Builder throws hat into ring

By Doug Laing

Construction industry leader Mark Hamilton yesterday confirmed he will seek a place on the Napier City Council at the local government elections in October.

Mr Hamilton, 46, the managing director of Napier firm Alexander Construction, said he expects his nomination in the council's Nelson Park Ward to be filed today, three days ahead of the midday deadline on Friday.

He will stand as a member of a "Positive+Change" group, to be headed at the polls by Mayoral candidate and school principal Roy Sye.

Others in the group, linked to local body amalgamation lobby A Better Hawke's Bay, include former policeman, school teacher and Magpies rugby coach Graeme Taylor. His nomination for the Taradale Ward election was lodged last week, although he is listed as independent. Businesswoman Ailne Bradley is expected to represent the group in the Ahuriri Ward election and real estate agent Jude Minor is expected to stand as an At Large candidate.

Mr Hamilton said that with several departures from Napier's council, including Mayor Barbara Arnott, deputy Kathie Furlong and Regional Council aspirant Dave Pipe, there will be "quite a few fresh faces".

The group members, except for Mr Taylor who has stood previously, are all prospective new councillors. Mr Hamilton said they have similar views on economic growth and how "to do the right thing for Napier".

On the issue of amalgamation he said: "I think the horse has already bolted and all we can do is await a referendum when the Local Government Commission comes back with its proposal."

He is an advocate of greater shared services among the councils, particularly from his experiences in the construction industry with building codes and practices.

Local government politics is new to the family, but Mr Hamilton, who has for most of his life lived in Napier where he and wife Carol have raised four children, has cut his teeth with presidency or chairmanship of the Napier Free Kindergarten Association, Hawke's Bay Master Builders, and the Napier Technical Old Boys Rugby Club.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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