at a far lesser cost.

“I support looking into some really quite simple concepts such as a pedestrian overpass to solve the bottleneck at Nelson College and a more free flowing intersection at Tahunanui.”

Pete has polled highly in past elections and is optimistic about his mayoralty bid. “This is the first opportunity people have had to vote for me as mayor.  Nelson needs a unified council that is enthusiastic and motivated by the person in the top job.

“I know from my track record in business and in community events that I can be that person,” he said. “Council needs to put some real substance behind developing Nelson’s reputation as a great place to live and a town that offers our kids a future.”

Pete and his partner Phillipa Pattison have two children, Charle (11) and Ned (9). Rainey’s family have lived in Nelson for five generations. Pete is the founder of the NZ Antique and Classic Boat Show, the Artistic Director of Nelson Opera in the Park, and was awarded the MNZM in 2013 for services to music.