Matthew Martin is a senior reporter at the Rotorua Daily Post

Who is putting their hand up for Rotorua mayoralty?


Just two people have put their hands up for Rotorua's top job in the up-coming local body elections - so far.

In the 2010 Rotorua District Council mayoral elections three people ran for mayor - incumbent mayor Kevin Winters, district councillor Charles Sturt and consistent candidate Cliff Lee.

To date, only Mr Winters and former Labour MP for Rotorua Steve Chadwick have formally announced their intentions to stand for the mayoralty.

Mr Lee, a former Rotorua district councillor for more than 20 years, who has run for the Rotorua mayoralty more times than he can remember, said he was undecided about running in this year's elections.

He told The Daily Post he had been giving the idea a lot of thought but had not yet made a decision.

"We will see. I've been giving a good deal of thought to how our district and country should be run.

"Obviously, it's being badly run right now, but whether I can make a difference, I'm not too sure."

Mr Lee said he felt the council was being run by its chief executive, Peter Guerin, and as long as Mr Guerin was proposing good ideas "then the councillors tend to keep their mouths shut".

"There's a lot of stuff going in around town that's not being used.

"Money is being spent on large numbers of buildings and parks that I don't think are being used enough to make them worthwhile."

Mr Lee said he would make up his mind in the coming months.

Mr Sturt has been a councillor for a total of 23 years and said he would not run for mayor this election as he wanted to concentrate on his campaign for re-election as a district councillor.

"After some thought, I decided not to stand for mayor this time round and I will throw all my support behind Steve [Chadwick]."

He said he did not want to split the vote saying Mrs Chadwick would be a much more inclusive mayor and people in Rotorua were looking for change. "He [Kevin Winters] has been in the job for nine years and it's time for a change. I sense a groundswell in support for Steve and I think Rotorua is ready for a new mayor and a new direction," he said.

In the 2010 mayoral election, Mr Winters picked up 11,020 votes, Mr Sturt 6057 votes and Mr Lee 1636 votes.

Elections for the Rotorua District Council, the Rotorua mayoralty and the Bay of Plenty Regional Council will be held by postal ballot. The final day of voting is October 12.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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