Giddens wants mayoralty back

By Lawrence Gullery

Former Central Hawke's Bay Mayor Trish Giddens is looking to challenge incumbent Peter Butler for the district's top job when the Local Government Elections are held in October.

Mrs Giddens worked 12 years on the CHB district council and was mayor from 2007 until 2010, when people voted to install Mr Butler.

Mrs Giddens said she had become more confident, accountable and "research-minded" during the past three years away from the council.

She had worked as manager of Services to Older People for Waiapu Anglican Social Services but also held positions with the Ministry of Social Development, was a Lotteries Board Member and trustee of the Hawke's Bay air ambulance, to name a few of her post-2010 activities.

"As the immediate past mayor I have strong continued interest in the future of CHB. I am committed to facing the issues and challenges which were just under way prior to the last election, such as economic development, amalgamation and the Ruataniwha storage dam.

"I want to make sure our community is well informed and represented, and that our decisions are the right choices, at the right time, for the right reasons."

Mrs Giddens was among a group of community leaders who submitted to the Central Hawke's Bay council's annual plan asking for a joint working party to prepare its for possible amalgamation with Hastings, Napier, Wairoa and Hawke's Bay regional councils.

"We have set up a group and been meeting regularly. We are planning a public information forum on August 28, where CHB citizens can hear the arguments for and against amalgamation.

"We want people to be able to hear both sides of the debate, ask questions.

"For us it's about making sure we can find that information for the public."

Mrs Giddens said another major issue looming was high rate rises and the economic downturn.

"We need to harness this as best we can and market our region as the asset it is and can be."

The mayoral candidate had 36 years experience working health and social services and said she believed she was well connected to community organisations in Hawke's Bay.

Mr Butler had earlier told Hawke's Bay Today he intended to defend his position on the Central Hawke's Bay council at this year's election.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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