Councillors considering mayoralty bids

Two Wanaka councillors are poised to put their hands up for the mayoralty of the Queenstown Lakes district, should incumbent Clive Geddes choose not to stand for re-election.

The Queenstown Lakes District Council has never had a Wanaka-based candidate elected as mayor, since it was established as a local body in 1987.

John S. Wilson and Lyal Cocks told the Otago Daily Times this week they were both considering standing for election as mayor and were waiting to hear of Mr Geddes' intentions.

Mr Geddes has recently returned from a trip to China. He said he will make an announcement within the next two weeks about whether he will stand again for the role he has held since 2001.

Mr Cocks said his main priority was to get re-elected for a second term as a Queenstown Lakes councillor for the Wanaka ward.

Mr Cocks is the chairman of the Wanaka Community Board and was the highest-polling councillor in the ward in 2007, with 2011 votes.

Mr Wilson, who was a surprise choice for deputy mayor of the Queenstown Lakes in his maiden term as a Wanaka-elected councillor, received 1564 votes at the 2007 local elections.

He had received encouragement "from both sides of the hill" and was "positively influenced" to make himself available to contest a mayoralty race, regardless of whether Mr Geddes stood for re-election, Mr Wilson said.

Queenstown ward councillor Vanessa van Uden is the only confirmed candidate to have put her name forward for mayor of the district.

Nominations for the Queenstown Lakes local elections open on July 23 and close at noon on August 20. Local body elections are scheduled for October 9.


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