Incoming councillor vows to shed sweat for ward

Jim Thomson. Photo: Supplied
Jim Thomson. Photo: Supplied
Incoming Waihemo ward councillor Jim Thomson wants to be "perspirational" rather than inspirational.

The East Otago farmer was successful in his bid to become a Waitaki district councillor, receiving more than 60% of the votes counted in the Waihemo ward by-election.

Mr Thomson said he was humbled by yesterday’s result and was looking forward to getting on with the job and giving Waihemo voters a voice at the council table.

"I’m not going to concentrate on being inspirational — I’d like to be perspirational," he said.

"Let’s get the work done and provide the basic services before we go chasing the candyfloss stuff."

A by-election was triggered when first-term Waihemo councillor Peter Newton resigned in December, citing reasons of personal development, reflection and to spend more time with his family.

Voting for the four candidates closed at noon yesterday.

Deputy electoral officer Carole Hansen released the final result just after 5pm yesterday, confirming Mr Thomson had received 444 votes out of the 731 cast.

Arlene Goss (168 votes) was the second-highest polling candidate, followed by Gervais O’Reilly (87 votes) and Stephen Wesselingh (29 votes).

The final voter return was 40.93%.

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