Hands up for top job

Queenstown Lakes District councillors John S. Wilson and Vanessa van Uden say they will contest the mayoral race in October after Clive Geddes announced he would not be seeking a fourth term.

Cr van Uden said she respected Mr Geddes' decision and acknowledged his nine-years commitment to the community.

She declined to comment further on Mr Geddes' time as mayor except to say there "could be very interesting but good" times ahead for the council.

Wanaka-based Mr Wilson has been deputy mayor since 2007.

Both have been on the council for just one term.

Queenstown businessman Sir Eion Edgar said the pair made very good mayoral candidates.

"They have both got merits and different strengths. Vanessa has the benefit of living in a bigger community, she's younger and quite widely known. John has the experience of having been deputy mayor," he said.

Former mayor Warren Cooper said he would not be drawn to comment on the mayoral race.

"I've done my part. It's up to the voters to make up their minds without a recommendation from me," he said.

Queenstown real estate agent Simon Hayes denied rumours he was running for the post.

"I have no intention of standing for the mayoralty. Certain people have asked me to consider standing but I wouldn't stand at this stage."

Crs John Mann, Cath Gilmour and Gillian MacLeod, who had all been touted as potential candidates, said they would not be running.

Mr Geddes said he decided after meeting family at the weekend he would be unable to give the commitment needed to carry out the job.

"After some deliberation, I have decided not to seek re-election in the local body elections later this year.

"I have enjoyed every minute of being part of and representing this positive and energetic community," he said.

"We just looked at things we wanted to do as a family over the next three years.

Having done that, it became clear I will not be able to bring the commitment to it that I have for the last nine years."

Stepping down would bring major life changes, which he would have to deal with, he said.

It was important for him to maintain a good family life, and important for the district to have a change in leadership.

"I have a sense there's a lot of interest in the community from people wanting to seek seats on the council and to run as mayor."

However, the 65-year-old said he had no intention of retiring after the October election.

"There are a range of options that are out in the private sector I have interest in, and we have family plans around travel."

Mr Geddes, an economist, has worked as an asset manager in the accommodation and tourism industries and has experience as a property manager.

He is married to Sally and has one son from a previous marriage.

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