New faces around the Nelson City Council table this year are guaranteed, with two councillors confirming they will be standing down from their seats ahead of October’s local body elections.
Six term councillor Mike Ward won’t be seeking re-election, stating he has “never done any more than two terms on the trot”, and Pete Rainey has also confirmed that it’s the mayor’s seat or bust for him.
Rainey says that after three terms as a councillor, he is now serious about standing for the role of mayor and doesn’t want to continue as a councillor under the same regime.
“I certainly wanting to step up to the next level and I want to give a clear indication to the voters that I’m serious about it,” he says.
The remaining 10 councillors have confirmed to Nelson Weekly that they will be seeking re-election, and will join a other new candidates who have put their hand up for a spot on council.
Amongst those are Natureland Trustee Mike Rutledge, Graeme O’Brien, Mel Courtney, Trudie Brand, Cynthia McConville and Stuart Walker.
The last election in 2013 welcomed in five new councillors who have all committed to a second term, including Luke Acland, Matt Lawrey, Gaile Noonan, Tim Skinner and Brian McGurk.
McGurk, who topped the councillor poll in the last local body elections, says he has already started door-knocking and is hoping be re-elected so he can continue with the environmental programmes that are already underway, including Nelson Nature.
Matt Lawrey, who came in second at the 2013 polls, says he’ll definitely be reapplying for the job, stating he still has “plenty of energy and ideas to offer.”
Deputy mayor Paul Matheson, along with Ian Barker, Kate Fulton, Ruth Copeland and Eric Davy are the remaining councillors who are seeking re-election.
So far, only Pete Rainey and Rachel Reese are standing for mayor, with Reese seeking her second term.
Nominations for candidates are now open and close 12 August. The voting period starts on Friday 16 September, with Election Day on Saturday 8 October.