Boult: Endorsing mayoral candidates ‘improper’

Queenstown. PHOTO: ODT FILES
Queenstown. PHOTO: ODT FILES
Queenstown Lakes Mayor Jim Boult says he is not endorsing any of the district’s mayoral candidates.

Nominations officially open next month for October’s local body elections. So far, three mayoral candidates have announced their intention to stand in the Queenstown Lakes district.

They are former Southland Labour candidate Jon Mitchell, Startup Queenstown Lakes chief executive Olivia Wensley and one-term district councillor Glyn Lewers.

Jim Boult.
Jim Boult.
Mr Boult said he was "constantly" asked if he supported any particular candidate, be it one of those three, or someone yet to throw their hat in the ring.

"I’ve made it very clear that my position on this should always be a neutral one, and I reinstate that now.

"It is up to the community to decide who will lead the district for the next three years, and it would be completely improper of me to influence that in any way."

However, Mr Boult said all three were "strong candidates" and that was a good sign for the district’s future.

"I have previously said that in the tail of Covid-19 there continue to be many significant issues to address across the district.

"This will require strong leadership on a number of fronts including the many upcoming reforms led by central government and a sound understanding of the social and economic drivers of our district."

However, he was disappointed by the lack of candidates so far indicating they would seek election to council.

Val Miller and Penny Clark had already announced their intention to stand down, while only Arrowtown’s Lisa Guy had signalled her intention to stand for the new Arrowtown-Kawarau ward.

"A strong council is vital for the district’s recovery and, again, I strongly encourage community-minded people to consider their availability," Mr Boult said.

"Yes, it’s a challenging and demanding role, but one that’s incredibly rewarding if you genuinely want to make a difference in the future of the Queenstown Lakes."

Nominations officially open on July 15 ahead of local body elections on October 8.





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