Returning councillor Kate Wilson and newcomer Mike Lord,
who will be the Mosgiel-Taieri ward councillors on the
Dunedin City Council next term, celebrate after hearing the
good news on Saturday night. Photo by Craig Baxter.
Mosgiel-Taieri's newest representative on the Dunedin
City Council had just come inside from feeding calves when he
heard the news.
Berwick dairy farmer Mike Lord said there was a degree of
relief about being elected as one of two ward councillors for
the council, alongside incumbent Cr Kate Wilson, of
Just over 6000 votes were counted in the Mosgiel Taieri ward.
Cr Wilson received 2373 votes and Mr Lord 2067.
The third challenger for the two seats in the ward, Martin
Dillon, received 1654 votes. Mr Dillon has been elected
unopposed to the Mosgiel-Taieri community board.
Mr Lord said it had been a good race, with all three
challengers well-known and with close links in the community.
Speaking from his tractor seat on Sunday, Mr Lord said he had
no real hard-and-fast agenda on entering the council, ''in
the sense I went on with a fairly open mind''.
One of the first jobs was to choose a new chief executive for
the council and one who was ready to give more of the same as
the departing Paul Orders.
''I think there was a culture of just taking it a wee bit
easy and I think Paul has largely fixed that, so the hard
work has been done and it's tweaking that's required now, not
Keeping rates low and reducing debt, hopefully without a loss
of service, were important to him.
As the latest member elected on the Greater Dunedin ticket,
he had made it clear he was going to make his own decisions
based on evidence, his own opinion and advice he took from
the community, he said.
''I care intimately about the environment, for example, but I
don't think we are going to save the planet from Dunedin by
riding bikes to work.''
When he reached an opinion on a matter, after considering
available evidence and advice, he would be clear about it.
On fluoride, for example, he would side with the medical
While it was not clear yet who would be the ward councillor
on the Mosgiel-Taieri community board, he was looking forward
to representing the Mosgiel area on the council.
''If you make good decisions they should benefit all members
of the community, but there are specific things, like the
Mosgiel pool, Mosgiel roading or Mosgiel drainage, that
Mosgiel people have slightly different views on. Whatever
particular project I'm working on, I'll absolutely be trying
to make the best decisions all of the time.''
He paid tribute to former long-serving Mosgiel-Taieri
councillor Syd Brown, who retired before the election.
''I think Syd was great for Mosgiel. If I can do as good a
job as him, I'll be happy.''
Mr Lord's election makes him the fourth farmer on the
council, along with Crs Wilson and Andrew Noone, and new
councillor Doug Hall.
Cr Wilson said she was ''thrilled and delighted'' to be back
on the council. She was looking forward to making progress on
some of the roading issues around the Mosgiel area, starting
''I'm sure I'm not going to find a solution that will make
everyone happy, but we may at least make some progress on
having a discussion.''
She was also looking forward to being involved in more
discussions on the pool and working on re-use of the Wingatui