Too early to settle plans, says Arnott

By Doug Laing

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Napier Mayor Barbara Arnott is still not sure of her local-body election plans this year despite an announcement by former MP Stuart Nash that he won't be chasing the mayoralty.

Mrs Arnott said last night it was "too early" to make a decision in January, with an election not being held until October.

Undecided issues over local-government structure and boundaries in the area have delayed her decision, and the four-term mayor said: "Normally I would have made a stand some time ago".

Possibly indicating that she will remain in local-body politics regardless of the issues, she said: "I certainly hope it is Napier."

Mr Nash, a Labour List MP from 2008-2011, has decided he will plump for a third attempt to win the Napier seat in Parliament, held for the last seven years by National MP Chris Tremain.

Mr Nash first sought the seat in 2008 with an unsuccessful challenge for Labour's Napier candidacy.

He did, however, ultimately claim a seat as a Labour List MP, which he lost when standing also as a candidate in Napier in Labour's heavy defeat at the 2011 election.

City council observers in Napier believe that if Mrs Arnott does seek a fifth term as mayor she won't be opposed by any of her current councillors.

Kathie Furlong, a six-term councillor appointed deputy mayor, won't be seeking re-election this year.

- HAWKES BAY TODAY

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