Queenstown Lakes District Mayor Vanessa van Uden is
expected to announce her choice of deputy mayor today.
Three councillors elected on Saturday have said publicly they
want the job - two from Wanaka and one from Queenstown.
After meeting newly elected councillors and community board
members in Wanaka yesterday morning, Ms van Uden said she had
no further public comment to make on the deputy mayoral race.
However, she reaffirmed her statement to the Otago Daily
Times on Wednesday that she would choose ''the best person
for the job''.
That leaves open the option of appointing top-polling
candidate in Saturday's election, Cath Gilmour, of
Queenstown, rather than one of the two Wanaka ward
councillors - incumbent deputy mayor Lyal Cocks or
highest-polling Wanaka councillor Calum MacLeod.
Following the 2010 election, Mrs van Uden said it was a
tradition the job went to the top-polling Wanaka councillor.
After meeting Ms van Uden yesterday, Mr MacLeod said the
mayor had given no indication of her thinking but said she
hoped to be able to let him know today whether or not he had
Asked about the prospect the deputy mayor might be from
Queenstown rather than Wanaka, Mr MacLeod said he did not
think that would be ''the correct way to deal with the
perceived rift'' between the two towns.
''Realistically, we've got to work together, so we will see
how that unfolds.
''It's the mayor's decision, and she's a reasonably astute
political beast and I'm sure she will make the right
Ms Gilmour is due to discuss the deputy mayoralty with Ms van
Uden this afternoon but told the ODT this week she believed
being a woman and being from Queenstown rather than Wanaka
were two counts against her.
The two new members of the Wanaka Community Board are set to
lock horns over who chairs the board, when it meets for the
first time on November 4.
Rachel Brown and Ross McRobie have both indicated they want
the job while Bryan Lloyd, who was considering making a bid,
confirmed to the ODT yesterday he had decided not to.