Women on shared mission get down to business

By Natalie Dixon

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Tauranga City councillors Catherine Stewart (left), Gail McIntosh and Bev Edlin.
Tauranga City councillors Catherine Stewart (left), Gail McIntosh and Bev Edlin.

They have the community close to their hearts, but the trio of women who have won seats on Tauranga City Council say they will be using their heads to drive our city's future.

Councillor Catherine Stewart has been the only female on TCC for two terms, but on October 30 chartered accountant Gail McIntosh and business and governance expert Dr Bev Edlin will be sworn in alongside her to represent the region.

All three said they went for the job because they wanted to represent people and make a difference.

They said the satisfaction of giving back to the community played a big part in enticing them to sign up to a long and expensive campaign.

But they also wanted to clean up the council's reputation and gain the respect of Tauranga people, reclaim the confidence of the city's business community and attract industry to town.

Cr McIntosh said she also wanted to see council run more like a business.

"I have the skills to look at issues logically and focus on the best outcome for the community.

"I want to be part of a team that uses both their hearts and their heads at all times."

Cr Edlin shared the view, and said while compassion was important, intellect was needed when making decisions.

"I call it the head and the heart," she said. "There are so many people with a great heart, but you have to get the head really working well too, if you don't have the intellect it becomes opinionated and illogical."

Cr Stewart said she welcomed more female representation because it would create "balance".

"Council has been a male-dominated environment for a while now and that is fine but the change will be good.

"It will create some balance and I think we will see some very different viewpoints which can only be positive.

"We [women] have so much to give and I would like to see more women in public service roles."

- Bay of Plenty Times

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