New mayor set for challenges


Craig Mackle
Craig Mackle
Craig Mackle is looking forward to the challenge of being Kaikoura's new mayor.

Mr Mackle was due to be sworn in yesterday at the first meeting of the new council after winning the mayoralty by just 12 votes.

He says he has spent the last two weeks ''learning the ropes'', attending school camp and ''looking at my calendar and thinking 'oh my God'!''.

''The earthquake recovery will be the main focus over the next few years, to finish what we've started and stepping forward to brighter and better things.

''The next 12 to 18 months will be pretty hectic as there's still quite a bit of work to do until we get back on a level keel.''

Mr Mackle says the new council will be heading away for a retreat next month to plan ahead for the next three years. It will be held at Mt Lyford.

Three years ago the newly elected council was on a planning retreat at St Arnaud in the Nelson region when the 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck on November 14, 2016.

The councillors made a hasty retreat back toward Kaikoura, but soon found themselves cut off from the town until being rescued by helicopter.

''It definitely created a bit of panic and upset,'' Mr Mackle recalls.

The new mayor has been actively involved in setting up a charitable trust to build a new community pool and the trust will now need to appoint a new trustee, as the mayor is automatically appointed to the trust.

Mr Mackle says he has big shoes to fill, following the retirement of Winston Gray, who led the district for nine years, including in the immediate aftermath on the 2016 earthquake.

''I've only spoken with Winston briefly, on the side of the road, as he's a very busy man.

''I just hope I don't have the same challenges he's had to deal with.''



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