New councillor knows issues

New Ahuriri Ward councillor Dr June Slee.  Photo by Andrew Ashton.
New Ahuriri Ward councillor Dr June Slee. Photo by Andrew Ashton.
Waitaki's newest councillor this week said water management would probably be the issue that would dominate the concerns of her Ahuriri Ward constituents.

A by-election for the ward, which stretches from Duntroon to Lake Ohau, was announced following October's local body elections, when nobody was nominated for the Ahuriri Ward seat on the Waitaki District Council.

Otekaieke author Dr June Slee was the only nomination when they closed on Monday and was elected unopposed to the council on Wednesday.

Dr Slee, a former senior lecturer at Darwin University, said she had initially been invited to stand for the council by people in both the Ahuriri and Corriedale wards in August, but work commitments meant she would have been overseas during the October election period.

''I was really surprised when I got back and found out nobody had stood for Ahuriri, and I was approached again and I agreed.''

She said she was looking forward to re-entering local body politics after formerly sitting as an Environment Canterbury councillor as a representative for Waitaki from 2004-07.

''I imagine ... as usual ... plenty of challenges about the management of water.

''The challenge I see is to ensure that there is communication between constituents and management, and my role is governance.''

Although she had been elected by the people of Ahuriri, she was also looking forward to representing the whole district, she said.

She was born in Winton, but her great-grandfather was a former mayor of Waimate, and she had an affinity for the Ahuriri area, where she had lived since 2002.

Dr Slee will officially be sworn in to her role in February.


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