Residents encouraged to run for council

A new campaign is calling on "local legends" in Queenstown and the Upper Clutha to stand in this year’s local body election.

The campaign launched by the Queenstown Lakes District Council yesterday encourages people to think about "standout" residents who would make great councillors, community board members or even the next mayor.

Nominations for the elections open on July 15 and close on August 12.

Voting papers will be sent by mail in September and the last day for voting will be October 8.

Council chief executive Mike Theelen said the idea was to encourage people who might not have previously thought about standing for election to consider it.

"We want people to think about anyone they know who may make a good candidate," Mr Theelen said.

"It could be your kids’ swimming coach, a mountain biking buddy, someone from your church or temple, your local barista — anyone at all."

Candidates did not have to have any particular qualifications — they just needed be interested in and committed to shaping the future of the wider district.

"We welcome people from all walks of life to stand, whether you were born here and are a lifelong local or are from one of the many nationalities that has chosen to make this place home."

Interested candidates were encouraged to attend a council meeting to get an idea of what the council did and the types of decisions elected members were involved in.

The role of mayor was full-time and involved weekend and evening events, and while the role of a councillor and community board member was still a busy one, it was possible to maintain some work commitments elsewhere, Mr Theelen said.

Those who took the step to become a candidate were encouraged to take part in debates during the campaign period to make their values and position understood.

People were able to put themselves forward for more than one role, however if elected they could only take on one position.

This year’s election would be the first held following a representation review which changed the names, boundaries and number of councillors elected to specific wards.

As part of the campaign, residents were also being encouraged to check they were enrolled to vote.


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