Buller Mayor to bow out

Buller Mayor Pat McManus will not seek re-election after 12 years on the local council, six of them as mayor.

Continuing health problems had ruled him out of October's local body elections, he said today.

Despite a quadruple bypass operation five years ago, he was still suffering from heart-related health issues.

"I'm not standing. I made up my mind quite some time ago. I have got a health problem. I have just felt a bit under pressure lately and I have got to go back in to the cardiologist, I'm afraid."

Mr McManus told The Westport News in January that he planned to stand again for what would almost certainly be his last term. He said he still wanted to achieve the projects council had in its long-term plan, particularly Westport's water supply upgrade and the Westport concept plan.

He revealed his change of mind when the newspaper called him this morning to ask how he felt about competition from local businessman, Garry Howard, who today confirmed he would be seeking the mayoralty.

- By Ben Aulakh and Lee Scanlon of the Westport News

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