Nominations slow for new councils

By Doug Laing

The Local Elections nomination process has been slow so far at the half-way point.
The Local Elections nomination process has been slow so far at the half-way point.

The half-way stage in the Local Elections nomination process has passed with comparatively few nominations in Napier and Hastings compared with last election in 2013.

But with nominations open for another nine days, closing at midday on August 12, it's far from crisis time with the area reverting to type after an upsurge in nominations three years ago, sparked by the local government amalgamation debate and parties lining-up for and against, including merger support group A Better Hawke's Bay.

With the issue resolved at a local body referendum last September, this year's elections appear to lack similar groups, and by late yesterday, there were still no guarantees of any election having to take place.

No office in Hawke's Bay had more nominations than the number of positions to be filled, although many who have publicly announced their intentions to stand were still missing.

Among them Napier businessman Mark Herbert, who had previously confirmed he will seek a seventh consecutive term.

The Ahuriri Ward councillor, who was unsuccessful at his first bid in 1995 but who has now served 18 years and saw off two other candidates in the 2013 election, said he has his nomination form completed. "It's on the dresser," he said.

He had "actually" been going to drop it in "yesterday", maybe the day before, but said he would do it "tomorrow".

Two others have publicly announced over recent weeks that they will seek the Ahuriri seat, but it was only yesterday that the first nomination, from Larry Dallimore, of Westshore, was received.

In all, nine nominations had been received, enough in each of the wards but three short of the number of the six needed in the city-wide At Large sector.

Hastings District Council had, by late yesterday, attracted just three nominations for its eight Hastings-Havelock North seats, and no nomination had yet been notified for the mayoralty, for which incumbent Lawrence Yule has previously announced he will be seeking re-election.

Hastings lawyer Guy Wellwood has also said he will stand for the mayoralty. Central Hawke's Bay District yesterday confirmed the receipt of its first two nominations, although names were not available last night, and the Tararua and Wairoa district councils are still seeking more nominations.

Tararua constituents seemed to be likely to face a significant number of candidates for their health board, the Palmerston North-based Mid-Central board, with seven nominations already received for the seven vacancies.

The election will be run by postal vote, starting late next month and ending on October 8.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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