Arrowtown ward councillor Lex Perkins has been re-elected
for another term. Photo by Christina McDonald.
Arrowtown's newly re-elected second-term councillor Lex
Perkins is ''more than grateful'' to again represent the
village, but says the lack of opposition is ''one of those
He is at a loss to explain why no-one else in the often vocal
village put their hand up to represent the Arrowtown ward in
the local body elections in September/October.
He was the only candidate when nominations closed on Friday,
and is automatically re-elected.
More than 200 submissions were received last year when, after
a mandatory six-yearly review, an independent working party
recommended the Queenstown Lakes District Council abolish the
The majority of submissions favoured keeping the ward and it
was saved by Queenstown Lakes Mayor Vanessa van Uden's
casting vote after councillors' votes were split.
Issues such as the affordable housing development for Suffolk
St had roused many and resulted in a hefty number of
submissions, many from Arrowtowners.
Either this involvement has not transferred to the local
political arena or voters are pleased with the job Mr Perkins
(73) is doing.
Perhaps it is his wide knowledge of many issues.
He admitted to keeping the Arrowtown Design Guidelines,
re-enacted in 2006 and his ''bible'', beside his bed.
''We're such a unique wee town - you have to live and breathe
Arrowtown before you know Arrowtown.
"A lot of people outside Arrowtown see Arrowtown as just
When spoken to yesterday, he said: ''The first thing I want
to say is I'm really more than grateful to be re-elected
''But the residents are missing out on their democratic right
to vote [for an Arrowtown representative],'' he added.
''I honestly thought someone else would run against me.''
Mr Perkins has also been a councillor for the Wakatipu ward
and spent ''some 20 years'' on the Bluff Borough Council and
more on southern regional councils.
''There's probably something in that too,'' Mr Perkins said
when asked whether his many years of experience in local
politics might have contributed to his unopposed re-election.
Although many people were highly opinionated on specific
Arrowtown issues, all councillors swear allegiance to the
''You have to look at the big picture too ... it's not just
And with multiple ''big money'' issues, such as the proposed
convention centre and the Queenstown CBD bypass, before the
council, Mr Perkins said it was an exciting time to be a
''I thoroughly enjoy council.''
New councillors would find the grind of local government
''frustrating'' rather than tough, he said, mainly because
''nothing happens overnight''.
The previous election had two official candidates for the
Arrowtown ward - Mr Perkins and Simon Spark.
Ange van der Laan was ruled out due to a technical error.
Mr Spark said a ''lack of time'', including being involved
with the proposed Arrowtown Community and Sports Centre and
family, meant he did not nominate himself again.
• Fourteen candidates are standing for the Wakatipu ward's
Two nominations for the district's mayoralty have been
Mayor Vanessa van Uden and Glenorchy resident Al Angus.