Activist to run in Far North mayoralty race


The Far North mayoral race has been livened up by an announcement this week by Ahipara activist Rueben Taipari Porter that he will contest the upcoming election.

Mr Porter said his decision to stand had been "forced by the lack of accountability shown by the local and central government departments to uphold positions of power without conflict or personal gain or advantage to be made by a person in such an influential position".

He said his announcement had nothing to do with running for political office, but everything to do with standing up for society against "businessmen professing to know about making political decisions that affected real people and their families".

Mr Porter is well known in the Far North for campaigning on environmental, social and Maori issues.

He is only the second candidate so far. Former MP and current High Commissioner to the Cook Islands John Carter declared his intention in February and is expected to return to Northland this weekend to start campaigning.

Current Mayor Wayne Brown has yet to declare his intentions. Current deputy Ann Court and 2010 contender Hugh McKechnie, a sculptor and former PE teacher, are not ruling out a tilt at the mayoralty.

Nominations opened on July 19 and close at noon on August 16. The election date is October 12.

The Far North's small field so far is a stark contrast to Whangarei where nine candidates are already lining up for the mayoral race. They are Vince Cocurullo, Shelley Deeming, Phil Halse, Sheryl Mai, Greg Martin, Isopo Samu, Stan Semenoff, Warren Slater and Warwick Syers.

- Northern Advocate

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