With less than 24 hours before nominations for October’s local body election close, Horizons Regional Councilor Fiona Gordon is encouraging people to get their nominations.
“The more diversity around our council tables, the better.”
He said the election was an opportunity to take an active role in community leadership.
“It’s about striving to deliver the best for our community and ensuring that the public can have confidence in the decisions made on their behalf.”
The nomination window closes at noon tomorrow.
Gordon, a businesswoman and mother, said she was running for re-election to a Palmerston North seat after a first term that underscored the value of local decision-making.
“While it can be a really challenging role at times and it can be a juggling act, especially if you have another job, have a business or have a family to attend to, the role is definitely worth it in terms of tangible results.
“There are great opportunities to work directly with the community through committees and advisory groups, and working on the funding panels is particularly rewarding.”
She said her experience at Linklater Memorial Bursary, Kanorau Koiora Taketake (Indigenous Biodiversity Community Grant) and Pūtea Hapori Urupare Āhuarangi (Community Climate Response Fund) has been uplifting, “helping to support fantastic projects and talented students, who all work to achieve positive results change our region ”.
Gordon said it’s important to be prepared to be challenged and have a frank and open discussion.
“This can lead to solid results for the community as well. The municipality will need to continue to listen carefully to our communities.
“But this is actually a really exciting time to be in local government. There is new legislation coming, the local government review, and in the case of the Horizons Regional Council, the next council will include elected councilors from two Maori colleges. “.
At noon on Thursday, however, no nominations were received for the council’s Southern Maori constituency and the nominations for the Northern Maori seats, Ruapehu, Tararua and Whanganui will remain unchallenged unless 11th hour nominations are received. .
The Palmerston North, Horowhenua and Manawatū-Rangitīkei constituencies will each be contested, with more nominations than required.
Over 50 new Maori members
Te Maruata president Rōpū Whakahaere, New Zealand local government Māori collective Bonita Bigham, said more Māori should remain standing to fill more than 50 new Maori ward seats across the country.
“It will be a different industry. We will now have at least half of the councils across the country with Maori wards, and this also recognizes places like the Bay of Plenty Regional Council, which have had Maori wards for more than 20 years.
“All in all, there will be about 35 councils across the motu that have instigated the Māori wards, 32 in this election, with over 50 new Māori members entering the sector. So it will be a different place, but the sector is ready for THAT.
“Conversations have changed, attitudes have changed. Of course, there are those who find this process challenging and frightening, but in general we have many great friends and lobbyists and tight tangatas who see this as the best way to move forward for the motu. “
Bigham said LGNZ was doing a lot of work to put in place the right supports for elected members after the October election.
“This includes a renewed two-day hiring program for mayors and we have established Te Āhuru Mōwai, a new program to support elected Māori members.”
A member of the community council, Bigham encourages anyone passionate about the future of their community to look into all the roles available to them.
“It is worrying to see such a low number of applications for community board of directors. Becoming a member of the community council is an excellent way to influence local decisions, but it does not require the same time commitment as a councilor or mayor. It is. , however, an equally important job “.