Carter ready for mayoral battle

By Mike Barrington

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Far North mayoral aspirant John Carter has handed in his notice and expects his work as New Zealand High Commissioner in the Cook Islands to wind up on July 19.

"We [he and his wife Leoni] will probably fly out a couple of days later," he said yesterday from Rarotonga.

While acknowledging the Cook Islands was "an easy place to live", Mr Carter - who was National MP for Northland for 24 years - was eager to return to his home at Waipapakauri and get his mayoral campaign under way.

"I suppose you can't get politics out of your blood once it's in there," he said.

Mr Carter was waiting to see if the present Far North North mayor, Wayne Brown, would seek a third term in office.

"I suspect it wouldn't matter who runs against him, he is unlikely to win," Mr Carter said.

"The question will be whether he decides to take a hiding or not.

"It will be interesting to see who else might decide to seek election."

Mr Carter said on television recently that Far North District Council plans to provide Maori seats as part of its proposed unitary authority were "apartheid".

He stuck with this definition yesterday, explaining how he favoured elections over the separatism of providing representation based on race.

"The council used to have an extremely useful Maori committee chaired by John Klaricich," Mr Carter said.

"All iwi were included and from what I can remember it functioned very well."

He claimed Maori and Pakeha had always been able to work together in the past.

"It hasn't been them and us," Mr Carter said.

Some past councils and community boards had a majority of Maori representatives and he was confident the Far North council could in future represent all in the community without resorting to providing seats for Maori.

Mr Carter said he did not believe a Government decision had yet been made on who would replace him as High Commissioner in Rarotonga.

- Northern Advocate

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