New blood sought for Carterton council

By Alisa Yong alisa.yong@age.co.nz -
Add a comment
Carterton councillor Elaine Brazendale says she has given her best to the role. PHOTO/FILE
Carterton councillor Elaine Brazendale says she has given her best to the role. PHOTO/FILE

The October local government elections might yield some fresh faces on the Carterton District Council.

Two newcomers, Rebecca Vergunst and Brian Deller have confirmed they will be standing, joining incumbent mayor John Booth and councillors Jill Greathead, Ruth Carter and Russell Keys in vying for a council position.

Ms Vergunst, an R2R youth group facilitator in Carterton, said she was standing because she wanted to be a voice for younger people.

"There's a lack of youth representation. There's a huge majority of the community that isn't currently being represented by anybody in particular on the council and I think I can provide that perspective."

Ms Vergunst, who is 22, said she would definitely be standing unless "something dreadful" happened.

Mr Deller, who was runner-up in the 2015 byelection won by Russell Keys, said while he had yet to make a final decision, he was a "yes" at this stage.

His final decision would be influenced by which councillors decided to run, Mr Deller said.

Mr Booth said he was definitely standing for the mayoralty in October and would consider the possibility of running for Wairarapa mayor, if the amalgamation of the three councils were to go ahead.

"That's a conversation I'll have with my family.

"It's crossed my mind but I'll make a decision with the family because it's going to be a big one if we get it over the line."

Stepping aside for the 2016 election is Deputy Mayor Elaine Brazendale, who is standing down after 21 years on council.

"It's good to go out on a good note and there's a lot of positivity in the Carterton District Council and a good team so I'll be a bit sad to step back from that, but I will have completed 21 years by the time the next election comes around.

"I've given my best and I'd rather finish at that point in time, rather than just keeping on," Mrs Brazendale said.

She hoped that by creating a vacant seat someone new might be encouraged to stand.

"My view is 21 years ago I was 21 years younger and I had that opportunity to get on council at that younger age and I'd like to think by standing aside I might be allowing a younger person to come through."

Councillor Mike Palmers said he was still "weighing it up" but was likely to stand again.

He said he would not make a final decision until mid-year.

Councillor Mike Ashby said he was unsure if he would stand again due to the amount of time taken out from managing his farm.

His decision to run would be influenced by the outcome of the local government proposals later this year, Mr Ashby said.

"If this amalgamation looks to be moving ahead I'd like to see us through till then by doing another two-year term -- and if it doesn't look like going ahead I might not because I'm finding the conflict between operating a business and being a councillor fairly difficult to manage."

He was also keen to see some "fresh blood" coming through, he said.

Also undecided are councillors Greg Lang and Bill Knowles.

Mr Lang said it was difficult managing the demands of his restoration business and council.

"I haven't really made the decision -- there's a bit of water to go under the bridge yet and I'm really busy at the moment... it would help if all council business was all on the same day but at the moment there's meetings all over the place."

He said if elected again, he wanted to be able to give his role as councillor "100 per cent".

Mr Knowles said there was a possibility he might retire and "quietly disappear into the wild blue yonder", but he was still in discussions with his campaign manager, daughter-in-law Helen Hatchard.

For more articles from this region, go to

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

Have your say

1200 characters left

By and large our readers' comments are respectful and courteous. We're sure you'll fit in well.
View commenting guidelines.

© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf03 at 28 Feb 2017 09:20:05 Processing Time: 438ms