A third contender has entered the contest for the job of
deputy mayor of the Queenstown Lakes District Council.
When contacted by the Otago Daily Times yesterday, the
district's highest-polling candidate in Saturday's election,
Cath Gilmour, of Queenstown, said: ''I would be interested in
that job. Definitely.''
Two Wanaka ward councillors - incumbent deputy mayor Lyal
Cocks and new councillor Calum MacLeod - have already
publicly signalled their interest.
The decision belongs to Mayor Vanessa van Uden, who is
expected to make an announcement tomorrow. Ms Gilmour said
she was encouraged by Mrs van Uden's comment to the ODT on
Monday that in choosing a deputy mayor she would ''give fair
consideration to everybody and you are looking for the best
person to do the job, to be honest''.
When announcing Mr Cocks as deputy mayor in 2010, Mrs van
Uden said it was tradition the job went to the
highest-polling Wanaka candidate.
On Saturday, Mr MacLeod topped the poll.
Ms Gilmour said the two things that might make it difficult
for Mrs van Uden to appoint her were that she was a woman and
''Politically she might find that difficult.''
She thought ''some guys'' might find it hard having women as
mayor and deputy mayor.
''And the fact that I'm from Queenstown and there is already
a bit of angst in the Wanaka community does [work] against
''On the other hand, I was the highest-polling incumbent
across both districts by quite a margin.''
''That does give me some credibility - as a competent
councillor and as a councillor that has been given a mandate
by the community.''
A political tussle also looms over leadership of the Wanaka
Two, possibly three, of the four candidates elected to the
board are planning to put themselves forward as chairman.
First-time board members Rachel Brown and Ross McRobie
confirmed yesterday they want the job, and re-elected board
member Bryan Lloyd said he was considering putting his name
forward but had not yet made a decision.
Mr Lloyd was deputy chairman of the board in the previous
Only re-elected board member Mike O'Connor is definitely not
interested and said yesterday he would be backing Mr McRobie.
Previous board chairman Mr Cocks is ''stepping aside'' after
serving two terms.
Mr Cocks said he was ''pretty busy doing other things'' and
it would be good for a new board to have a new chairman.
Ms Brown was the top-polling board candidate in Saturday's
election with 2158 votes, followed by Ross McRobie (2149),
Bryan Lloyd (2090) and Mike O'Connor (2066).
Barry Bruce (1826) was the only candidate not elected.
Who will chair the board will be decided by a vote of members
taken at the board's first meeting.
A date for the meeting has not been finalised.
Mrs van Uden is due to visit Wanaka this morning to meet the
three Wanaka councillors and the members of the community