Goodwin puts hat in the ring

By Don Farmer

A man who earned the title of being the maverick of the Masterton District Council for nearly a decade and whose shock defeat in 2010 was the surprise of the elections is back in the hunt for a council spot.

Cinema owner Brent Goodwin picked up nomination papers yesterday and later confirmed he was putting his name forward for election at large.

After voters rejected him three years ago Mr Goodwin vowed his return to local body politics was not on his agenda and that he was enjoying being away from the council table, but yesterday he was fired up to being involved again.

Mr Goodwin said he wanted to inject some "vigilance and vigour" into how the council planned to spend money and, although guarded in his response as to where he stood on the local governance issue, said he was "certainly keen" on the Wellington super city concept.

During his previous nine-year tenure Mr Goodwin was noted for his straight-from-the-shoulder style and his lack of concern over whether his stance on any particular topic made him political friends or enemies.

He had many clashes with other councillors but also won the support of others and at one time, during the mayoralty of Bob Francis, created a council faction that basically split the council in half.

Mr Goodwin was often a critic of the level of funding council gave to the Aratoi Art and History Museum and regularly questioned the accuracy of museum visitor figures.

He didn't shy away from questioning other council big spends, including building and maintaining the rec centre.

In 2004 he claimed millions of dollars of council reserve funds had been siphoned off to prop up projects like the rec centre and to meet the cost of a cryptosporidium outbreak to disguise what otherwise would have been rate increases.

In 2009 he raised the testy topic of councillors' attendance at meetings, revealing the then top-polling councillor, Edwin Perry, had the worse attendance record.

Ironically Mr Goodwin and Mr Perry were both shock casualties at the elections the following year.


- Wairarapa Times-Age

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