Only months after deciding to step down from a 12-year stint as South Wairarapa mayor, Adrienne Staples is already seeking a return to the political arena.
In a surprise announcement yesterday, Mrs Staples confirmed she is seeking the Wairarapa seat on Greater Wellington Regional Council, a move she said had been driven by approaches from people asking her to stand.
"It is fair to say there was nothing further from my mind than standing for regional council when I made it known in February that I was not standing for mayor.
"But recent approaches and the consequential show of support and enthusiasm has helped me to make up my mind to do so," Mrs Staples said.
By entering the race Mrs Staples has guaranteed at least a three-way contest for the Wairarapa seat with Masterton's David Holmes and Andrew Wright of Greytown having already confirmed their candidacy.
Mrs Staples said her reasons for deciding to try out for the regional council include the as-yet unknown outcome of Local Government re-organisation for Wairarapa.
"Re-organisation is still on the cards and we will need a strong voice on the regional council to make sure Wairarapa's interests are heard.
"If GWRC remains intact, this is even more critical," she said.
"In the interim, all regional decisions need to be seen through a Wairarapa lens as well as a metropolitan one so once again, a strong voice is needed."
In February Mrs Staples surprised her district councillors by revealing she was not seeking a fifth term as South Wairarapa mayor.
The principal reason was a new business venture she and her husband Don were embarking on.
This is the setting up of a sheep milking unit at their Western Lake Rd property.
Yesterday Mrs Staples said the sheep milking venture is going ahead but election to the regional council would not impact on that.
"It would be a position which would allow me to put in a workable level of commitment, unlike the commitment needed to be the fulltime mayor of South Wairarapa," she said.
Mrs Staples said her 12 years as mayor had provided her with a "pretty good overall knowledge".
"In a district like this you don't get pigeon-holed by any means.
"I have been involved with regional topics like rivers as much as anyone else over the years and, as mayor, have been kept up to date with the work of the Ruamahanga Whaitua Committee through our South Wairarapa District Council member on the committee," she said.
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