Two spots on community board filled

Vicky Munro.
Vicky Munro.
The Ahuriri Community Board now has a full complement, after a by-election yesterday elected two new members to the five-member board.

Only three candidates stood for election in October's local body elections, which meant a by-election was called immediately to fill the two remaining places.

When voting closed at midday yesterday, the Waitaki District Council announced Vicky Munro and Brent Cowles had been elected to the board.

A total of 410 voting papers were returned, and Mrs Munro, of Otematata, with 269 votes, and Mr Cowles, also of Otematata, with 227 votes, were the clear winners. Kate White received 163 and Ross MacLeod 113. Voter turnout for the by-election was 45.3%.

Mrs Munro, a real estate agent, said she was ''very excited'' about representing the community.

''I look forward to combining our beautiful valley, and dealing with all the communities in Lake Ohau and Kurow.

''One of the reasons I put my name up was that people should have the opportunity to choose representatives.

Brent Cowles.
Brent Cowles.
"I was somewhat disappointed with the main election that there were no candidates, and by-elections are costly, but I thought it was great to see four candidates standing this time,'' she said.

Mr Cowles, who owns a holiday park, said he was thrilled to be elected.

''I'm pretty stoked. We have an exciting three years ahead with the Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail and the Kurow [town] upgrade. It's going to be an exciting three years with a lot of work to be done,'' Mr Cowles said.

A by-election was also called to fill a vacancy on the Oamaru Licensing Trust (ward 1).

Only two people stood, Peter James Bond walking to victory with 2725 votes compared with John Howie's 442.

Although the by-election costs will not be known for another three weeks, it is expected they will be between $30,000 and $35,000.

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